My bullet journal period tracker has become my favorite spread. There are many benefits to keeping a period log, but here are four of my favorites.
Why I Started Using A Bullet Journal Period Tracker
Look, periods suck. There’s no way around that. Having them is uncomfortable. Talking about them can be uncomfortable. It’s not a great time for anyone involved, and that’s the truth. For most of my life, I’ve ignored my period as much as possible. I couldn’t stop it from coming around every month, but I could mostly pretend it wasn’t happening.
It’s more helpful than you probably think
However, I finally reached a point where that wasn’t working for me anymore. I spent some time thinking about exactly why I hated my period so much, and it turned out that the worst part for me was its unpredictability. I had never bothered to pay attention to my period, and that meant that I was almost always blindsided by it. It felt like my period would just show up at random to ruin important things like vacations, anniversaries, etc.
When I first took steps to start tracking my period with a bullet journal period tracker, I was convinced that there was no rhyme or reason to my period. I didn’t think it was possible to predict when my period would show up. Some women had regular cycles, but I was sure that I didn’t.
I couldn’t have been more wrong. It turns out that I have a 28-day cycle that runs almost like clockwork. My period shows up at the same time every month, sticks around for exactly four days, and then bows out until the following month. I spent so much time thinking my body was unpredictable and out of control when I just hadn’t been paying attention.
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The Benefits of Using a Period Tracker
My period tracker has become one of my favorite sections of my bullet journal. I use it religiously and reference it often. In the process of tracking my cycle, I’ve learned so much about myself. There are many benefits to keeping a period tracker. The following are my four favorites.
1. It Gives Me Control
I’ve spent most of my life at the mercy of my period. Since I started tracking my cycle, I feel like I’m back in control. Knowing when my period is due to start means that I’m never caught unprepared. I never run out of tampons or get caught in public without supplies. Vacations and other special events can be planned around my period. I no longer feel like I’m being victimized by my body, and that is so empowering.
2. It Gives Me a Monthly Snapshot of My Overall Health
Your cycle is a good indicator of the general state of your health. I know exactly what my cycle looks like when I’m healthy, which means that I’m aware when something changes. Irregularities in your cycle can be caused by other aspects of your health. The longer you track your cycle, the more you’ll become aware of what influences it. For example, I have much worse cramps and period pain if I’m dehydrated. I’m aware of small changes to my cycle, and I’m also aware of big changes that could require medical attention.
3. I’m An Informed Patient
At every gynecologist visit, my doctor asks me the date of my last period. I usually stare at him blankly while I try to backtrack in my mind. The best I’ve ever been able to do is guess. But that’s not the case anymore. I know exactly when my last period started and ended, and I can also report any irregularities or changes. This means that my doctor and I are on the same page about my health, and it will be invaluable if I ever choose to have children.
4. I Know How My Period Impacts Other Aspects of My Health
Along with tracking my period, I use several other health trackers to keep tabs on my physical and mental well-being. Over time, I’ve seen the ways my cycle impacts other aspects of my health. For example, I’ve always struggled with headaches, but they are more frequent and more severe in the days leading up to my period. I was also surprised to see just how much my period affects my mood. I’m a very happy person, and I didn’t think I suffered much from period-related mood swings. However, I’ve found that’s not true. While I’m on my period, I’m much more likely to be irritable or sensitive. I’m also much more sensitive when I’m ovulating–approximately two weeks before my period actually starts. Using a mood tracker to be aware of how my cycle impacts my mood helps me to feel more in control emotionally as well as physically.
Taking It Further
I keep my period tracker very simple. I use a single page calendar layout on which I record the dates of my period each month. It’s easy, and it’s functional. It works well for me, but that doesn’t mean it’s your only option. You can add as much detail as you like. After all, your cycle is more than just your period. It affects you 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year.
You can easily color-code your calendar to track other phases of your cycle, like ovulation or even PMS. I’ve become more aware of those things simply by tracking my period, but it could be beneficial to see them visually represented.
You could also add more detailed information regarding your period itself. Recording details like the strength of your flow, the severity of cramps and period pain, or any other symptoms can help you make sense of when a typical period looks like for you and your body. You’ll get the most out of tracking your period if you take it and make it your own.
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