Do you ever wonder why there are times when you feel totally on top of your game at work and ready to tackle anything your clients or your boss throws at you?
And why there are other times when it’s a struggle to get anything done, let alone concentrate on that big project that needs to be finished by the end of the day?
It’s normal to have ups and downs in your energy levels and ability to focus, but did you know that there is a connection with how you feel and your menstrual cycle?
Learning to use our menstrual cycles and its four phases has the potential to give women a competitive advantage at work.
The menstrual cycle has been called the fifth vital sign, so understanding it and each phase can help women understand things like when the best time is to negotiate a pay raise, when we’ll be at the top of our game for a big new business pitch or when we may need to step back a little and do more reflection and analysis.
Here are the basics:
There are four parts to the menstrual cycle, with a full cycle lasting anywhere between 24-34 days. The primary female sex hormones, estrogen, progesterone, follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinising hormone (LH) will rise and fall depending on where a woman is in her cycle. The peaks and troughs in these hormones will also correspond with physical, mental and emotional changes.
Knowing when these changes are likely to happen and harnessing them can give you an advantage in your work and personal life. Sounds good, doesn’t it?
Day 1 of the menstrual cycle starts on the first day of your period, which can last anywhere between 3 – 7 days. It’s during this time of your cycle, the menstrual phase, that you may feel a bit tired and flat. Your energy may be low during this phase, but your evaluation and analytical abilities will be at their strongest, so it’s a good time to take stock and reflect on where you are in your life and your career. This would be a great time to schedule an appraisal or chat with a mentor.
Then we move on to the follicular phase, which lasts about 7 days. Your estrogen levels begin to increase, contributing to an increase in your energy and concentration. You may find that your creative juices are flowing. Use this time to try something new, whether it’s a course or new piece of client work.
Midway through your cycle, when you ovulate, your energy levels will reach their peak (along your estrogen & progesterone levels), so now’s the time to get that big project done or do that intricate task that needs a lot of focus. Your communication and negotiation skills will be at their strongest right now, so if you’ve been itching to do a talk or want to negotiate a pay rise, schedule it for this time of your cycle!
During the last part of the menstrual cycle, the luteal phase, you may find that your energy levels start to drop, especially as you get closer to your period. This is the time to lean hard on your routine, especially if you start to feel your mood start to drop. Use this time to power through your to-do list and take action to complete something you’ve been procrastinating on.
Putting It Into Practice
An easy way to start putting all of this into practice is to simply begin tracking your menstrual cycle, if you aren’t already. There are a wide variety of apps out there, so have a scroll through the app store and find the one that’s most intuitive to you and your lifestyle.
The information you’ll get from tracking your cycle will help expand your awareness of your body and knowing which of the four phases you’re in can help bring deeper understanding to why you’re feeling the way you are.
I see this again and again in my clients: when they listen to their bodies and have the knowledge to understand the messages they’re getting, they learn how to stay on top of their health. This improves their work lives and personal lives.
Understanding your menstrual cycle and its four phases can help you stay on top of your game at work and prioritise your tasks accordingly. Knowing what skills are likely to be stronger during each phase will give you an advantage that lets you can play to your strengths no matter where you are in your cycle.
Do you notice that certain parts of your job are easier depending on where you are in your cycle?
Do you want to learn more about how to use your cycle to your advantage in your work and personal lives? Get in touch for a free 30 minute hormone & menstrual health review to talk about what’s going on with your menstrual cycle.
Le’Nise Brothers is a nutritional therapist, women’s health coach and founder of Eat Love Move.
Le’Nise works primarily with women who feel like they’re being ruled by their sugar cravings, mood swings and hormonal acne & bloating.
They want to get to grips with heavy, missing, irregular & painful periods, fibroids, PMS, PCOS, endometriosis, post-natal depletion and perimenopause.
Her mission is for women to understand and embrace their hormones & menstrual cycle!