The Menstrual Cycle and Quarantine

Updated: Jun 28, 2020

Quarantine creates the perfect conditions to get to know your cycle. So take time to get acquainted with the good, the bad, the ugly—ride that roller coaster and learn what it means to be a woman in quarantine.

In all honesty, the latest issue of the Mother Yin newsletter is a few days late because my menstrual cycle was a few days late.

Our menstrual cycles are easily thrown off by change and inconsistency. When our periods are off, our entire body and mood can feel off too. 

When you mix this well-known fact with the current situation of the world it is natural for our menstrual cycles to come late or early. Here is a list of some things that throw off our menstrual cycle and common ways they may make you feel.  A little reminder that exactly how you are feeling is okay and normal. 

Lack of or too much exercise.   A change in our physical activity can throw off our cycle quicker than you may think. So if quarantine life has left you more stationary than usual, or has encouraged you to exercise more than you normally do—try instead to find a routine based on where you are in your cycle. Intense workouts are best the week after your period and the week of ovulation, while less intensive practices like a light jog or a swim may be encouraged when you are premenstrual, and resting or practicing restorative yoga is great for the week of menstruation.  Depression.   Depression throws off our cycle quickly, especially if it is sustained. This is because the brain sends messages to the body via hormones to signal that we may not be in the best place to become pregnant, so ovulation gets pushed back, and as a result our period gets delayed too. Try journaling, practicing self-care, or calling a friend or family member when you notice you are feeling down. Meditation is also scientifically proven to help reduce our tendency to experience lengthier bouts of depression. Lack of sleep or change in sleep habits. Due to the current state of the world, it is normal to oversleep one night and not be able to sleep at all the following night. Stress directly impacts our sleep habits, and so does lack of daily activities like walking or moving around as much as we did before this quarantine happened. So be gentle with yourself and try to go to bed at the same night everyday and wake up at the same time every morning to help encourage quality sleep. Logging off of all screens two hours before bed can also help, as well as taking some time to take a warm bath, or read a book, or meditate for a few minutes as you wind down.  Change in diet. I'm not sure about you, but when this quarantine started I was snacking every 5 minutes. Then I went into a weird week of eating a huge breakfast and dinner, and nothing else. My diet has been all over the place and far from consistent. Mindless snacking is my newest vice. So if you're in the same boat, try setting a schedule and planning out what you will eat the next week or so. Also try to avoid buying or baking too many sweets or unhealthy snacks. If we don't give our bodies the proper amount of time needed to digest food, this throws off our sleep cycle, and as a result our mood. So eating at regular times, and making sure not to consume too much sugar, caffeine, or heavy items like protein or fried foods after 6pm can help encourage your body to get an adequate amount of rest.  Increased stress of anxiety. Stress and anxiety right now are normal. People are stressed about money, when this will all be over, their family and loved ones, keeping their jobs, etc. So give yourself a moment to breathe, it is okay that you are feeling stressed. Just understand that excessive stress and anxiety can throw off your cycle. So do your best to remind yourself that we are all in this together. Some great ways to combat excessive stress and anxiety is to practice gratitude (make a list of 3 things you are grateful for everyday) or meditate or drink a cup of chamomile tea to help unwind.  Major change in daily life. Any major changes to your daily life may throw off your cycle, and in just seven weeks (longer for some) we have experienced a whirlwind of changes to the way we live our daily lives and the way society operates. So cut yourself some slack, don't stress too much if your cycle was thrown a bit off track, the world was too—another reminder that our bodies are intuitively connected to the world and its current state simply due to the fact that are cycles change and adapt with the movement and energy circulating on Mother Earth. 

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