diaryI was recently inspired by a quote I read:

“A year from now you will wish you had started today.”
–Karen Lamb, author

This had me thinking how the start of a new year is always great time to start a new project, especially keeping a journal. So, it seems natural for me to recommend starting a menstrual cycle-tracking journal–which is where you write down all the details of your day over the course of at least three months, then look for patterns that repeat from cycle to cycle.

And I recommend this for anyone, whether you’re new to Hormonology or you’ve been following for years.

When I was first developing Hormonology way back in 1999, I kept a daily menstrual cycle-tracking journal myself. (You can read the full story of how I started Hormonology here.)

In my daily journal, I tracked my moods, health, behavior and much more. For instance, I noted when I felt energetic or sleepy, when I was upbeat or sad, when I could go hours without eating and when I felt hungrier, when my libido was high or low, when I felt run-down or healthy, when I felt anxious or calm, when migraines flared up or acne erupted, when I was more likely to accept an invite, when I was more likely to stay home and so on. This was a key part of Hormonology’s development–and this experience has stayed with me for years.

So, why would I recommend that you track your menstrual cycle in a daily journal when Hormonology can already tell you what you can expect from most facets of your life week to week? (If you need a refresher, check out my easy-to-follow free Hormonology Guides.)

Because there are going to be personal differences for you, maybe because you have a certain health condition, you have unique personal life circumstances or you’re more or less sensitive to hormone fluctuations than other women.

Plus, this is a great way to track your own personal triggers–for instance, what makes your premenstrual symptoms more frequent or intense or what lessens them, what causes more or fewer menstrual migraines, what worsens or reduces cycle-related acne outbreaks, what makes you more or less susceptible to the blues or anxiety on certain days or what makes you feel happier throughout your cycle.

Like the quote above that inspired me, if you start keeping your journal today, months from now you’ll likely be glad you did. Because you could find what you’ve written is not only surprising and insightful, but useful, helping you make future cycles even better.

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TODAY’S FEATURED CYCLE TOOL: LAVENDER

I’ve reported on the five study-proven ways lavender can make your menstrual cycle better: This deliciously-scented aromatic plan can banish a bad premenstrual mood, ease menstrual cramps, reduce stress, boost sleep and reduce migraine pain. What’s its secret? Researchers discovered that compounds in lavender’s aroma affect your nervous system, brain chemicals and even your gene activity when inhaled. And it works any way you like it, such as an essential oil, a sachet, potpourri of dried lavender or soy candle–as long as it’s true lavender and not a chemical smell-alike found in some room sprays and cosmetics. Want to try it for yourself? You can find a whole host of lavender products at Amazon.com.My Hormonology

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[Photo: Pimthida]

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