Hormones throughout each stage of your cycle influence everything about you with every stage of your cycle: bringing a different set of emotions, how you think is different, your sex drive fluctuates and your energy levels will vary.
Why is it then that we have the same expectations from our self every day? How is this reasonable considering all the changes through our cycle?
You see the thing is; most of the time we are working against our body, pushing it to do things that you are not in the mood for or just can’t get into. When what we actually need to do is to respect the fact that it is not groundhog day when it comes to the female body.
No two days are the same and we can’t expect to feel constantly energised and productive 24/7. So let’s learn about how we can respect the ebbs and flows of our body and use it to our advantage.
If you understand each stage of your cycle in more depth and listen to what your body needs at that time; you will live a great happy and successful life.
So throughout our 28 day cycle (or approximately) our hormones rise and fall at different points throughout that time frame. Everyday is different for us. Which is different to a man’s hormones: every day is the same predictable pattern – every morning his hormones will peak and then gradually decline over the day until it reaches the lowest point at night.
Ignoring this unique pattern and assuming that we have the same drive day-in-day-out comes at a cost. The end result is overwhelm, frustration and burn out (not fun at all!). The good news is, this doesn’t need to be you!
There are four different and totally unique phases through your menstrual cycle which reflect the seasons (Winter, Spring, Summer, Autumn). Listening and being in tune with these phases and where you are at will definitely unlock your maximum womanly potential.
It is important to keep in mind that all women are different and we don’t all have a textbook 28 day cycle (but ideally we should have close to that number of days) and it can vary month to month depending on whether ovulation has been delayed for some reason (one of the biggest doozies is stress). The cycle days mentioned are purely a guide; but once you are aware of this type of pattern you will be more in tune with your own personal pattern.
DAY 1-5 – WINTER (PERIOD)
Note: Day 1 is the first day of your period. So this time reflects when you have your period.
If we cast our minds to the animal kingdom and what they do during winter remembering that there are some that will actually hibernate and shut themselves off from the world to conserve energy and rest.
Women do a similar type of thing during this phase; during our period, hormones are at the lowest levels. The focus is on re-setting for the next cycle so the endometrial lining is shed. Tiredness is common along with feeling like you just want to be alone, a desire for withdrawal and reflecting on things.
The best thing you can do now is to slow down, be kind to yourself and don’t be too caught up in your to-do-list because you may find if you do you will feel like you are trying to move a car uphill. Accept and surrender to the fact that you need to recharge and rest guilt free! A nice time to run a hot bath with some candles, get a massage, journal some of your thoughts, do a nice mediation or some slow restorative yoga.
DAY 6-12 – SPRING (FOLLICULAR PHASE)
In nature spring is all about bringing in the new, it’s a fertile time when a lot of animals give birth and new growth occurs in all the plants and flowers.
Same with the female body, your body is preparing your eggs in preparation for the big event (conception). With the intention on creating new life. During this time oestrogen levels rise which encourages your eggs to mature so that they are ready for ovulation.
You may notice yourself feeling more outgoing, confident, more energised, more positive and you will learn things quicker. You will be more future focused and be able to work on any goals or visions you may have for yourself personally, through your career or business.
The best thing you can do now is to learn a new skill or craft, start planning something, take action and try something you haven’t done before. This could be something fun and creative like a sewing class or dance class or it could be work or business related such as a course, workshop or webinar.
DAY 13-18 – SUMMER (OVULATION)
If we think about what we do during summer, it is always such a fun time to get out and about and enjoy what the world has to offer. We get out and socialise and go out in nature (like hitting the beach).
So our body does the same thing during this time; it is a time of playful moments, experiencing pleasure and connecting with others. Oestrogen levels are at it’s peak now reflecting as clear and radiant skin and feeling the urge to socialise and connect with friends and family. You feel sexy, saucy, sensual and you ooze confidence. You feel more in the mood too 😉 as your libido rises (more testosterone around). You may be more inclined to be drawn to clothes shopping, wear a bit more makeup, play dress ups all in the name of making yourself feel more attractive.
It is of greatest importance to make time for enjoyment and pleasure now. This could be hanging out with friends, spending quality time with family, going on a date or spending a weekend away with the love of your life (and seeing where that might take you ;-)).
DAY 19-28 – AUTUMN (LUTEAL PHASE)
Autumn is a time to wind down in preparation for winter. Trees will shed their leaves in preparation. For us it is a time to slow down again and be more lackadaisical and flexible with your schedule and to-do-list.
The star of the show is progesterone vs. oestrogen which is at lower levels during this time. Progesterone is your cool, calm and collected hormone; your mind operates slower and your energy levels drop. Your brain is not so much focused on the bigger picture but actually more detailed tasks now.
Self care and taking time out for you will seem more desirable now. This is the perfect ‘get your shit together’ time – catch up on lose ends or tasks that need doing and finish them, do a wardrobe or room clear out. You should be going through each phase of your cycle with ease.
If any of these phases is difficult or hard to bare then a radar is going off alarming you to the fact that you have hormone imbalance. Your body isn’t the bad guy in that scenario it is the messenger just trying to alert you to the fact that something is not quite right and that you need to act on it! A good example of that is if you struggle during the luteal phase and you experience moodiness, sore breasts, acne, bloating and not feeling quite right (hello PMS!) this would mean you have hormone imbalance.
Can you see that it is just an uphill battle if you try and push through and be productive when your body is saying no? Life will be a struggle for you resisting against what your body truly needs.
When you respect your cycle and all the phases that come along with it you will realise there is a right time for everything. This knowledge is life changing for all women; so that they can be the best version of themselves everyday 🙂
Now that you know this; if it is at all possible try to plan your work and play around your cycle. I know it is probably more doable when you are your own boss lady. But have a think about what is possible and what you could be doing in your life to compliment that phase.
Keen to read more about this? : Miranda Gray (The Optimized Woman: Using your menstrual cycle to achieve success and fulfillment) and Alisa Vitti (The Woman Code) both discuss this in more detail.