I like to consider myself a productive badass, kicking things off my to-do list and taking names. However, much like Batman has his kryptonite, I’ve been brought to my knees by period pains more times than I’d care to remember.
As I’ve learned more about how to care for my body, I’ve gotten a better idea of what it needs to minimize these pains. Still, there’s no denying that there are changes all throughout our cycles that impact our life whether we like it or not.
In this article, I’m going to discuss the different types of energy we experience during each phase of our cycle. I’m also going to give you a roadmap on how to work with this energy rather than against it.
So let’s get started!
Men are prime examples of what we call homeostasis. If you tracked women’s hormones over the course of a month, you’d see a squiggly line dancing all over the place. Men? Not so much. Men have 24-hour hormonal cycles, with their highest peak of testosterone occurring in the morning (cue morning wood) and lowest at night.
Women, on the other hand, resemble the moon. While men experience hormone fluctuations in a blip of time, women have them extended over long periods of time that align with the length of a moon phase- around 28 days. Of course, this always varies because we aren’t the moon but it’s pretty dang close. Interesting, isn’t it?
Women experience a cocktail of hormones each month that helps our body prepare for ovulation and then start the process over again if there were no sperm takers.
Our cycle begins with menstruation – you know this phase all too well. During menstruation, our energy is very low, as we are shedding our uterine lining. This is where the baby would have been hanging out, but since the egg was not fertilized, our body decides it no longer needs this fluffy and excessive lining.
During menstruation, your intuition is often heightened as your brain’s right and left hemispheres communicate easier. I’ve heard that way back in the day, women would leave the tribe’s usual sleeping area during the time of their period. Looking at what’s happening in the body shows that it’s a time for rest and reflection, especially in isolation. Maybe you can’t just skip town and life’s responsibilities for a week, but it would be a great time to schedule me-time.
Do you feel uneasy or restless? This is normal. Take time to reflect on what areas of your life still need improving. I like to use this time to plan out what I want to achieve in the month ahead and reflect back on what I’ve already achieved this past month.
If you’re an entrepreneur, consider reviewing your business metrics and finances and mission. Are you on track? What worked and what didn’t? Use this time to journal about these important topics because you want to be clear about HOW you are going to move forward before you begin to take action.
After you’ve had your fill of reflection and planning, we move our way into the follicular phase of our cycle. This occurs after menstruation and before ovulation and typically lasts for 7-10 days. During this time, our body begins to produce a follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) in order to encourage the follicle (a fluid-filled sac containing an egg, located in the ovaries) to release an egg in due time. As the follicle engorges with the egg inside it, we produce more estrogen and, consequently, begin to build up the uterine lining once more.
When estrogen increases and we begin to move into ovulation, our energy pics up. Bloating from our period will go away and we will start to feel lighter and ready to take on something new.
This phase is defined by a surge in creativity, energy, openness to new experiences, socializing, outgoingness, and mental dexterity. This is a wonderful time to schedule new social events, mentally challenging projects, and new beginnings. Since you’ve already done your planning, you know exactly where you need to take action on your work projects, so don’t hold back. Full force ahead!
Estrogen builds and builds and builds until the “climax” of ovulation. This occurs midcycle and is the time when you can get pregnant. Ovulation occurs after estrogen levels peak, causing a spike in a hormone called the luteinizing hormone, which triggers the follicle to release its egg. Many women experience side effects from this and will have a slight pain in their side as the egg releases. Don’t be alarmed, this is normal! A lot is happening down there!
Ovulation only lasts for one day (but sperm can live inside you for 5 days, that’s why you can get preggers for a little less than a week out of the month). During this time, you will be your most attractive so soak it up!
I like to plan any “front stage” activities on this day like recording videos, live video calls, photography sessions, etc… It’s been proven that women actually get tipped more during this time and people will just be more attracted to you than usual, so take advantage of it by being visible during this phase.
You should also take advantage of socializing now because your mood will be more stable, you will communicate easier, and you will more easily connect with others.
Oh but the mighty have to fall, and so do our hormones.
After ovulation occurs without a pregnancy, we will find ourselves in the luteal phase. The follicle that once held the egg will change into something called a corpus luteum and will begin to release estrogen and progesterone. When the egg isn’t fertilized, the corpus luteum will break down, causing a drop in these two hormones.
This phase typically lasts for 10-14 days and this is when you’ll start to notice those infamous PMS symptoms we’ve all had. So expect headaches, bloating, irritability, mood swings, and cravings.
During this period of time, you may feel your energy turn inward and begin to focus on yourself more. You may benefit from spending time alone, making yourself comfortable, sorting out minutiae of daily life and wrapping up old tasks, cleaning your home, and relaxing.
For work, this is a great time to wrap up old tasks and get everything organized before you move on to planning something new. It’s a wonderful time to be behind the scenes in your business as well. Just be sure to take it easy during this phase and the menstruation phase. You’ll notice that a little self-care will go a long way for both you and your business!
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I hope this was helpful for you all! If so, leave a comment below. If you have any questions or suggestions about how you’d like to spend your energy during these phases of the cycle, comment that below and I’ll be sure to respond.