As you may have seen in the media recently, women's health week has been in the spotlight, as millions of women are becoming more focussed than ever on their health and well-being.
There are many factors that influence both the physical and mental health of women in society today, not least to mention women in business, pregnancy, contraception, menstruation, motherhood and menopause.
Know your body, know your cycle.
A super significant thing that a woman can do for herself in terms of mental and physical self-care is to start being aware of her cycle. Of course, every woman has her unique circumstances if we take into account pregnancy, birth control, and menopause to name a few. Also there are different stages in a woman’s life – which we will get to.
Even bringing into your conscious awareness of where you are at, how you’re doing emotionally, how your energy levels are and where your lifestyle is at, can actually start to shift things. Our mental health is a direct result of our ability to regulate our emotional state. Our cycle has a direct impact on that.
There are three major stages of a woman’s life – her first bleed and blossoming into womanhood, which is known as the ‘Maiden’ phase. Next are her Mother years, and whether she gives birth or not, women have a natural instinct to nurture. Her later years take her deeper into her internal wisdom, and see her through the menopause, or ‘change of life’, and so she becomes the wise Crone. How are these cycles significant to your health and how can CBD help? Read on.
The stages of Womanhood
Monthly cycle (Maiden)
Most women remember their first period, and in the West it’s not always a pleasant memory. However through the ages, and still in many cultures – this is a rite of passage and initiation into womanhood, and is greatly celebrated.
Knowing where you're at in your monthly cycle can undeniably support you in everyday life because it can help you to realise when your most productive times are and when your energy levels may be lower. So for example, the time period between day twenty-seven through to day one of a woman's cycle she's going to find her energy levels are very low. She is likely to be cranky, irritable and her emotions are close to the surface. This is known as the luteal phase where oestrogen hormone levels plummet. When oestrogen drops, serotonin drops too, and that’s the happy hormone. Here’s where supplements including CBD can help (more on this below).
If you are pushing through this luteal phase, or bleed, at the same rushed pace as you would mid cycle – you are likely to experience bad period symptoms. You simply don’t have the chemical balance in the body to function at a fast pace. This is the time to slow down. In many ancient traditions (including the ‘Red Tent’), women will gather and rest.
You will be on fire again after day three, and winning at life by day ten, and you deserve to rest.
If you have an IUD or contraceptive pill, you may not be so aware of your cycle as they can create irregular bleeds, or even stop all together. In this instance, really check in with yourself daily, and consider herbal supplements to support the hormonal journey.
So it's vitally important for women's health to be in tune with your body and what your hormones are doing. Stressful situations can compound symptoms, and this is where many herbal remedies such as Sage, Agnus Castus, Red Clover and CBD (to name a few) can assist.
Just one of the ways CBD oil supports women's health is that it works with your own central nervous system and endocannabinoid system to balance the hormones. So if there are certain hormones that are low in level CBD will work in harmony with the system to produce more of those hormones.
Parenthood & Family Life (Mother)
Parenting is the most incredible journey and will test the patience and resilience of the best of us right? Especially in a society where professional women who are also mothers often feel the pressure to achieve or meet the standards expected of their male counterparts in business.
It’s stereotypical perhaps, but generally even when Mumma has the school run and supermarket shop to do, a family to take care of, and a dinner to cook after a long day at work, she still manages to keep up on Instagram. The societal pressure on women to be the superwoman has her running around trying to keep everybody happy, trying to be the caretaker, trying to be the successful business woman and portray a shiny image - often this can lead to burnout.
This is because the central nervous system is so stressed out that it doesn't operate in the natural way it should because it's on high alert. Many Maternal conditions including post natal depression and pychosis, are even hidden by women who believe they need to ‘be’ a certain way (superwoman) in order to be accepted by society.
Ladies – you have nothing to prove.
It takes a community, it takes a network and it takes support. From family, friends, networks and healthy lifestyle choices will really support this. Shifting habits such as diet, exercise and daily supplements such as CBD to support the whole, holistic system.
Pre-Menopause, Menopause (Crone)
This stage of a woman’s life used to be celebrated (in some cultures it still is), the Crone would be known as the wise woman of the village, and would be respected as a healer and grandmother. Throughout the ages the word Crone has been adapted to be a kind of wicked witch figure! The Menopause famously became ‘The Change’ – like a looming dark cloud of hot flashes, night sweats and mood swings.
Because of the stories we hear, many women live in negative anticipation of the menopause and go down the road of hormone therapy. Every woman is different and obviously has the right to choose. However, it may be worth considering that there are many holistic health practises to support women through pre menopause or menopausal symptoms (see below suggestions).
Women in Business
Working women of all ages and stages can feel pressure and anxiety in the workplace, so it is vitally important to keep on top of your self care. Mental health related issues including anxiety, stress and depression are common for the working woman, and are often hidden or numbed out with potentially addictive unhealthy habits.
Self-care for women on all levels is absolutely crucial for her to step into her power and live her best life.
Maiden, Mother, Crone, these are all thresholds to be celebrated and do not have to be plagued with suffering or shame.
When a woman's system is in this state of high alert, then she is stressed, heavily in her masculine energy which is pushing, forcing and trying to ‘get things done’. Particularly at work. More often than not, she is an excellent achiever, and this energy is useful - but it is simply not possible 24/7. There are times where she must give herself permission to calm and sink into her feminine energy – to soften, rest and receive.
This is also a powerful psychological message to the mind, and in terms of mental health, will support you in times of potential panic or whenever you hit the edge. By giving yourself just a little time and space, you are telling yourself that you are worthy of this care. Women are pressured to meet so many expectations and standards, often caring for others and also dealing with past trauma - where their belief is such that they are not worthy and that there is never enough (time, money, support.. the root here is they simply believe that they are not enough and this is never true).
A personal daily regime away from work can go a long way to support your entire system and shift your mindset, to know that you are enough – just as you are. However this needs to look for you (it’s obviously understandable that if you have a three year old, a baby and a business that perhaps a long yoga and meditation session every day are out of the question), just ten minutes a day can be a great support. Here’s a few suggestions you could incorporate into daily life:
- A morning or evening quiet practice, where you take a few deep breaths to simply check in with yourself. How are you feeling, physically and mentally today?
- A beauty regime using organic CBD skincare to care for your body and your skin. Make a ritual of loving that gorgeous face and body.
- Pure CBD oils are renowned for their properties in supporting a healthy sleep cycle which is essential for wellbeing. Switch off screens and devices at least an hour before you sleep, allow the body to calm and relax with a few drops of CBD in a herbal tea such as Camomile or Valerian. Cut out the late night caffeine, sugar and alcohol.
- Speaking of caffeine, sugar and alcohol – check your intake and absolutely lower it, especially if you feel you are dealing with any hormone imbalances. The same goes for nicotine. The great thing about CBD is that it can actually help your body deal with cravings, so try a few drops, and an aromatherapy CBD Roll On to the temples and forehead before you rest.
- Reach out to other people that you can trust. We are not alone and we are not meant to do this alone. As women it is often uncomfortable to ask for help – but it is vital that we are open and able to receive.
- Exercise daily, get the body moving and shift any stagnant or negative energy from the system. This could be walking, running, dancing, yoga chi-gong or any physical practice that can get the endorphins and oxygen into the body and blood stream. CBD oil can also adapt with the body to increase energy and focus for training and workouts.
Rise into Feminine Power and fall from Stress
Stress and anxiety are common place for the modern woman – we carry it in our genes, as women throughout the ages have been shamed, persecuted and pressured. Yet, when a woman owns and stands in her power she is an unstoppable and unshakable force and can create anything that she desires.
When a woman is taking care of herself, and when her system is in balance, she knows herself, she is then in a strong, fit and healthy position to be who she was destined to be. Her mental health is steady and balanced. Stress and anxiety do not need to feature – and if they do, they can pass quickly and do not need to become another bad stressful day/week/month. The beauty of the Maiden bringing joy with her dance of life. The Mother - not even necessarily just her own children but to everybody around her. The Crone, sharing her wisdom and healing.
Which one are you today?
Written for infusd.com