By Susan Reznik (text) & Silja Elsener (illustration)
Many menstruators report that during the luteal phase, i.e. in the last one to two weeks before their period, they suddenly feel the urge to clean up or even become obsessed with cleaning. If tidying up is a foreign word for you, as it is for me: clearing out and tidying up does not only refer to your four walls, but can also be transferred to internal tidying up.
According to the four-season theory, the female cycle is divided into four phases: winter (menstruation), spring (follicular phase), summer (ovulatory phase) and autumn (luteal phase). From this holistic point of view, the period immediately before menstruation corresponds to autumn. In traditional Chinese medicine, this time is also associated with the metal element.
The autumn phase
Autumn represents the time of old age. You get rid of the old to make room for the new. Everything superfluous is let go. The metal element stands for clarity, intuition, courage and detachment, among other things. So we can use exactly this phase of the month to deal with our habits, patterns and our current state of mind.
If the autumn phase is coming up, you can, for example, choose a quiet moment to consciously review and reflect on the past month. You can write down what did you good, what went well, gave you satisfaction, or made you happy. But also what didn't do you so well, what you are currently dissatisfied with, what robbed you of energy and what you would like to do differently in the next month. You can ask yourself the following questions:
What has to go?
What should stay?
What do I have to change to be happier?
The time of new beginnings
Menstruation itself is seen as a cleansing time and the beginning of the new cycle. So it makes symbolic sense alone to get rid of old things before your period and tidy up: be it of a material nature, because order on the outside also creates order on the inside, or of things that have disturbed us in this cycle. We can then try to approach them differently next month. (Important: please be patient and kind to yourself, because of course certain things don't just change overnight.)
Us at PERIOD. In conversations with each other, it has already been noticed that we feel particularly strong PMS symptoms and dissatisfaction if we have paid too little attention to our limits in the current cycle, for example if we have planned too much, said too much 'yes' and thus also too strongly have heard beyond our physical and psychological needs.
The autumn phase is also the time when our intuition is strongest. You feel yourself, your needs and your innermost desires much better. With each cycle you learn more and more to be able to hear this inner voice again and to trust it. And maybe you have already noticed that you are your own biggest critic during this time. You can use this state positively for yourself by relentlessly naming stressful areas and situations and tackling their change. Your cycle as a mirror of your soul.
So taking your cycle as an opportunity to clean up every month with a new ritual inside and out is a nice thought. But please don't forget: You are enough as you are! This is not about constant self-optimization, but the autumn cleaning can serve as an opportunity for you to say goodbye to patterns and things that are not good for you and that you want to do differently. And every cycle as an opportunity for a new beginning.