Ever wonder why some days you have so much energy and you are ready to grab the world by the tail and wrestle it to the ground? While other days you feel like you just want to curl up on the couch with a hot cup of tea and a good book.
What if I told you that there may be just a thing that could shed light on when you should start a new project or when to just take it easy and read that good book.
Well gals, today we go back to the 5th-grade talk. You know, the day when all the boys exit the room, you get handed a travel size of deodorant and some feminine products and receive…The Period Talk.
Are you squirming in your seat yet? It is always an awkward conversation but this stuff is SO interesting and a bit of a “why didn’t I think of that!”
We sometimes think of our menstrual cycle as a one week out of the month kind of thing. Think again gals…it’s a cycle! Each month we go through different phases or seasons if you will. You remember those things called hormones…the little people running around inside our body either hugging each other or wreaking havoc causing us to snap on our husband at even the slightest look? Those little things called hormones can explain a lot as to why we feel the way we do throughout the month. Let me explain…
You probably guessed it! This is the season when aunt flow comes to town. It is the start of Day 1 of your cycle (on average most women have a 28 day cycle) and usually lasts between 5-7 days. During this season, your hormones are at the lowest of the low. Similar to winter, you tend to want to hibernate or retreat. You may have a sense of calm and comfort during this time. Connecting with ourselves is of greatest importance within this season and you may find that traveling, journaling, or staying in with a good movie is just what your mind/body desires. This is also a great time to plan for the month ahead. You can reflect on what worked and what didn’t and get rid of what isn’t filling you up. Then we transition to Spring!
During Spring, our estrogen levels are starting to rise, therefore you have more energy and a spring in your step. A great time for starting a new project or making big decisions because you are feeling bold and confident. The increasing estrogen levels have also been shown to influence our left brain, so your memory and retention are high during this season. If your itching to go take a test now is the time! It is also a great time to start ramping up your exercise routine and with the extra motivation keying into your nutrition. You may find yourself itching to get a new hair-do during this phase or buying a new seasonal outfit…the sky is your limit!
The hormones estrogen and testosterone are at their peak this season. This means you are feeling “hot to trot”! You are a social butterfly and all the creative juices are flying! Women are usually very generous with their time during this season and usually end up saying “YES” to everything. You feel naturally strong, caring, and resilient during this time. Not to mention a little extra spike in libido. Due to the peak of hormones, you have more energy for high-intensity exercise and the potential to build muscle mass is increased. When we think of summer, the beginning, middle, and end of summer don’t always look the same. Towards the beginning, you are excited to get outdoors and socialize with your friends. Towards the end, kids are starting to go back to school and the excitement of summer starts to die down. This is similar to our cycle in that our hormones start to drop around day 18-19. During this time, you may find yourself wanting to prepare for autumn by cleaning your house or meal prepping. Which leads us into autumn!
Progesterone levels are high in this phase of the cycle to nurture a potential pregnancy. You may feel more protective or withdrawn during this time but also a little saucy! This is the time that you may find yourself questioning everything in your life and the “BS” meter is on high alert! If you are tracking your moods with your cycle, you may also notice that this is the time where you are more apt to argue with your significant other. So things to focus on during this season is your inner critic and being kind to yourself (and to others)! This is also a great time for self-care. Making sure you’re getting enough sleep, exercise, and having your own space.
You obviously can’t live your life revolving around your period. I am not so sure your boss would appreciate you taking a week off each month because you just don’t feel like being around people. Although we can’t change our life completely around our cycle, we can better explain why we are feeling the emotions that we are. If you track your moods with a journal or calendar each day (there are also apps available for this), you may start to notice that your moods during certain times of the month are very similar to those of the last month. This information may help you give yourself grace when you are feeling a certain way. If you are looking to start a new business adventure or project, you may find that Spring and Summer are better times to execute the plan while Winter is a perfect time to set the systems in place. The same goes for training for a race or an event. You may find it easier to tackle higher intensity workouts during Spring, Summer, and Autumn and plan for a taper during the Winter season.
I want to end by saying I am not a period expert! If you are interested in diving deeper into approaching your life, work, self-care, social life, fitness, and creative projects around your cycle, check out Claire Baker at www.thisislifeblood.com.
P.S.-I cannot think of the word menstruation and not think of Anchorman ” I read somewhere that their periods attract bears. The bears can smell the menstruation!” 🙂