Do you ever find your monthly hormone monster slows your productivity and can make the working week feel that much harder?
We are all a little of the mercy of our monthly hormonal cycle and how it makes us feel. Those times we can lose control, eat far too much and generally just be a bit of a loose cannon.
So this is really about optimising your cycle to keep you at your most productive so you can still make the most of your days.
I speak to ALOT of women who really struggle through their monthly cycle and suffer with PMS. At certain times of the month they become snappy mood hoovers or duvet lovers who won’t budge.
Your hormonal cycle has a huge effect on your life, how you feel, your appetite, your energy, and your positivity. So don’t think it’s YOU as such.
Understanding your cycle will really help you know YOU a little more. This is all about OPTIMISING your monthly cycle, so you don’t end up burnt out, overwhelmed, and feeling low. It’s all about working with it so you feel AWESOME.
It’s a little misunderstood.
We don’t all go mad and turn into screaming rant-ers. If you do have extremes during a month, there might be a problem with one of your body processes… thyroid (controls metabolism), liver (cleansing) or gut health (food metabolism). So you’d need to look a little more widely.
PLUS what you eat has a HUGE effect on your hormonal cycle, especially extremes of carbs. And stress can throw your whole cycle out. Look at your lifestyle as a whole and not just diet. If PMS is really an issue and you do become a raving hater… it’s your lifestyle that needs to be looked at.
Track it and know, no more guesswork.
So you can really understand your own cycle we’d recommend EVERYONE tracking their cycle for 2-3 months. Just in a nice simple way. The first day of your period and then through the month, each week, track:
- how you feel e.g. reacting to your boss
- your energy levels e.g. 3pm slump
- your appetite e.g. comfort eating champion
- your strength and resilience levels
- any cravings e.g. snacking like your life depends on it
- how you sleep e.g. those restless nights of work worry
The benefits: From tracking your cycle you can really start to optimise your working week and create a lifestyle for a happier you.
Sound good? Well there’s more…
#1: Adjust your schedule when you can, to fit with how you feel
It’s not always easy when working but try and allow for those busy weeks and longs hours when you’re feeling strong and full of energy where you can. When at the phase in the cycle that means you want to nest and stay at home… try and avoid scheduling that big meeting.
#2: Be mindful of food, manage those cravings
When you hit certain points in the month, you’ll be hungrier and have stronger cravings… those desk binges! You can learn to plan round these and also not kick your own arse so much. It isn’t YOU, it’s your body and hormones.
#3: Even use it to plan your life!
Having a date night with your partner? Then check with your cycle to see when you will be feeling best. It’s a sure-fire way of getting your sexy back. Planning your social life around when you feel best might sound extreme but if it makes for a happier you then it’s all good… try it.
#4: Understand “bad” weeks
Limit that arse kicking. If you know your own cycle, you know when you might not be feeling as confident to speak up and challenge, or even a little low. So there’s no need to kick your arse and be hard on yourself.
You are special.
Yes, I say that to all my lovely ladies and mean it, but I mean unique and special biochemically. We all work in slightly different ways… different cycle patterns, hormone levels varying and different monthly symptoms. That’s why we suggest you track your monthly cycle to know how YOU work and YOUR reactions. The TRUE you. (God, I love getting my geek on!)
How to be AWESOME ALL month
Each month your hormones go through some changes, here comes some geekery BTW…
#1st Phase comes under the Follicular Phase (menstruation occurs from approx. day 1 – 7):
- Cramps and pain can be common. Emotions and energy can be really up and down.
- Might need more sleep and have cravings for carbs, chocolate, and wine… comfort eating. Use it as a time to relax and practice some self-care.
- Work may feel a little tougher in this week so relax and do what you can.
- Important events such as interviews or BIG social events you might want to rearrange.
#2nd comes under the Follicular Phase, still mid-cycle (c.day 7 – 15):
- You move into your mid-cycle until you reach the point of ovulation again. This is your ‘Feel Good’ phase!
- Huge increases in mood is often reported here. Mini breaks and SEXY nights out, are good here.
- Motivation and “competitiveness” increases and the tendency to feel stronger. So longer hours and meeting after meeting doesn’t feel as draining. Go getter time!
- Get out and about more (within what you can!), you’ll be feeling confident and GOOOOOODDDDDD.
#3rd Phase, Ovulation (c.day 15 – 22):
- Here the body is saying “get ready to make a baby” think attraction, evolution – body wants to mate.
- Wink wink, nudge nudge. This is your SEXY time so get on it. Mood and the feel-good factor is still high here. Go out and enjoy yourself.
- However towards the later days you will start to notice the physical symptoms of the pre-PMS phase start to appear.
- At the end of this phase bloating and water retention might increase, so the scales MIGHT creep up a little.
#4th and Final Phase, Luteal Phase (c.day 22 – 28):
- This is the main onset of PMS symptoms, most commonly including bloating, breast tenderness, water retention, pain, high/low and unstable emotions, as well as the onset of the fatigue and the cravings start again.
- Again maybe when you start to feel fat, clothes not fitting and feeling self-conscious.
- Your mood and desire to “nest” returns, and you want to go into hibernation mode. Confidence might drop too.
- Outlook on life can become more negative so just be nice to yourself. Relax and focus on mindfulness and meditation – especially at the start of a long day at work!
- You might not feel so strong so just try and remember to limit that arse kicking, don’t over analyse or overthink things!
A little extra help: Consider Epsom salt baths, greens drinks and magnesium to help you manage through the month.
Track it and know it: Start with tracking it and keeping a log of how you feel. Then see if it follows in the next month, use it to see how you really are.
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