Making peace with your cycle
If you want to feel healthier, happier and more productive there are probably few better gifts that you can give yourself as a woman than making peace with your monthly cycle. So how does a busy woman do that?
Charting your cycle
Well one way is to start charting your cycle. Knowing the times of the month when you are going to be the most exhausted or the most exuberant can prove to be one of the most powerful assets you can have in terms of scheduling your time and activities. Planning presentations for the time in your month when you have bucket loads of energy, project planning for when you are most creative, meetings for when you are most charismatic and private time for you are most exhausted can change your life and mean that you are working with your cycle rather than fighting it.
In order to do this you have to know your monthly cycle and plan your time around it. Every woman is different so the dates below are just approximate and should be tailored to your own cycle.
The Monthly Planner
(the below will vary depending on the length of your cycle)
Approx. Days: 7–12
Menstruation is just completed. The increase in oestrogen boosts your brain’s serotonin levels, which in turn leads to an increase in energy, focus and enthusiasm.
You are more articulate if you’ve got a big presentation or an important call to make, definitely do it in this phase of your cycle.
Schedule: Deadlines, Plans and Presentations: Your energy is increasing, you can feel yourself becoming more focused and your ability to communicate your ideas to others is heightening. You are bright, optimistic and feeling collaborative which combined with your increasing energy makes this a great time for presentations and implementing plans and projects. Now is the time to work longer hours and meet hard deadlines so that you can try and take some of the pressure off for when you are feeling more exhausted later in the month.
Avoid: You may not be entirely grounded in your cycle yet and as your energy increases you may be tempted to say yes to everything which you may bitterly regret later in the month when you are feeling exhausted and introverted. By all means go for it in terms of projects however be self protective as well and do not let yourself become a victim of burn out.
Approx. Days: 13–22
This is the optimum time in your monthly cycle for energy, charisma, confidence and winning over people. In short you are feeling fantastic and sensual. If you have important meetings with clients or potential clients or any meeting where you need to be at your most captivating and to make a lasting impression, this is the time to schedule them.
This is your people person time, you can overlook things that would normally irritate you, things naturally go your way so equally, if you have any difficult meetings or problematic issues that you need to attend to this is the time to schedule them while you have the energy and sense that life is going your way on your side.
Schedule: Anything where you need to be a people person. Important meetings where you need to make a lasting impression. Addressing problematic issues. Anything that requires you to be extroverted and charismatic – product launches, events. Having fun!
Avoid: Your charisma may lead you to be offered all manner of new opportunities and while you are full of energy and exuberance you may feel like you can them all on. However, again be self protective, be aware of the fact that you will be feel more exhausted as the month progresses and will need time to yourself so practice the invaluable art of saying no when you need to.
Days: 23–28 (or start of menstruation)
You are now experiencing withdrawal from oestrogen, testosterone and progesterone. Decreasing oestrogen means decreasing serotonin which may cause you to feel nervous, anxious, tearful. Decreasing progesterone can also leave you feeling emotional and decreasing testosterone can make you question yourself and your abilities. You become more critical and introverted, you begin to crave time alone. You are moving into the phase or your cycle where you are at your most intuitive, you need time alone to process this as things come up. You find making small talk difficult and any inauthentic or irritating behaviour is going to annoy you. You are beginning to feel more tired and exhausted and may be dealing with cramps and pain.
Schedule: While most women dread this time in their cycle, if you can manage to schedule more solo projects during this time such as any writing or administration that needs to be done, this can actually be a great time to put that more critical eye to good use – it is a fabulous time for proof reading or checking admin, accounts or documents. You are beginning to move into a deeply intuitive phase in your cycle so you will need time to work with that. The key thing is to buy yourself some quiet time, where you can work undisturbed. Begin to schedule in a more slower pace, no presentations, less meetings, allow for the fact that you are beginning to feel the effects of having less energy and exuberance. Try to schedule in shorter working days so that you can soothe the effects of the physical symptoms now manifesting and the tiredness with sleep and remedies such as the herbal remedy Vital Agnus Castus or raw cacao. Think of it as scheduling in time to reflect on your growing intuition, however do not act on your findings until you are back in to your pre-ovulation/ovulation phase.
Avoid: Anything that requires your public persona. You are going to be naturally more critical and craving more quiet time and will be more. Try to avoid confrontations or problematic situations where you may regret speaking candidly, critically or with irritation later. Avoid anything that requires you to be extroverted and full of energy.
Days: 1–6 (or end of menstruation)
Bleeding can be a time of relief for a lot of women as it signals that PMT has come to an end. However it is key to remember that you are still going to feel achy and tired during the first few days of menstruation and desperately need to take it easy.
Schedule: Time for rest, retreat, self-care and preservation. Time away from people as much as you can – schedule writing, solo aspects of projects, avoid difficult meetings. Your intuition is now at its highest and this is a time for self reflection in comfort. Allow creative ideas and insight to bubble to the surface but do not try and force it. This is a time to allow your low energy and heightened awareness to connect you to your inner wisdom. Use a herbal tea such as Ladies Mantle or Raspberry Leaf for intense cramps and spasmodic pain.
Avoid: Difficult meetings, presentations or anything that requires you to be energetic, charismatic, extroverted and outwardly focused. That is just not the space you are in at this time either physically or mentally. Avoid long working hours and hard deadlines that you are now too tired to meet. Schedule them for your pre-ovulation / ovulation phase.
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