Do you often feel like you’re on an emotional roller coaster? One week you’ve got “it” all under control and you’re killin’ it in your business, but then the next week you feel like a total wreck and can’t keep it together emotionally?
If you feel this way, you should know that you’re not alone and this is actually completely normal. A woman’s body is cyclical by nature, which means it is governed by a series of hormonal ebbs and flows that are responsible for ovulation and menstruation. These hormones affect you physically and emotionally on an almost weekly basis.
Very intriguing right?
In fact, these hormonal changes can have an impact on:
Your mood – happy, sad, anxious, calm
How you react to certain situations and people
The decisions you make
How social or introverted you are
Your motivation and energy levels
All five of these things are pretty darn important in your personal and professional life! The changes you experience can be categorized into four phases. Each phase of your monthly cycle brings about powerful physical and emotional feelings, kind of like the seasons in nature. There is a reason that nature has darker seasons of cold, and quiet and seasons of growth and lots of light. Your body is very similar to the natural environment around you.
Learning to honor your own powerful internal cyclical nature is the answer to a lot of the complaints that are connected to your cycle, for instance, PMS, fatigue, cramps to name a few.
Understanding how your hormones work in each phase of your cycle is the key to maximizing your true potential in both your personal and professional life:
Phase 1 – Menstruation
Phase 1 of your cycle is menstruation, and it typically lasts from 3-7 days. Your key sex hormones are lowest at this time of your cycle, which means that your energy tends to be lower than at any other time in the month.
You may feel tired, withdrawn and introspective, which often leads to a desire to rest and take a break from daily duties.
You might find yourself craving some solo time, so clear your calendar of social events and make a date with yourself. I encourage you to pay attention to how you feel and honor your body by slowing down during this time in your cycle. Consider that you might not be superhuman and that you need some downtime and rejuvenation in order to have the capacity to continue to grow your business and give even more.
Visioning and goal setting will come much easier during this time. Also, communication between the right and left sides of the brain is heightened, and your ability to evaluate a situation is enhanced. Your intuition and “gut” feelings are strongest, and this is a good time to take note of what needs your attention and then set intentions for the month ahead.
Phase 2 – The Follicular Phase
The Follicular phase is the time between the end of your period and ovulation. It’s known as the Follicular phase because your pituitary gland releases a hormone called Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH). FSH stimulates the follicles in one of your ovaries to mature. FYI-these follicles contain your eggs.
Your estrogen and testosterone levels remain low at the beginning of the Follicular Phase but gradually increase as ovulation gets closer. Both estrogen and testosterone start to boost your energy, mood and brain skills. You start to feel more confident, powerful and are willing to take more risks.
Testosterone starts to stimulate your libido while at the same time making you more impulsive. Estrogen makes your skin look and feel better. It also makes you feel more extroverted and pushes you to be more social and to connect with other people.
This is a good time to initiate new projects at work or at home and make important decisions. Brainstorming and problem solving will be major strengths during this phase. Plan business strategizing meetings and make your voice heard at work. Start being social – schedule time to go to networking events and make new connections.
Phase 3 – The Ovulatory Phase
The Ovulatory phase follows the Follicular phase. It is the culmination of all the hard work your body has been doing over the previous weeks. Right before ovulation, there is a surge of LH and this causes the dominant follicle to burst open and release its egg into the fallopian tube. The egg will survive for 12-24 hours and will either be fertilized or will die.
Estrogen and Testosterone continue their rise to peak levels, boosting all of the effects you enjoyed during the follicular phase. You look more attractive during this time and you’ll feel more confident about your appearance.
You might experience a heightened sense of vision, smell, and taste and you’ll find it easy to verbalize your thoughts and feelings. This is a great time to do interviews, live appearances, public speaking, ask for a raise, go to networking events, brainstorm, and have important conversations. You will feel most energetic at this time of the month, so I highly recommend scheduling program/product launches or anything that will require a lot of energy and output.
Phase 4 – The Luteal Phase
This phase has two halves and typically lasts from 12-16 days – the last two weeks of your cycle. After ovulation estrogen and testosterone gradually decline and the follicle that released the egg will start to produce progesterone, causing this hormone to rise gradually.
During the first half of the luteal phase you are still riding high off the effects of the ovulatory phase, so take advantage of that! However, as progesterone production increases, you will find yourself starting to wind down and wanting to stay closer to home. This is because progesterone is a naturally calming hormone – kind of like natural Valium.
Now is a good time for nesting, organizing your home or office, and taking care of your personal to-do lists and chores. Your brain prioritizes attention to detail in this phase, so I recommend doing your bookkeeping, accounting, and scheduling events for the busier times in your cycle.
During the second half of the luteal phase (the last week of your cycle before your period), there is a small estrogen surge. Progesterone coupled with estrogen will stoke your creative fires, and you’ll find yourself creating in ways that will connect with others. This week is an excellent time to buckle down and put together an amazing project. Schedule some uninterrupted time to think, write articles and blog posts, or create a new program.
How to implement these tips into your routine:
I recommend taking a look at your calendar and pinpointing the first day of your period. This is the kickoff point for everything that is to follow in your menstrual cycle. If you already track your cycle using a period tracking app, then you’re already ahead of the game!
You can color code each week based on the phase of your cycle. For instance, the first week can be red in honor of your period. I know, so cliche! The second week can be orange because you’re getting your energy back and starting to jump into new things. The third week can be green to represent the high energy, go-go vibe of the ovulation phase. And the fourth week can be purple, to serve as the time when you’re winding down and taking care of internal business. Or you can use any colors you want!
The second step is to look at your newly color-coded calendar and start mapping out your month based on your strengths in each phase of your cycle. Once you experience this way of living – honoring your body’s innate need for rest and relaxation during the quiet phases, you will enhance your ability to get more out of the active phases of your cycle, and ultimately feel more in sync and aligned in life and business.