Taking vitamin D3, getting outside in the sunshine for 20 minutes, using blue light blocking glasses, and maintaining a consistent sleep schedule are all great self care habits to fight the winter blues. However, while all of those support your circadian rhythm which has well documented benefits, women need to add in some self care for their infradian rhythm as well to fight the winter blues that can be exacerbated when we don’t support this cycle and mess with our cyclical hormones. What does that mean? It means eating, moving, and living in ways that support you during each different phase of your 28-day cycle. Women have different needs each week of the month — and that requires different self-care strategies each week.
Phase-based self-care rituals are a way to honor the physical and emotional aspects of your changing biochemistry in each phase of your 28-day cycle. We interviewed Alisa Vitti, Founder and CEO of FLO Living functional nutrition and Women’s Hormone Expert, Female Biohacking Pioneer, and Best Selling Author of WomanCode and In the FLO about her favorite phase-based habits to support the cycle and you can learn more in the book, In the FLO (the first book to detail the female infradian rhythm). Keep reading for more!
Here are the Selfcare Habits You Should Incorporate to Fight the Winter Blues
1) Follicular phase (Days 7 – 13 of your cycle, or the week after your period)
Eat fewer calories to match your decrease in metabolic speed, eat lighter proteins/grains and fermented foods to help gut, do lots of cardio to support fat utilization for fuel.
2) Ovulatory phase (Days 14 – 18 of your cycle)
Continue with fewer calories, emphasize raw foods (smoothies/salads) to help break down the huge surge in estrogen, and do HIIT workouts to support lean muscle gain and fat utilization for fuel.
3) Luteal phase (Days 19 – 28 of your cycle)
Add 250 more calories per day to match the increase in metabolism, eat slow burning carbs and plenty of cooked cruciferous veggies to keep blood sugar stable and break down estrogen, and avoid cardio and do strength training only to support lean muscle gain and fat utilization for fuel.
4) Menstrual phase (Days 1 – 6 of your cycle)
Can continue with additional calories or drop down if your hunger subsides, eat animal protein and fats to compensate for drop in hormone levels, and focus on restorative exercises like walking/yoga. Download the MyFLO app to get started on your infradian rhythm self care journey today!