Ep.5 Take a monthly self-care vacation. Menstruate.

Tamra MerciecaPodcast2 Comments

We all have mixed relationships and feelings about menstruation. But what if we treated our monthly flow as a time where we got to retreat from the world, so we can rest, restore and replenish? What if having our period became a time we looked forward to; a mini-monthly vacation to drop the load and relax into our own feminine essence?

Today, on I Love Me The Podcast, we’ll be talking about women, blood and periods. And how we can fall in love, with ‘that time of month.’ And if you’re not a bleeding female, please join us anyway, as there are lessons in this episode for all people who identify as a woman.


I just want to start by saying…

Menstruation is not a curse.

Menstruation is not a royal pain in the backside, or an inconvenient interruption to our life.

Menstruation is our wise-time.

A time for rest, radical self-care, inner reflection and deep healing.

Menstruation is the one time every month we’re given the opportunity to go inside, uncover the ‘stuff’ that’s no longer serving us, and let it go, so we can move into the next month freer, and more available to experience the richness of life.

Menstruation is this respect, is a sacred time to be honoured.

A time where we get to really flex our self-love muscle!!

A gorgeous opportunity to dive deep into what it means to love oneself.

Yet, the way most modern women treat their period, is anything but.

Women resist their periods.

They resent them.

They deny themselves the space to be with their most womanly time of month.

Some women use The Pill or IUDs to hold off their period for months in a row!

For most women, they push on through their period, without considering what harm this could be doing to their body long-term.

If we dig deep into the psychology behind this…

Most of us women have been programmed to essentially deny or avoid being a woman, for fear of being seen as weak or ‘less than’.

Yet, menstruation is one of the biggest gifts we’ve been given…

It’s part of the miraculous process that enables us the power to make babies; real life human beings.

And when we learn to celebrate this gift, our whole world begins to change.

So let’s begin with looking at what’s going on anatomically when we menstruate.

When the body bleeds, it’s shedding the lining of the uterus, along with an unfertilised egg, to prepare the body for a possible conception the following month.

How does the endometrial lining and egg get flushed out?

With blood.

Now the body needs to create extra blood specifically for this purpose.

When a woman is pregnant, her body produces more blood in the same way, and as a result she’s advised to rest more than she usually would.

It’s the same when we menstruate!

In order for the womb to cleanse itself – which is the purpose of our period – it needs to flush the uterus with blood.

Producing this extra blood requires a LOT of energy and extra resources and nutrients from the body.

Yes, our body needs to work hard to expel the uterine lining!

It’s a big job!

So…. if you’re busy running around doing your usual non-period workload, mentally and physically active, engaging in normal exercise routines – essentially directing your energy and resources elsewhere – the body isn’t able to do what it needs to facilitate a full uterine cleanse.

As I’ll share in a future episode, if we don’t rest and support our body during menstruation the uterus – which many of us also call the ‘womb’ – it cannot cleanse itself, meaning that old residue can get stuck inside the uterus, which is a breeding ground for all sorts of issues like cysts, fibroids, adhesions, endometriosis, and even cancer.

Not to mention the ridiculously common PMS!!!

Many women who don’t take time-out during their period also experience blood deficiency.

They’re so depleted, they don’t have enough nutrients to create the extra blood needed to flush the uterus clean.

Signs of blood deficiency are absent periods, periods that stop and start, pale coloured blood, and periods shorter than 4 days.

These kinds of symptoms are the early warning signs of anaemia.

On the other side of the scale, the uterus can become so fatigued, that it doesn’t have the energy to close the artery to end the period.

The period keeps going, longer than is necessary, further depleting the woman, resulting in periods longer than the healthy 4 days.

If a woman bleeds longer than four days, it’s usually because she didn’t rest enough during her period.

Instead of ending her period, and feeling a renewed energy for the month ahead – which is what happens when we honour our bleed time – she feels exhausted, and takes that lack of energy into future weeks.

Yet in most cases, if we prioritise rest, especially during the first couple of days of our period, the flow is lighter – this is certainly the case for me – it ends sooner – I went from having 7 day periods to 4 day periods when I started resting – and we feel energised upon its completion.

This is why when we’re on our period, we need more rest.

LOTS more rest.

I like to consider the period like a mini monthly vacation.

If you schedule time to chill-out during your period – work less, sleep more, get someone else to do the chores, and only engage in super gentle exercise – then you’re essentially giving your body a monthly reset, so that you have more energy for the month ahead.

If you stay active during your period, then you’ll feel like you’re running on empty for the rest of the month, because you didn’t get that necessary break to sustain you until your next period.

And chances are, you’re now carrying around a whole lot of residue in your uterus, which isn’t healthy, and could lead to gynaecological problems.

I honestly can’t say it enough…

Your period really is your monthly opportunity to rest.

To reset.

To reboot your system.

Take it!!!!

If you make ‘rest’ a priority during this time, you’ll find you’re far more productive once your period ends.

Your month will flow with so much more ease, and you won’t experience the PMS you usually do, in the lead up to your next period.

PMS is essentially your body screaming at you to slow down, so you can support your body in doing its monthly womb cleanse.

It’s like our mobile phone.

If we’re using it while it’s recharging it can’t really be charged all the way, or it will charge far slower.

But if you just leave it alone, it recharges the fastest and the battery will get full quicker.

It’s the same with the uterus.

If you rest during your period it can recharge the body’s battery and its energy supply.

Not surprisingly, during menstruation – due to the drop in the hormones oestrogen and progesterone – there is also a decline in our immune system, making us more susceptible to catching a cold or getting sick.

Which is just another reason to take it easy at this time.

Stay in.

Sleep late.

Wrap yourself up in balls of cotton wool!

When we rest, this alone resolves a LOT of women’s ‘period related’ issues.

In Chinese Medicine it’s believed that the cause of most gynaecological complaints is ‘faulty behaviour during menstruation’.

And this is why in my two women’s programs Pelvic Steam Therapy and Yoga for the Vagina, I include a comprehensive guide on Proper Period Care.

But today I invite you to start with caring for yourself, by way of rest.

Because rest really is one of the keys to bringing the menstrual cycle into balance.

Traditionally in Native America, women would retreat to what was known as a Moon Lodge – or Red Tent – as their menstruation began.

The Moon Lodge was a place for women to gather during this sacred time to be at-one with each other and honour the changes that were occurring in their body.

It was a time where they weren’t expected to engage in any family duties… imagine that in your world…

No family duties or chores when your period came!!

The Tribes wanted to ensure that the woman’s body could receive the rest it needed to complete a full womb cleanse, so she could maintain a fertile and abundant body.

And they were so strong on this, because they feared that Mother Earth would rain down bad weather on them, destroying their homes and crops if they dared insist a woman do anything as she bled.

In their minds, the woman had fulfilled her responsibility of nurturing others during the rest of the month… and now that she was menstruating, it was her time to retreat for feeding and nurturing.

Think about it…

If you continue to plant the same crop in a field, season after season, year after year, without giving that field a break, the soil doesn’t have a chance to replenish its nutrients, and so the crops suffer.

Eventually, there is no harvest!

The soil needs time to regenerate.

You can’t keep demanding things from it, without giving it a rest.

And it’s the same with us women.

Unfortunately, much of this connection to our bodies and to Mother Earth, has been lost in our modern world.

We work as if we’re in a perpetual harvest.

Zooming around like Superwoman, no matter what time of month it is.

But we can’t maintain this constant production mode.

If we ignore our menstrual cycle, or suppress the bleed with birth control, and continue our high stress lives, it will eventually catch up with us.

Our bodies tell us when to rest, and it tells us through making us tired.

But if we drink caffeine to override that feeling of fatigue, and surge on with willpower, then we mess up our adrenal system.

Our whole body starts to come unstuck, and that’s when we start experiencing more severe symptoms.


Emotional outbursts.


Serious gynaecological problems.

And menopause becomes a train-wreak, as opposed to the joyful transition that it’s designed to be.

On a purely physical level, when we pay attention to our hormonal rhythms and honour menstruation with appropriate actions, our cycles, our fertility and our future pregnancies are strengthened and supported.

I know I’m repeating myself, but it’s soooo important…

When we push ahead, instead of taking this necessary self-time, we deny our mind and body the time and space it needs to renew.

Not only do we lose out on our monthly opportunity to restore ourselves and reboot our system, we miss this gorgeous and insightful time where we have access to the deeper wisdom and inspiration, that is available to help guide us through life.

Because yes, there is a spiritual side to menstruation.

But until we’re willing to slow down and be with ourself during this powerful time, we miss this magical opportunity to go inside and clean out the emotional gunk we’ve been holding onto.

For just as we shed our endometrial lining when we bleed, so too are we given an opportunity to shed our old beliefs and behaviours that no longer serve us, so we can prepare ourselves for the conception of new projects, ideas and ways of living life.

What I’m saying is, what happens physically, is a mirror of what’s going on for us mentally and emotionally.

A woman is most plugged into her inner voice when she menstruates.

According to Native American tradition, she is highly intuitive, and is considered to be at her most powerful physically and spiritually.

Menstruation really is a profound catalytic tool for self-development and goal achievement, offering us a time to get clear on what we want, and re-evaluate what we need to change for those dreams to fruit.

Without taking this time to reassess where we’re at and what we need to let go of so we can move to where we want to be, we keep repeating the same patterns in life.

So in this way…

Menstruation is our time to regroup.

To take stock.

To reconnect.

To tune in.

The best practices at this time – aside from the very necessary rest – are meditating, journalling, gentle walks in nature and daydreaming.

Creating space to listen to the wise woman within.

For we all have an inner voice that communicates to us throughout the month, but our inner voice – our True Self as I like to call it – can be heard more easily when we bleed.

Our intuitive thoughts and feelings are heightened and our connection with our subconscious is the strongest at this time.

I shared more about how to connect with your True Self last week’s episode.

But ultimately…

If you create this space to be with yourself, you’ll feel more in the flow, and find you’re able to let go of things more easily.

If there was one time in your cycle that was more powerful in developing your relationship with yourself – and thus fostering self-love and self-acceptance – your menstruation is it!

But being able to really use this time to your advantage, you need to slow… right… down.

Then slow down some more!

That means creating the space for you to simply sit in your own silence.

Relish in the simple pleasure of being.

Work on LOVING being a woman.

Many women experience sexual health issues because they’re leading a very masculine life.

In order to heal these areas a woman needs to connect with her feminine energy.

Not move out of her masculine, but have an equal balance of both.

Let go of the action goal-oriented way of doing for a few days, and use this time of menstruation to rest in the surrendered and feminine flow of life.

Accept this phase in your cycle and welcome it.

Plan for it.

Slow right down, and enjoy this time to simply ‘be’.

Menstruation in this way, is a practise in learning to do less.

A time to kick up your feet, curl up with a big pillow and cuppa herbal tea, and connect with your inner wise lady!

So you can gain the guidance you need to realign yourself with what is most important in your life.

If you want to create radical change in how your body responds to your period each month, then you need to be willing to engage in deep listening, and be ready to let go of the things that are no longer serving you.

For menstruation is a time of letting go.

A time to spend alone where possible, and listen so we can hear what habits, behaviours, thoughts, beliefs and ways of being, we need to release.

Think of the lead-up to menstruation being like Autumn.

The leaves fall away so we can see what’s really there, beneath the beautiful exterior of the leaves.

This can be likened to us feeling a little more sensitive in the days before our period.

We’re dropping our guard.

We’re becoming more attuned to our body.

As we start to bleed, we enter the Winter phase of our cycle, where we’re left naked to sit with all that lies beneath the surface.

Our subconscious mind is more open during menstruation.

So all the old beliefs, habits and patterns that are no longer serving us rise to the surface.

If we’re willing to take time to look at what’s there, then we have this golden opportunity to rectify what’s not working for us.

We’re able to let go of old beliefs and install new programming much more easily, so that our dreams actually have the foundation to fruit.

We need to sow the seeds for our life to blossom.

And our menstruation is the time to pull up the weeds of the past, and resow the beds of our subconscious with the kinds of thoughts and beliefs that will support us in flowing into our radiance as women.

We all have the power to transcend pre-menstrual suffering, by accepting our cycle as a tool for spiritual growth.

If you take this opportunity, when you emerge from your proverbial Red Tent, you’ll be able to action your fresh learnings.

You’ll be able to adopt a new way of being in this world that better serves you in moving forward.

And this will leave you feeling refreshed and inspired to start taking action on all the reflections and ideas and plans you came up with during this deep time of insight and transformation.

So… let me ask you:

What if menstruation was a positive force in your life?

I invite you to sit with that for a moment.

Ruminate over it.

What if menstruation became one of your practices in self-love?

A time to drop all the outside stuff, all the pressures of life.

A time to be kind and gentle with yourself.

A time to truely get to know yourself.

If you have really tough menstrual cycles, if you constantly focus on hating your period, you’ll continue to create that reality.

You’ll avoid retreating into your Red Tent and thus amplify the bodies calls for rest.

What we think and how we feel about what we think, is what we create.

Our body hears what we’re telling it.

That’s why intention is everything.

On the flip-side, the more love we send our body, especially during menstruation, the more our organs respond.

We have a very real opportunity during our period to set ourself up for the month ahead.

To create energy.

To create inspiration.

So we can be more productive and true to our purpose in life, once our bleed ends.

We need time each month to refill our cup, so we can pour from a full cup for the rest of the month.

And you being full, isn’t just for you.

It’s for your family and your work colleagues.

Because if you’re well rested and centred, you’ll treat others in a more loving way.

There won’t be the anxiety and emotional outbursts.

You’ll be nicer to be around.

Taking time out during menstruation is not a luxury, it’s a necessity of being a woman.

When we take time out to rest during our period, we initiate healing.

Menstruation in this way, is medicine.

And can be a beautiful spiritual practice, if you feel so inclined.

Many of us meditate, we do yoga, we read spiritual books…

But can we sit with ourself and listen to our body during our most spiritually connected time of month?

Can we honour the mind, body and spirit in a way that creates space for deep spiritual growth and transformation?

It’s not how many spiritual books you read that will change your life.

It’s how willing you are to practise listening.

Listening to your body.

For the body is communicating to us every moment of every day.

Every symptom is a call for more spiritual alignment.

A call to stop resisting the flow of life.

A call to stop making decisions out of obligation or habit, and instead, tune into the wisdom that can guide us to make more self-nourishing decisions.

Retreat is not an act of weakness; it’s a time of strength.

For it takes deep strength to step into our womanly power, and honour our body as it asks to be honoured.

Especially in a world that tells us to do the opposite.

In my experience working with women, once they start to celebrate their cycle, as opposed to dread it, they begin to look forward to their timeout.

Their time to rest and re-fuel.

To go inside and truly feel themselves.

Resting during our period is radical.

Radical and empowering.

I invite you now to get out your diary.

If you know when your period is due, mark out the days.

Then do whatever you can to clear your schedule during this time.

If you can’t retreat completely, pare down to the bare essentials.

Create time to rest, meditate, journal, and be internal.

Even if for just an hour a day.

Or less.

Start there.

If you’re no longer bleeding, then take this mini vacation during the new moon.

Get yourself a moon calendar, or look up the moon movements online.

Then follow the moon’s phases, and let them guide you.

No matter your age, we all need this time to rest.

If you give this a go – if you treat menstruation or the new moon as your well earned mini vacation each month – you’ll notice the physical relief AND you’ll feel more spiritually connected to your inner wise-lady.

Hope you’ve enjoyed going under the covers on women’s health with me ahead of International Woman’s Day tomorrow.

Please take a moment to celebrate the divine woman within.

Cherish your period.

And next week, let’s explore the topic of anger.

This emotion is often misunderstood, but believe it not, we can actually use anger for good.

And that’s what I’ll be sharing with you in the next episode of I Love Me The Podcast.

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2 Comments on “Ep.5 Take a monthly self-care vacation. Menstruate.”

  1. Hi Tamra,

    Thank you for the gift of this blog.

    It really helped me to understand the important of having days where I focus on resting each month.

    I have just learned the value of doing my weekly cellular cleanse on Full Moon days.

    I look forward to also making Full Moon a rest day.

    With Much Gratitude for You,

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