When is Day 1 of my menstrual cycle?

When is Day 1 of my menstrual cycle?

I used to think my period was the grand finale of my menstrual cycle. Like, "Ugh! Yes! It's over." I didn't know my cycle BEGAN when I started bleeding. That's when my relationship to my cycle started shifting. I started paying attention and tracking. Then I learned about the phases of the cycle and got confused all over again. Luteal? Hormones dropping? Follicular? My brain was just not willing to remember any of these terms. Have you been there? 

Menstrual tracker showing the different phases of the cycle filled in with dark to light shades of red to represent the shifts in seasons.

Then! I read a book and it all clicked for me. I read (well, listened to) "Wild Power" by Alexandra Pope and Sjanie Hugo Wurlitzer. Instead of using all the medical terms to talk about the cycle and its phases, they used seasons. Just like the weather. Your period starts in winter when your bleed arrives and then your body moves through spring, summer, and autumn. That's a progression I was already familiar with and I didn't have to learn new terminology to understand what they were talking about. 

I wanted to start tracking my cycle on paper, but all the ones I was finding had a page per month and I wanted to be able to see the ebbs and flows of my cycle, all in one place, so I made myself a HUGE one-page period tracker and put it on my wall. My period on the wall for everyone to see!?! Yup! It's 18x24." I wanted to be able to see it all the time so that I wouldn't forget about it. If it was in a notebook somewhere, I would have to remember to open the notebook, and unfortunately that seems to be hard for me. So I made the tracker for myself and just started. 

I've been using it for about 3-4 years now and have been making little tweaks to it as I go; adding the moon phases and paying attention to which phase of the moon I am bleeding with and looking into what that means. It has been a big 'ole journey and it's been so fun! I even look forward to my period coming because I kind of like it now. *Mind Blown*

This is the most recent version of the tracker for 2024 and it's my favorite so far!

2024 menstrual cycle tracker, not filled out, showing the moon phases so the person using it can track their period along with the phases of the moon

I decided to finally make the tracker available for other people and not just me. I found that I needed space to elaborate on how I was feeling or symptoms I was experiencing, so I made a journal to go with the tracker.  You can get the physical tracker (or the digital version if you prefer) and the accompanying journal. If you'd like all of it together, you can get the bundle and it comes with a gift :)

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