Cycle Tracking & Creativity

How Your Menstrual Cycle Impacts Your Creativity

In this video, I’m getting a little personal and sharing with you how my menstrual cycle affects my ability to be creative. It’s something that I’ve been thinking about a lot lately, and I wanted to open up a conversation about it.

I have to admit, I was a bit hesitant to make this video because it feels like kind of an overshare. But I couldn’t talk about creativity as a woman without addressing the impact of our cycles.

And to give credit where it’s due – I got a lot of my information from the book Period Power by Maisie Hill. So if you’re interested in this topic, I highly recommend checking it out.

Summary

Now, let’s get into it. The menstrual cycle is divided into four phases, which Maisie calls the “seasons” of your cycle. The first season is the winter phase, which is when you’re actually on your period. During this time, I tend to feel pretty low-energy and introspective. I’ve started blocking off the first three days of my cycle on my calendar so I can give myself permission to rest and reflect.

According to the book, the winter phase is a good time to get clear about what you want in your life and what you need to work on. For me, it’s a chance to assess where I’m at and think about what I want to let go of and what I want to focus on in the coming weeks.

The second season is spring, which is when you start to feel a little more energized and creative. This is where new ideas might start popping up, but it’s important to not get too attached to them just yet. It’s still a season of growth and it’s okay to take things slow and steady.

Summer is the peak of your cycle, when you’re ovulating and feeling your most vibrant and productive. And then there’s autumn, which is a time to wind down and prepare for the next winter phase.

Now, I know everyone’s experience with their cycle is different, but I hope this gives you a starting point to explore how your period might impact your creativity. It’s something that’s been really eye-opening for me and has helped me be more in tune with my body and my creative process. Let me know in the comments if you’ve noticed any patterns in your cycle and how they affect your creativity.

Video Transcript

Now I’m going to be real with you guys, I sort of…. I’m going on about whether to create this video because it feels like a little bit of an overshare. However, I cannot talk about the subject of creativity and being creative and putting yourself out as a woman without talking about the impact that our menstrual cycle has on our ability to do this.

So that’s what I want to talk about in this video. But before I go any further with it, I just want to say that I got most of my information from the book period. Poet by Maisy Hill. And what I’m sharing with you here is just my takeaways, my reflection, how I’ve noticed it impacts my life. Everybody’s periods are different.

Everybody experiences different things, different lens, different whatever. So I really do recommend that if this is something you are interested in, you totally go and get that book and begin this exploration and adventure into understanding your body yourself. Because like I said, we’re all so, so different. And I really just want to share this with you as maybe a starting point for you to explore about how your period might impact your creativity.

So I’m going to keep a really surface level. I’m not going to go into the science or anything like that because quite frankly, is not my area of expertise. But roughly speaking, your period is split into four different phases, and Maisie in her book defines these as different seasons of your cycle. So you have your winter phase, which is when you are actually bleeding, it’s when you’re actually menstruating.


Then we have the spring phase, which follows that summer, which is when you’re ovulating, that peak Creative High, and then you’re autumn, which is why you start to taper back down again and ease into your winter. So what I just want to do is break down the different seasons and what you might experience and what you might notice in terms of how it impacts your moods, your creativity in particular during those seasons.

That seems to make the most sense to start with our winter phase, which is when we’re actually menstruating. And really it’s during this period of time that you may or may not notice. I certainly do myself that you want to retreat. I very much have high hibernation vibes. And for me, what I’ve actually done now in my calendar is completely blocked off.

The first three days of my period, I cleared my calendar. I’ve got everything mapped out proactively and I ensure I have very little commitments on those days. And also when those days come around, I give myself permission to not do anything because trying to push through in that season, honestly, it just doesn’t go very well for me because I notice in my winter, yes, I do kind of settle in and get cozy, but I have very little desire to actually create and I’m actually going to refer directly to the notes from the book here.

And in the same way in Monday morning is when you think about the week ahead and make decisions about how you’ll spend your time, who you need to speak to and what needs your time and energy. Your winter is the season of your cycle where you can get clear about what you want in your life and what you need to work on in order to get there.

So it’s a really great time to reflect, to think ahead, to understand what am I ready to release, what am I ready to let go of during this time? And what am I looking ahead to? How do I want my life to shift? It’s really that point where you can pause and reflect and assess and start to just casually, gently think about life ahead of you.

Now, personally, for me as well, during my winter, sometimes I’m not super clear on those answers, but I do think it’s a good time to just ponder the questions and understand that this is the question I’m taking forwards with me into this next cycle. So what follows winter? We have spring, and spring is the time where you will start to feel a little bit of your spark returning, a little bit of the creative shoots, starting to poke their heads through the ground and potentially you will feel a return to what might feel like your normal self.

Now, again, just a caveat. We all have different experiences with our cycles. I’m purely sharing my experience and an invitation for you to get curious about how it changes for you. For example, some people might really dislike who they are in that springtime because actually it can be in time for lots of ideas coming through. But it’s really not a time to get perfect about anything.

It is about really starting to sow the seeds, starting to embrace all the little new things that come up. And for some people this might be really uncomfortable. For me personally, it’s where I actually start to hear some of the answers to the questions that I asked in that winter season is where I start to understand a little bit more about what I actually want to bring forward over the coming cycle.

One thing I will just say that I certainly had to become aware of was not essentially rushing out the gates here because it is still a season of growth. Like if you think about for me personally, if I think about my energy, it’s very much on this kind of upward trajectory with kind of summer peak summer here. So my spring, I’m still kind of coming out of a period of hibernation.

So although you might have lots of ideas springing up for you, it’s a nice thing to do to actually just take note of them and sit with them and not immediately rush to action. Because you might find during this time you’re like, Oh, I could do that, or I could do this, Ooh, I could do that. So it’s more about like understanding what all the sparks coming through for me and then which of these might I want to work on over the coming weeks and not just literally running before you are back walking again.

This is all about starting to build that momentum and starting to embrace the energy without kind of going too hard too quickly. Because I found if I do that, that’s when I tend to then be actually tired by the time I get to my peak summer productivity. So let’s talk about summer. Summer Is that time in your cycle where you actually your estrogen peaks and you go through ovulation Now in a 28 day cycle, ovulation will be on day 14.

But again, everybody cycles are different very, very massively. So don’t get too caught up on the specific days, The way to work this out. And what I’ve been doing for over a year now is actually every day tracking how do I feel today, What’s my mood like, how is my creative energy, what are the quality of my thoughts?

I can be doing that in just a very simple way in my diary that I’ve been able to get clear on when my seasons tend to typically start and end. But in summer, it’s that time when you do start to feel unstoppable. It’s the time when you feel full of confidence where you actually can’t just sit down, get to work, smash through things and be like, Yeah, I have got this.

It’s also a time when you might feel most social, most excited to go and connect with people. I’m really take pleasure out of that act of connection as well. So in my summer period, I actually again in my diary proactively I keep that week clear to do creative work. It’s where I might be batch creating videos or feel really inspired and know that I want to use that creative energy for good.

I wanted to use it. I want to use that energy to actually create things, not be sat in a planning mode or in an editing mode, which is what autumn is all about. Summer is that time to really let go. So if you are, for example, redoing your website or something like that, than actually doing it during your summer period of your cycle, you will find the process a lot easier because you won’t be overthinking so much because you hormonally are in a better place.

You feel confident. So for me personally, summer is my favorite time because it’s when I am literally like, I thought about all of the ideas that I’ve been nurturing can start to come to life and I can just really nicely get through chunks of work without feeling much resistance or much drama coming through in the process. But alas, all good things must come to an end, and that’s where we begin to ease into our autumn.

So I found the autumn can be fairly varied even for me, depending on how I’ve been for the rest of my cycle. But autumn can be a great time to still stay productive. But it’s when we start to come back down that curve of energy. But during this time I still have periods of intense focus, like I’m really just pushed through and get things done.

However, I start to shift into more of an editing mode. My I become slightly more critical of not in a bad way, but I’m more better able to discern about what works in my creative output, what might need re-editing, what’s not quite working. Autumn is this time for I really see it as bringing something to a close with that total editing hat.

Now one of the things I always say is quite freely edit ruthlessly. To me, summer is the time to create freely. Autumn is the time to edit ruthlessly. And what I really like to do during this period of time is try and bring things to a state too close or reach a certain level of cool that is in a certain place where I can now put it down in preparation for hibernation during my winter.

But I know particularly for me towards the end in my shorts, and it’s when my inner critic shows up the most, it’s when she gets most mean, most volatile initial kind of discernment of like, Oh yeah, maybe we can tweak this or maybe that needs to be changed yet. Focus. Let’s get it done. Shifts to maybe you’re not very good.

Like, maybe the reason that’s not working is because you’re a terrible writer or because you don’t know what you’re talking about. So I just know personally, during this time, I have to be really mindful about the quality of my thoughts. I’m really mindful of them. I’m just going to say not trying to change them and not trying to force myself into some false positivity or anything, but just becoming aware of them.

And also going to be honest, this might be to do with where I’m at and what hormonally is going on for me, because literally last week I felt incredible. But now for some reason I just feel like, Oh, totally worthless or totally like I’m rubbish at what I’m doing. I’ve been able to, through tracking my cycle, really identify that this does just happen.

Rinse and repeat every month. And knowing this allows me to be kinder to myself, allows me to actively not make decisions during this time where I start to get overthinking. Because again, before I was really conscious of it, what I would notice is that, you know, I might I’m going to use a really loose example here in the springtime for my business.

I might be like, Oh, I’ve got this really cool idea. I want to, you know, maybe push forward with in the summer. I would like, yes, this is incredible. Like crazy. I start putting that out, then I start telling people about it and hey, autumn and suddenly be like, Oh my God, this is rubbish. What were you thinking?

You just need to stop through the whole thing out. And then I panic about like, Oh, that was such a waste of time. This wasn’t worth it. I need to change what I’m doing now. And I definitely stay stuck in that cycle, whereas now I’m able to actually go like, cool, I know I’m going to have a period of time, I’m going to question everything so I can either use this super power for good and actually use it to edit what I created in the summer period very mindfully.

Or I can let it get the best of me and end up throwing everything out. It’s the awareness that allows me to be kind, to be to myself and be mindful about what I do with myself and my energy. And after that we obviously then slip right back into winter, which is why I started this video. Now, there’s obviously lots of nuance here, and like I said, the the best thing that I recommend is one, buying the book period powered by Maisie, who just because I think it’s really, really great to have the knowledge and understanding of what might be true for you, because there is a ton of nuance within all of this.

And secondly, to get a diary and just start tracking the aspects of your energy, creativity, what is important to you, Just start tracking it and just looking for any patterns that might emerge, just looking for actually doing naturally. You know, I noticed, for example, the certain times my cycle where I sleep, incredible and there’s other times where I just cannot sleep through the night for whatever reason, but before where I thought, why am I not sleeping Well, what I’m about to do will change your sex.

Now I could be like, Look, this is just a part of how my body works. I can work with it instead of trying to force myself to be any different. And my body naturally wants to be to get the book, get a diary doesn’t have to be overcomplicated. You tend to be writing pages. I literally have my nets, my bed.

Every single evening I get in bed. It’s the first thing I do is open it up and say, This is how my energy was, this is how my mood was, this is how productive I felt like I was, and any of the things that I need to mention. But it’s literally like three sentences sometimes it’s literally just a sentence.

Like during my summer I tend to just write feeling great. What’s it like? Because I don’t have much of that to say at that point. So it’s not about just making this into a process this big of it needs to be because what you want, what you can do once you’ve tracked a couple of cycles, is start to compare and look for the patterns, look for the things.

It’s like look on repeat around. Like I know like the day after ovulation, I have a total crash where I just have a panic, like a one day panic because I know estrogen levels can drop off a cliff after that point and just be in a state of like, what’s going on. I feel awful. But then the next day I recover.

That happens pretty much every month for me, being aware that I can like, Oh, look, this is my tippy day for food, so maybe this is a diversion, maybe it wasn’t. But is one of the things that has been absolutely game changing for me, my creativity, my productivity, my business, the way I treat myself. So I think it’s something that I mean, I wish I know we get taught to a certain extent about this in schools, but all we really seem to get taught is how not to get pregnant.

And that’s the extent of the learning around all periods is actually there is so much power locked up in understanding your cycle, understanding how it works for you personally, so that you can then design your life so you better work with it.