Period Coach Lisa de Jong on Inner Seasons, Self-Care & How She Helps People Befriend Their Cycle
Posted by Courtney Mayszak, RDN, LDN
Jan 18, 2021
Lisa is the host of Self-Care & The Menstrual Cycle: an 8-week online course designed to help you ease cycle suffering with a personalized self-care plan centered around the ebbs and flows of your menstrual cycle. This course begins Sunday, January 24th, 2021, and she is offering a 10% discount for the De Lune community. Use code SELFCARE10 at checkout.
Tell us about your work as a period coach! What is it like to work with you, and what are some reasons someone would seek out your coaching services?
LDJ: As a period coach, my work is both specific and broad. I work with women and people who menstruate who might be struggling with pain, PMS, PMDD, endometriosis and other difficulties around the menstrual cycle. I help them on their journey to reducing symptoms in a way that is both gentle but sustainable for the long term. That’s the first step. It’s usually through diet and lifestyle.
Then, once the individual is beginning to feel better physically, I support them in getting to know their cycle and who they are through the lens of their cycle. The menstrual cycle is an ebb and flow of changing energies every month like the seasons of the year. I support women in connecting with that, building intimacy with that and from there the cycle becomes something that supports their life rather than be a burden. It then becomes a container that supports their health, their work, creativity, relationships, the way they relate and show up in the world. It becomes a spiritual practice. It’s gorgeous.
Because I work on the physical, emotional and spiritual level, I also support women in what comes up in our sessions. That can be relationship difficulties, decisions around work, recovery from loss and grief, miscarriage support, helping women build themselves back up after abuse, miscarriage and even abortion. As you can see… my coaching is both practical and deep but it is always at the pace that is safe and comfortable for my client.
If anyone reading this is interested in my 1:1 work, they can book a free consultation with me here and we can have a chat. I offer a bunch of lovely gifts and treats for people who sign up to packages with me.
I also run online courses in groups of women. The next one begins soon on the 24th of January. It’s called Self-Care and the Menstrual Cycle where we work with supporting our bodies, minds and spirits around the menstrual cycle in a supportive group of people on the same path. All welcome and you can use the discount code SELFCARE10 to get 10% off.
Our mission is to lift the period burden, and something I read on your website struck me: “When we begin to work with the changing energies of the menstrual cycle, our cycle becomes a container to support our lives, rather than a burden.” What can you tell us about the unique energies each menstrual phase brings to a cycling body?
LDJ: I love this question! It’s the core of my work and touches the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual levels of who we are. Socially, we are taught that the cycle is only about menstruation, or, about getting or not getting pregnant. It’s so much more than that.
Every month, similar to the moon, our cycle ebbs and flows. Menstruation is the ‘inner winter’ of our cycle. On all levels, our energy is lower and our attention desires to be more inward. It’s important to take self-care time during our period, to create space, to ask for help, to down tools a bit and let our body relax and rest. Menstruation is a big deal for our body and it’s important we can surrender to it.
Then after menstruation as estrogen picks up, we enter the ‘inner spring’ of the cycle. This is usually the week prior to ovulation. It’s still a delicate time. We have more energy than menstruation but it hasn’t reached its peak yet. During this time, it’s important to continue to take it gently and nourish ourselves, but we are more active and more interested in the outer world. If we push too hard here, we can burn out. So, it’s a fine line between pushing too hard and showing up in our lives feeling good. It’s a bit of an energetic negotiation and gets easier with tracking and working with a coach.
The opposite end of the cycle to menstruation is ovulation. This is the ‘inner summer.’ It’s the highest energy time and we have a lot more interest in the outside world and other people’s needs. We can feel more emotionally resilient here. Life is good. It’s a time to say yes, to help others, to take risks, to enjoy both our sensuality and sexuality. It’s a fun time.
Then after the inner summer, usually the week before our period, we come to the ‘inner autumn.’ This is often apparent by waking up feeling a bit more tired or even irritable. This can be a bit of a notorious time for women, especially with all her relationships. But it’s a very potent and powerful time. There are big truths under PMS and mood swings. I help women come into a strong relationship with themselves through coaching for the inner autumn phase and can help them integrate their inner critic too. I used to struggle with this phase but now it’s my favorite time of the cycle.
As you can see, there is a huge range there in the seasons and energies. Getting to know yourself through the lens of your cycle and how to look after yourself in each phase is a game changer. Again, my courses and coaching cover all that.
Part of embracing our menstrual cycles can mean taking care of ourselves differently at different points throughout the month. How might you recommend someone who struggles with difficult periods care for themselves while they’re menstruating?
LDJ: Period pain is so common and it’s really important for people who struggle with it to take some action to reduce pain or prevent it in the first place. If it’s impacting the person’s daily life, I strongly recommend they get support with that as it isn’t something they should be putting up with. This can be a journey and it’s vital they are gentle and kind to themselves along the way.
My number one tip is preventing the pain in the first place. There are big lifestyle and diet changes you can make but to begin, I would suggest eating a plant-based whole foods diet as much as possible in the week before your period. Cut down dairy, red meat, sugar, oils, processed foods. Make nice soups, dahls, fruit salads, wholegrain breads, veggie stir-frys, etc. Cut down caffeine, salt and alcohol too. Start with just the week before your period.
Also, to take some more rest before your period. Then ginger and an NSAID painkiller can help reduce the pain if it is still there. The De Lune Cramp Aid would do wonders in that respect because it contains all natural and powerful ingredients to bring cramps down. I would start with that!
Then of course in my coaching and courses, I help you to make all that stuff easy for yourself. Self-care doesn’t have to be another thing on the to-do list. It can be easy and pleasurable, and I will teach you how to do that.
We envision a world where people actually look forward to their periods! But we know this is far from reality for many folks. How might you go about improving someone’s relationship with their period as a period coach?
LDJ: That is a wonderful vision! When we get to a place of reducing pain, menstruation is an opportunity for deep restorative rest. Physical and spiritual rest! It’s the total antidote to procrastination, burnout, low libido, low inspiration. It feeds all those things!
Helping my clients to improve their relationship with their period is a journey. And we go gently with that. As I mentioned above, we do some diet work. But then we also work deeper on the emotional and spiritual level. We look at our past stories, what we learned, what we didn’t learn. We look at what is in our ancestral line that needs to be healed or released, we look at what choices we have. I also then think it’s important for people to have full permission to hate their period from time to time too! I don’t want to create any pressure on people to love their periods.
Because let’s be honest, they can be very difficult and interfering. But it’s about building presence around what is. We can heal the past, what is not our story and then bring compassionate and gentle presence to what our truth is today. And every day we can choose to live a path of recovery, vitality and compassion that is no longer rooted in old stories.
About Lisa's Services:1:1 Coaching Packages
All are welcome to book a free consultation with me for my coaching packages! My packages range from 3 months to 1 year of work with me and include lots of gifts and treats to support you on the way.
My next online course, Self-Care and the Menstrual Cycle begins Jan 24th 2021. All De Lune readers and followers receive 10% off with the discount code SELFCARE10.
Follow Lisa on Instagram @lisa_dejong_coach