Women: Take the Day Off - Period

03/09/2013 11:12 | Updated 02 November 2013

Calling all women for an experiment.

What would your month be like if you rested on the first day of your period?

Something strange happened to me this month. And it started 28 days ago. We are doing some serious DIY on our house and I spent the first day of my period doing manual labour in the garden. All day I was grouchy, short tempered and fed up. At the end of the day I was tired, delicate and tearful. And this pretty much describes the entire month that followed.

What would have happened if I had rested up, sat in the sun, read a book, had a snooze? Would my month have been different?

I've become interested in the work of Alexandra Pope and Jewels Wingfield.

Pope says women need to use their menstrual cycle for inner guidance and stress management. She describes our cycles as seasons;

Spring (the week after bleeding) we are full of clarity, inspiration and enthusiasm
Summer, (around ovulation) we become 'superwoman' doing, creating and making life happen
Autumn, (pre-menstrual) we become critical, incisive with slower energy
Winter (menstrual) we become withdrawn, calmer with a greater need to rest

Pope says that in our menstrual 'winter' time women are given the opportunity to release and let go the stress of the previous month and rest in preparation for the month ahead. If we ignore our bodies by working and forcing ourselves to be active during our winter we can potentially ruin the month ahead.

The Third Metric says wellbeing needs to be included in the secret to success. The pattern of running ourselves into the ground to achieve money and power has to stop because the burn out is literally killing us. Could menstrual mapping enable us women to find the balance we all crave?

We are different from men. The masculine is linear, it is able to be constant throughout the month. Like Claire Snowdon-Darling says 'pushing through is a very masculine approach'. The feminine is cyclical, we go up, we go down. Women, is it time we embraced this aspect of ourselves? The theory suggests that the more we allow ourselves to follow our internal pattern, the better we can feel.

I'm putting this theory to the test. After an emotional rollercoaster of a month in July, my period started a couple of days ago and I decided to put down my garden tools, leave my partner to it and I retreated to bed. I meditated, read a book, ate some of my favourite chocolate and snoozed. Absolute heaven. I wonder how I will feel this month? More capable? More confident? Less crazy nutcase?

So here is my calling. Women, take a day off during your period, preferably at the beginning. For women who do not have periods choose to rest on the full moon or half moon which is when women usually menstruate. Really allow yourselves to drop into yourself. Rest. Consciously let go of the month that has been.

How do you feel in the month following? Does it make a difference to your wellbeing?