This might be why you feel burned out.
What’s your favourite season?
Mine is summer. Hands down. Granted, I live in a part of the world where summer is short and magical - we only get about 3 months of predictibly warm & sunny weather each year. The rest is windy, rainy, cold, snowy….
I suspect I’m not alone in my preference for sunny, warm days.
I also like fall.
Winter. I can give or take it.
Spring. Too unpredictable, but it’s kinda nice. Sometimes.
I’d say that I have pretty strong attachments to the weather being a particular way…. perhaps it’s my conditioning to believe that warm, full expression, vibrant blooming aliveness is better than all other states of being.
In fact, I’m certain there is a belief system that is creating my strong weather opinions - and yours as well. But, did you know that this belief system could also be impacting the way you feel about your body?
I’m sure you are already well aware of cycles. You know about the seasons. You understand the moon has phases and if you menstruate you are aware of your body’s cycles.
Yet, what you may not have considered yet is that as part of nature - you are also part of her many cycles. The changing seasons don’t just happen around us, they are reflected in our bodies and our minds.
You’ve probably already noticed this - or have even complained about it from time to time, particularly when it comes to the menstrual cycle.
You’re also probably well aware of the lore surrounding the full moon, and you may even notice her impact on your mood, or of those around you.
You have probably noticed the changing of seasons, and have often felt like a night of netflix and chill in the cold winter months instead of going to parties.
And, while you’ve notice the impact these cycles have had on you, you may have also been in resistance to them.
Totally not your fault.
Our culture is summer obsessed. We think we’ve got to go go go all the time, be in full expression, blooming, creating, doing. We want results, we want progress, and we want it now.
Our gauge of success is productivity. If we aren’t productive, we are not going to be successful. It’s this exact type of thinking that results in burnout, loss of desire and passion, and at worst, depression and anxiety.
Women are forcing their bodies into a perpetual summer, completly ignoring our cyclical nature.
Women who force summer in their businesses say yes to too many opportunites and eventually lose passion for their work.
Women who force summer in their personal lives have weak boundaries and over give their time and energy (and are often guilted or shamed by others when they do try and set a boundary around how much time they will freely give)
Women who force summer in their relationships reflect an inauthentic version of themselves and face struggle when they desire rest and solitude.
Women who force summer in their parenting find themselves volunteering, overscheduling, and over committing both themselves and their children.
Women who force summer in their sexuality find themselves physically shut down.
Women who force summer live with a voice that tells them to do more, be more, give more, “You’re still not good enough, you need to keep working harder”
Women who force summer eventually become tired right to the core of their being.
You are a cyclical being. You must honour your rhythms in order to have the energy to do the things you most care about, so that you can be present for your life instead of rushing through it.
I’d like to encourage you to begin tracking your cycles & I’m including a tracking sheet that you can use, so that you can begin to notice overall patterns in your body, energy, life, and work. Once you have awareness of how particular cycles impact you - you can begin to look at how you manage your time/energy going forward. Maybe you need more rest days, and less overall striving. Maybe you need to really take advantage of the high energy days so that you can allow yourself completely luxurious, guilt free rest days.
Our first step is awareness, and it’s amazing that just through tracking our relationship to the cycles that surround us we can learn so much about ourselves.
Cycle #1 Spring
Waxing Moon/Follicular Phase/Childhood into Teen/Dawn
Spring is the cycle of rebirth. It is the a time of creation, new ideas, a fresh start.
You might be feeling more energy during this phase, feeling ready to emerge from the slumber of winter. This is a great time to try new things, start a new project, or brainstorm something you’ve been dreaming about doing.
Your creativity is beginning to flow more easily during spring and it’s a good time to begin moving your body with more intention and effort.
Movement ideas: get outside in nature, or sign up for a new type of fitness class, gentle flow yoga.
Nutrition ideas: fresh foods, lots of veggies and lean proteins, it’s a good time to try new foods, think nutrient dense food.
Work ideas: brainstorm a new project, and put yourself out there by going to a networking event or finally starting your instagram profile
Intimacy ideas: this is a good time to try something new and different with your partner, or maybe go out on a first date, explore new ways of touching yourself during self pleasure sessions
Cycle #2 Summer
Full Moon/Ovulation/Teen into Motherhood/Midday
Summer is our fullest expression. This is our peak time, we feel most alive and vibrant during summer.
You will probably have a lot of energy during the summer period, you’ll feel creative, and be able to communicate clearly and effectively. You’ll notice a magnetism towards yourself in your full expression, so this is a great time to launch a new project.
Movement Ideas: dancing, expressive movement, HIIT, hiking, playing, an intense vinyasa yoga practice
Nutrition Ideas: Fresh fruit and veggies - the fresher, the better and lots of them. Think farmers market!
Work Ideas: launch, sell, teach, share your genius with the world. This is a great time to write copy, and sales pages.
Intimacy Ideas: ooohhhh baby, this is your time to dive into your orgasmic capacity either on your own, or with your partner. Summer will have you feeling juicy and ready for action, enjoy!
Cycle #3 Fall
Waning Moon/Luteal Phase/Pre Menopause/Late afternoon
Fall is a time to slow down, and allow for the beauty inherent in the changing seasons to unfold.
You might feel your energy slowing down and emotions could be running high. This is typically where we might find pre menstrual syndrome happening. This is a sign to check in on your diet to ensure you aren’t having too much caffiene, sugar, or alcohol and make sure that what you are eating and drinking is nourishing you. This is a perfect time for self reflection.
Movement ideas: check in with how you feel and adapt accordingly, you may feel like some strength training or a strong hatha yoga practice or you may feel in the mood for something more yin like.
Nutrition ideas; Leafy greens, and root veggies. Consider what’s ready to eat in your garden at the end of the growing season - those hearty greens like swiss chard and kale plus all the roots are ready to dig up and enjoy. This is also a good time to up the animal proteins if you eat meat.
Work Ideas: This is a good time to get through your to-do list for the month. You will have the focus to sit down and finish projects you may have started earlier in the month. Try to set aside large chunks of time for focused work during this phase. As always, honour your energy.
Intimacy Ideas: Fall is ideal for long walks in the park followed by a romantic dinner and slow sex with your partner or by yourself. Take it easy, enjoy the build up and you body’s capacity for delicious pleasure.
Fall might having you feeling a bit nostalgic and it’s important to allow the feelings to flow. Make sure that you give yourself plenty of time for self care and nurturing. It’s really important to honour your energy during this time and not try to prolong summer for too long. Tune in and track your energy daily to be aware of when it’s best to slow down and prepare for winter.
Cycle #5 Winter
While our culture may resist the idea of winter, it is absolutely a neccessay part of the cycle. Without menstruation there are no babies, without the new moon there isn’t a full moon, and without the rest of the winter months there is no spring. Open yourself to the surrendered nature of winter. You can’t help the weather changing, so you might as well embrace it. Allow the snow to weigh you down and cause you to rest and restore. Winter may feel like nothing is happening, nothing is growing, everything is cold and bare but it is truly a time of restoration and healing. A time to soften into stillness in preparation for the next cycle.
You might be feeling introverted, tired, and ready to cuddle up under a blanket with a cup of tea and a good book.
Movement Ideas: slow walks, yin yoga, tai chi, or rest days. You absolutely CAN skip the gym, it’s okay! Rest up.
Nutrition Ideas: Protein and fat, avoiding high sugar foods. Think paleo.
Work Ideas: Winter is a great time to work on your budget and pay the bills. This is a great time for reflection and review, you’ll be more prone to seeing multiple sides of an issue allowing for a more balanced review of your month. This is also a great time to set your intentions and goals for the upcoming month ahead.
Intimacy Ideas: Do what feels good, and say no if you’re not in the mood. Guilt free. Let your lover spoil you, or better yet, spoil yourself with hot bubble baths, warm cups of tea and gentle soothing touch.
If you take care during winter and honour this cycle in your body, your spring will be amazing and your summer will be a full bloom of awesomeness! Don’t try to force yourself into summer. You may have to say “no” to things you’d like to do, but it’s better to say no then to burn yourself out! Trust me. Burnout is no fun.
I also want to add that your seasons can sometimes last days, months, or even years. You may find that your winter lasts much longer than you expected and that’s okay - judging yourself or forcing a summer only results in a longer and more stubborn winter. Take it easy on yourself, and tune in to what you most need. Rest when you need to and get really good at saying, “no”.
Ultimately, what I’d like you to remember is that you are part of nature and because of that, you will cycle in exactly the same way nature cycles. We don’t see nature forcing a heatwave in the dead of winter - so why do you force yourself to be a fully orgasmic, sexy turned on, bad ass boss babe going to crossfit and drinking all the green juice when what you really want to do is snuggle in your warm bed and read? Trust yourself. I promise that you’ll return to summer and it will be AHHHHMAAZZZING!!
I can’t wait to see how tracking your cycles impacts your life, download this free worksheet that you can use daily to keep a journal of your cycles every day and feel free to share your big realizations and a-ha moments on social media or send me an email!