A week or so ago I was having a conversation with two of my good girlfriends from college about hormones, PMS, birth control, and….motivation and the ability to follow through. As juicy questions came up, I started rattling off some nutritional information.
To see if you want in on this lady conversation too, do any of the following resonate for you?
- “Why don’t I have the same amount of willpower and determination as “Suzie” when it comes to working out?”
- “Why do I sometimes kick ass when starting a project and then 3 weeks later I can’t muster an ounce of interest?”
- “How is it one week I am a social butterfly and the next week I just want to be a hermit forever?”
I know. I’ve been there – each situation, multiple times. Ugh. But what I’ve discovered is, my dear, we aren’t crazy, unstable, or have multiple personalities. No, no, no.
You are simply a woman – a crazy sexy beautiful woman, who doesn’t (YET) know how to harness the amazingness of your monthly menstrual cycle…so you end up fighting the battle with productivity, connection, motivation, and more, leaving us feeling like we aren’t the superwoman we want to be – usually boiling our excuses down to A.D.D., exhaustion, willpower (lack of), or something terribly wrong with us. Right?
Ooowee, I get it. I wasn’t taught any of this secret cycle knowledge growing up! It wasn’t until the last couple of years that I really started to understand what my monthly cycle could actually do FOR me if I learned to understand and harness it in a way that works WITH me.
We know PMS can make women cranky, breasts tender, bloated, tired, constipated, erupt acne, and more (none of which are natural or a required part of a cycle, but that’s for another post), BUT what we gorgeous ladies often don’t recognize is that the 10-14 days directly before our period starts can also slow down our creative juices, turn our motivation to zilch, and make our follow through on commitments or goals (that aren’t already in-grained routines) become exponentially more difficult.
The upswing to that Debbie-downer…the 8-12 days directly after menses (i.e. period) and before ovulation is the time where you can seriously kick ass with TONS of energy, creativity, and more tendencies towards extrovert. This is THE time to create, network, brainstorm, motivate, implement, begin a new project, fully commit and start a healthy way of eating, or even launch a new workout routine.
To help you understand why… check this….
Our cycle moves like this:
Menses/period (usually lasts 4- 7 days) – Hormones levels are way LOW. This is a time of cleansing, shedding, and resting.
Follicular phase (usually 8-12 days long) – Estrogen levels are gradually increasing preparing for the release of an egg (ovulation), while progesterone levels stay on the down low until the egg is released. During this phase our skin is glowing, our minds are mentally clear, and sleep and digestion never felt so good. We are in a phase of energy, creativity, and more tendencies towards extrovert. Reminder: This is THE time to create, network, brainstorm, motivate, implement, and kick ass in every aspect of life.
Ovulation (usually lasts 24-48 hours) – Estrogen spikes then drops, egg is released and you are fertile baby! Ovulation is a peak where energy, creativity, and even the elusive glow are full force as you are incredibly fertile. This is often the time of the month where you will display the most confidence, be the most attractive to men, and find an increase in libido (the body says it is baby-making time!). NOTE: This can be lessened if you are on hormonal birth control.
Luteal Phase (usually 12-14 days long) – Progesterone increases while estrogen stays low. The body is preparing for either pregnancy or shedding of the uterine lining. If hormones are imbalanced, this is a time where headaches, breast tenderness, constipation, sleeplessness, acne, and emotions tend to flow forward in full force. Also, we begin to tune inward, spending time introverted, reflecting, and tuning into our intuition and the truth that we may have missed in the first part of our cycle.
Menses/period (usually lasts 4- 7 days) – Again, hormone levels are low and this is the time to hibernate, nourish, warm your soul and simply be (at least for the first couple days).
It is a cycle of rebirth, growth, peak, transitioning inward and contemplative, to a space of hibernating and nourishment.
The KEY to all of this… the peak time to create, develop, network, start a new program, way of living/eating/working out/etc., is directly after your period and before you ovulate.
How can you put this into action to work for you?
- Start to monitor where you are at in each phase of your cycle. Knowledge and understanding your body are key. A great tool that goes much more in depth on how to do this is Fertility Awareness Method. Whether you are trying to get pregnant or not, this is a fabulous way to understand your body, achieve goals effortlessly, and work with your cycle. NOTE: Being on birth control (pills, ring, patch, IUD, etc.) can alter your ability to get in tune with each of these phases.
- Schedule your goals & action steps accordingly. At the end of each cycle, write down what you want to accomplish in the next month. Identify which pieces need the most energy, extrovert tendencies, concentration, social engagements, and motivation. Schedule those for the 10-14 days directly after your period. Then, identify which goals need more of or allow for more intuition and introversion – schedule those for after ovulation (12-14 days before period starts).
- Are your periods irregular? We’ll be doing a more in depth post on this in coming newsletters, but a great herb to aid in regulating hormonal imbalances is called Chaste Tree Berry. It has been used for hundreds of years and works to bring the body naturally back into hormonal balance and rhythmic cycles without any reported side effects.
Know your cycle. Work with it. Own your goals. Change the world.