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“Clue” Is the One App That All Women Need On Their Smartphones

“Clue” Is the One App That All Women Need On Their Smartphones

Unpredictable periods can be a nuisance. When we know what’s happening with our bodies, we can plan and prepare. We know to carry extra tampons or pads with us, and we avoid outings that might make us uncomfortable. As women, we’ve been able to work around our menstrual cycles to do amazing things, but all of us can recall at least one time when we’ve been caught off-guard by an unexpected visit from Aunt Flow.

I recently had a night out ruined by my period. My friends were visiting from out of town, and we went to a restaurant. Over the course of dinner, I experienced a lot of cramping, and I thought I might be starting my period. My suspicions were confirmed, and I had to cut the night short because I didn’t have any supplies or medicine on hand.

Being caught unprepared is the worst

Periods are not fun experiences, but we get through them. It’s frustrating enough to feel tired and bloated, but it’s even worse when you don’t know when to expect your period.

Having an irregular period, or not keeping track of your cycle can cause all sorts of problems. You may crave junk food and feel moody without knowing why you feel that way. You might also set yourself up for embarrassing accidents by choosing to wear white pants when your period starts. Plus, who wants to plan a trip to the beach in the middle of her period?

Not knowing when your menstrual cycle is happening can have deeper impacts on your health as well. If you’re trying to get pregnant, you need to know when you’re ovulating.

There’s also a direct link between your menstrual cycle and the effectiveness of your workouts. When you are in the luteal phase of your cycle (right before your period), your metabolic rate increases by 2.5%-11%.[1] You’ll burn calories faster, but it’ll also have a negative impact on your performance.

Your period can be an indicator of your overall health. Irregularities can arise from stress or changes in sexual activity. Taking certain medications can impact your cycle. What you eat during certain times of the month affects your mood, but diet can also disrupt your period. Dramatic weight loss, for example, can cause your menstrual cycle to stop altogether.

Being able to note changes in your menstrual cycle provides clues about your health and wellness. While everybody is different, it’s important to know what is normal for you.

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It’s time to get a clue

If you’re having trouble keeping track of your period on a regular calendar, there’s an app called “Clue” that helps you collect data on yourself. This app enables you to track your period, predict ovulation time, and record information that will affect your menstrual cycle.

Besides being able to track your cycle, Clue can also remind you to take contraceptives and tell you what to do if you miss a pill.[2]

“Clue” keeps data on your period organized and makes it easy to understand

Clue is free, and signing up is easy. You can create an account using your Facebook, Google, or email account. After you verify your account, the app asks you a few questions about your age, the average duration of your your period, PMS symptoms, and your contraceptive usage.

The Clue app uses that information to make predictions about when you’ll be dealing with PMS, menstruating, and ovulating. As you input your data into Clue, it becomes better at predicting elements of your cycle.

You can see where you are in your cycle by viewing the “Your Current Cycle” page.

    You can always reach this page by clicking on the circular icon at the bottom of the page. As you can see, Clue makes it easy to see where you are in your cycle at a glance. The clouds on the cycle indicate when you might experience PMS symptoms.

    The number of red dots beneath the area that says “Period” represent the number of days that your period will last. If you record data related to ovulation, a blue dot will appear when the app predicts that you are ovulating.

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    If you choose to receive reminders about your fertility, the fertility window will appear as a blue section in the cycle. Knowing when you’re most fertile is useful whether or not you are trying to conceive.

    When you click on the green plus sign, you’ll have the option to enter current data about your body. The red droplet icon allows you to record how heavy your bleeding is for that day. When you enter this data, Clue will be able to predict the heaviness and duration of future periods, which can help you make better plans.

      To the right of the red droplet is an icon that looks like a pill. If you take the pill, this is where you record whether you’ve taken your oral contraceptives.

        To access information about oral contraceptives, you can click on the blue “i” icon on the top right. This is so handy if you find yourself in a situation in which you forget your pill, get sick, or you don’t have your medication with you at the proper time.

        The next item that you can track are your emotions. Click on the orange face icon, and you’ll see the screen below.

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          When you record data about your emotions, you can make it easier to figure out why you feel the way that you do. For example, it may seem like you feel sad for no reason, but your feelings might be linked to your menstrual cycle. While knowing this information won’t cure your moroseness, it may make you feel better to understand why you’re sad.

          Hit the arrow to the right of the emotions icon, and you will be able to record information about your sex-life.

            Recording whether or not you used contraceptives can help you understand your risk of pregnancy. A high sex drive could accompany certain parts of your menstrual cycle.

            There’s no question that your cycle affects your skin. Input data about your skin’s condition by clicking on the icon that looks like a peach.

              Finally, you can record types of pain that you are experiencing under the lighting bolt. Knowing when you typically experience headaches, cramps, breast tenderness, and ovulation pain can help you prepare for these symptoms.

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                In addition to thinking about the current month, you can also view data from previous periods and predictions for those to come. If you go back to the “Your current cycle” page, you can go to the calendar icon on the bottom left of your screen.

                  Days with white clouds are those on which you should expect PMS. The presence of a red dot signifies is Clue’s prediction about when you should expect menstrual bleeding.

                  If you’ve recorded ovulation data, a blue square will appear in the top left corner of the day on which you experienced those symptoms. When you have collected enough data, Clue can use this to ascertain your fertility window.

                  To the right of the calendar, there’s a notebook icon that takes you to your analysis page.

                    This test profile doesn’t have much data associated with it, but the analysis section displays predictions as it captures more data. If you select the menu to the right of the cycle (represented by three dots), you can make notes about the cycle or exclude the data from your calculations.

                    Clue even allows you to share your information with others. This can be useful when you’re trying to make plans with your friends. For couples trying to conceive, both partners can use Clue to see when the woman is most fertile. This information could also help your partner understand why you’re tired and cranky on a particular day.

                    Demystify your periods

                    Takes some of the mystery out of when to expect your period. Clue helps you foresee how you’ll feel, when you’re fertile, and when you should expect your period based on the data you enter. You’ll not only be better able to make plans, but you’ll also be able to spot abnormalities and communicate efficiently with your doctor by using this app.

                    Dealing with your menstrual cycle can be complicated, but Clue makes it easier to keep track of your periods and take care of yourself.

                    Reference

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                    Jolie Choi

                    Having experienced her own extreme transformation process, Jolie strongly believes that staying healthy takes determined and consistent action.

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                    Last Updated on July 8, 2020

                    18 Benefits of Journaling That Will Change Your Life

                    18 Benefits of Journaling That Will Change Your Life

                    The act of writing in a journal often seems daunting or unnecessary to many people. Even authors who work on novels might shun the idea of daily diaries. What purpose does jotting down words on a regular basis do if not contributing to the next novel, play or song? I know from experience many benefits of journaling that I wish to share.

                    1. Understand Yourself Better

                    Though many people and even writers avoid keeping journals, I vow to do it more often. Not only do I desire to take up daily journaling but also I plan to do it with pen to paper.

                    Some of the benefits I’ve found from my more active days include finding myself in the sense of understanding what matters to me and what I want out of life. I’ve been incredibly fortunate to find a spouse who is my best friend and advocate in raising children. I attribute this and much more to what I learned about myself in keeping journals for years.

                    2. Keep Track of Small Changes

                    I’ll admit that I never got very far with my guitar lessons, but in writing in a journal, I have seen the ability to track small changes like those that come when you practice anything.

                    Those learning a musical instrument often fail to see the small improvements that come with regular practice. Writing won’t help you switch chords any faster, but it will help you to develop a better sense for language and grammar just by doing it.

                    3. Become Aware of What Matters

                    As you continue to write in a journal, following a stream-of-consciousness feel, you can look back on the topics that you chose to write about. Those issues and emotions that poured out of you will provide insight on to what matters most to you.

                    You may not even realize that you’re job is depressing you or that you want to spend more time with your kids until you look over your thoughts that you weren’t really thinking about.

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                    4. Boost Creativity

                    The idea that the brain and its neural activity across hemispheres encourages learning also shows up in increased creativity. Just like with learning an instrument, your increased activity will inspire your thoughts to connect and reconnect in different ways.

                    When I wrote in a journal, I often wrote poetry as well as just my thoughts as they came out. I started to hear poems more in my mind; so much so that I took to scrawling lines on napkins and finding metaphors in mundane activities.

                    You really are what you do, so writing helps grow more than being a writer. Writing boosts the way you communicate and structure language, which really is a creative process.

                    5. Represents Your Emotions in a Safe Environment

                    A journal is as private as it gets. You can lock it in a safe or tuck it under a pillow and no one will accidentally share it on social media or have an opportunity to “leave a comment.”

                    Write about your sorrow as much as your happiness and frustration and know that you don’t have to keep your emotions inside your body. You can put them on paper.

                    6. Process Life Experiences

                    When you take the time to look back over what you’ve written, be it a week or a year later, you will have the distance you need to more objectively interpret your raw feelings.

                    Everything from losing a job to losing a loved one can emerge in a new light for a fresh perspective. Figuring out how the benefits of journaling affect your perspective on life will create connection and increase creativity.

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                    7. Stress Relief

                    In combining the exercise inherent in fine motor coordination that comes from the act of writing with the emotional release of self expression, those who maintain a journal relieve stress.

                    Try it out. Go home and write about your day. Write about the traffic. Write about the coffee order the barista got wrong but you didn’t have time to change. See how you can physically purge some of that pent-up stress by putting it on paper.

                    8. Provide Direction

                    Though journaling is often conducted as an activity without much direction, it often provides direction.

                    One of the biggest benefits of journaling is that your chaotic thoughts merge to show a direction in which to head. Asking the right questions is the only way to achieve the best solutions, so look to your journal to find your way toward your next goal.

                    9. Solve Problems

                    Just as in practicing math problems, we all get better at finding hidden solutions through the act of processing.

                    Think of your next goal as X and solve your life problems by reading your journals as word problems. The benefit of journaling here is that you write, explore and process to recognize and then solve problems.

                    When life is too in-your-face, you have to step back to see reality. Living in the moment allows us to write in the moment and use that expression to solve problems.

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                    10. Find Relief From Fighting

                    Solving your problems only comes after time to process, recognize and strategize. Just as in the benefit of journaling where relief comes from the act of writing, relief from fighting comes when you decide to “sit this one out” and communicate one-way.

                    Fighting is only productive when the fighters care to communicate and find common ground. When the emotions are as high as the stress levels, writing will function as the best time out.

                    11. Find Meaning in Life

                    Journaling will show you why you are living, whether you are wallowing in things you wish to change or striving to make the changes. Your life will begin to take on new meaning and your own words will reveal the actions that got you where you are so that you can assess and pave a new path for your future.

                    12. Allow Yourself to Focus

                    Taking even a small amount of time out of every day will provide you with not only peace of mind but also increased focus. Taking a break to meditate in writing and journaling will sharpen your mental faculties.

                    13. Sharpen Your Spirituality

                    When we write, we allow all the energy and experiences to flow through us, which often provides further insight into our own spirituality. Even if your parents didn’t raise you to follow a specific religion, your thoughts will start to show you what you believe about the universe and your place in it.

                    14. Let the Past Go

                    I’ve mentioned a few examples where going back over your writing offers advice and direction, but the simply truth is that writing down our feelings can be the best way to let them go. We can choose to literally throw these pages away when they’re filled with negativity and hate.

                    15. Allow Freedom

                    Journaling is the perfect way to not only express yourself but to also experience the freedom of being who you are. Your books can stay private or you can publish them. Your freedom stems from your sense of self and your perception of your thoughts.

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                    16. Enhance Your Career

                    Again, the private act of pen-to-paper processing provides the benefits of journaling mentioned above, but you can also enhance your career when you take similar ideas and categorize, edit and publish them in an online blog.

                    Your thoughts will often be personal and express emotions, but another benefit of journaling is uncovering fresh ideas about your work.

                    17. Literally Explore Your Dreams

                    All the benefits I’ve mentioned explore ideas, thoughts and emotions, which is also what our dreams and nightmares do. Through writing down your dreams from the previous night, you can enhance your creativity as well as connect some of the metaphorical dots from the rest of your journal.

                    18. Catalog Your Life for Others

                    No one wants to think about dying, but we all die. Leaving a journal will act as a way to reconnect with family and friends left behind. The ideas you wish to keep personal while you process the life you’re living will serve to rekindle and inspire those who loved you through the process.

                    We consider our partners our life witnesses, but writing provides a tangible mark on the world.

                    Now that you’ve learned all the benefits of journaling, it’s time to start writing a journal:

                    Featured photo credit: Kelly Sikkema via unsplash.com

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