Good Morning, PMS

How do you start your day? Do you hit the snooze button until you have to dash out the door, breakfast-less and barely awake? Or do you lay in bed scrolling through emails on your phone and getting stressed about what’s ahead? Your morning routine, or lack thereof, can have an impact on the rest of your day.

If you start the day anxious, hungry, and over-caffeinated, you probably know all to well that you won’t be able to perform to the best of your abilities at work or when it comes to any of your plans. But not only that, you’re also setting yourself up for the kind of jagged blood sugar and cortisol overdrive that will inevitably trigger hormone imbalance, leaving you open to symptoms such as PMS, missed periods, cramps, bloating, acne and more. How you choose to start your day impacts your whole month in this way – one too many bad mornings can spell disaster for your period.

Changing your morning routine can be the first key step to happiness, to healing your hormonal health issues, and to getting you on the path to perfect periods. Mastering the morning is kind of a major life skill.

However, it’s important to remember: you are a woman and, so, you are cyclical. To get the most out of your mornings you need to go with your Flo and not try to enforce a strict pattern. Changing your morning routine to fit your hormone cycle is like taking a regular morning routine and super charging it for the demands of modern womanhood! Being cycle-aware in regards to your morning routine provides an immediate blueprint for you to follow through.

I recommend splitting your month into two morning routines: one for the first half of your cycle and for the second half of your cycle. It’s that simple, but it’s so effective.(Pro tip: tracking your cycle with MyFLO will help you know where you are in your cycle and will recommend the most appropriate activities, foods, exercise, even type of sex to have to maximize your feeling your best all month long.)

Below are my suggestions for a two morning routines based on your menstrual cycle:

1st Half of Cycle (post-period to ovulation):

1. HYDRATE. Wake up and drink a tall glass of lemon water.

2. MOVE. Stretch your body with some light yoga practice.

3. FUEL. Make a nutritious smoothie with a blend of avocado, blueberries, spinach, flax, almond milk, and cinnamon.

4. FOCUS ON TASKS. Reality-check your to-do list from the night before. Take one or two items off the list. Doing this feels like a relief in a way and can boost confidence and energy for the day ahead.

5. CONNECT TO YOUR HEART. Take a moment to connect to your heart in some way before work – this might mean a call to a friend, a cuddle with my daughter, or some meditation.

2nd Half of Cycle (post-ovulation to end of period):

1. HYDRATE. Wake up and drink a raspberry leaf hot tea

2. MOVE. Stretch your body with some light yoga.

3. FUEL. Choose a more carb-heavy breakfast for this time of your cycle, with a grain-base like buckwheat or quinoa plus eggs and sauteed greens.

4. EXPRESS YOURSELF. Take some time to do a little introspective self-evaluation. Call a friend to work through something that’s been bothering you or sit down to journal. The goal is to get out what you’re feeling right now and address it in a way that works and feels best.

5. PRACTICE GRATITUDE. If you wake up feeling a little cranky and off-balance during this part of your cycle, try writing a quick 5 item gratitude list to shift your energy and feel revitalized. (If this crankiness is overwhelming and hard to move past, then you should think about reassessing your diet and lifestyle and try a new way of living in your body for your next cycle.)