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Time To “Prioritize My Sh*t”

Every month women are faced with a fact of life, their biological nature. Hormones initiate their menses cycle, and another unfertilized egg passes away. Any female over puberty knows the process all too well.


What most women don’t realize is all of the negative associated experiences, bloating, moodiness, cramps and the like, can be minimized without medication. To do so, a different perspective is required; one that will allow the appropriate actions to follow naturally.


In Classical Chinese Medicine and other ancient healing models, the body is a whole unit. The mental, emotional and physical aspects are not compartmentalized processes. The bio-chemistry responds to the psycho-emotive experience, and those reactions can affect the physiology and vice versa. To denote this holistic perspective, some practitioners call it the body-mind.


Another core concept in the ancient models of health is that the foundational element of everything is energy. In the body-mind, this is often referred to as life force, bio-energy, vital force, qi (chi) or prana.[1] When it comes to managing women’s monthly cycle, it is important to understand this principle.


Think of energy as the currency of life’s economy. Energy can be acquired through quality food, air, sun, nature, and water consumption. It can be conserved. And, it is spent doing anything—thinking, feeling, fighting, moving, well everything.


When life force is harmoniously managed, the entire body-mind functions optimally. A good example of this are the Taoist centurions that maintain their youthfulness long into their senior years. However, if this vital force is spent excessively, then the body-mind will sacrifice its functionality and vitality to adapt to the present conditions.


Next to child birth, a woman’s monthly menses is the largest energy expense. Any woman can confirm this experience of deficiency. [2] Whereas in men, the primary vital force expenditure is ejaculation. That explains a man’s need for a hearty sandwich and nap after such spending sprees.[3]


Each month, women must reconcile, monitor and manage their vital force account. When the cycle starts, the amount of energy or budget available to maintain their composure and meet life’s demands is dramatically less than during the rest of the month. Ideally women should use this period of PMS to “prioritize my shit.” Since energy resources are lower, their daily demands should be less. This a time of doing only what’s essential!



A great book that dives into the philosophy of doing less is

Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown.[4]

Hypersensitivity to situations or people is just a sign that an adjustment needs to happen…immediately. Often, this involves changing the amount of energy and time invested in people, places or things. The best way to do so is to take advantage of the power of ’NO!’


For instance:

“No, thanks. That sugary treat won’t fuel my vital force. I’ll have something that’s more blood building, like some bone broth soup.”


“No, I am not following that plan. I need to rest in the grass and soak in some sunshine.”


“No, I am not interested in spending time with that person. I always feel drained after doing so. I’m going to chill and do some ‘me’ time.”

Get the idea?
Ben Franklin said it perfectly, “When the well is dry, we know the worth of water.”
Don’t let your energy reservoir or well go dry!
Also, a few lifestyle or self-care adjustments can help mitigate the energy lost…

  • Foods that are helpful to eat are dark green vegetables, liver, beets, bone broth, red meats and other blood enriching foods. [5]
  • Avoiding sugar is important.
  • Increasing your deep abdominal breathing into your lower abdomen will help keep energy flowing in the area.
  • Eating many small meals throughout the day instead of a few large ones helps sustain energy levels.
  • Increasing the daily intake of iron, folate and vitamin B-12 can help maintain energy levels.[5]
  • Practicing Kegel exercises as much as possible is very effective in reducing the amount of energy and blood lost.
  • Gentle stretching and moderate exercise is helpful to release tight tissues and support the flow of energy.
  • Increasing water consumption and avoiding any caffeine or alcohol is beneficial.[5]
  • Meditating more and practicing stillness within is certainly advantageous any time of the month.
  • Getting down on the ground and connecting to the Earth’s vital force can help balance and revitalize the body-mind.[6]
  • Self massage is also great for alleviating cramps. Check out this pressure point tutorial for alleviating cramps…


The key to a smooth cycle is not exhausting oneself with over stimulation, stress and stuff to do, instead conserve energy, rest as needed and chill.


Men can take advantage of this time to prioritize things too. If a woman seems short tempered or easily triggered, encourage her to rest, take a bath or eat a very healthful meal. Re-evaluate the list of life’s commitments for the family. Avoid making any definitive major decisions, but take heed to the inclinations that arise when vital force is low. This period is an ideal time to create a sustainable energy budget and schedule.


So, think of it as nature’s reminder to slow down, reflect, and “prioritize my shit!”


What will you do differently next month?


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Erica Rogers