There are days when you feel like you can conquer the world, and suddenly, your imposter syndrome kicks in. Your vodka mood switches into coffee mood overnight - you go from confetti to paracetamol in a moment. Ladies, if this fluctuation makes you believe the 'girls are so moody, nobody will ever understand them' comment - wait a little, we have something for you!
This yo-yo is not due to an incapability, but due to a mysterious thing we call our hormonal cycle.
Okay, let’s get into this. There is a vast difference between the emotions felt on, say, a Sunday by a menstruator versus a non-menstruator. A non-menstruator or male has a 24 hour hormonal cycle - which means that their hormones fluctuate in a regular daily pattern. These hormones are perfectly synced to any usual working day, thus providing a sense of predictable stability in mood and energy levels.
Now, hi, our menstruator friends! On top of the 24-hour cycle, we also run on a 28-day hormone cycle. Our hormones fall and rise through these days. Thus, how we feel on a typical Sunday night will actually depend on the phase of the hormonal cycle we’re in. Each phase in your cycle, if observed and understood, can become your guidebook - it can help you decide the best time for tackling projects of any kind - whether professional or personal.
Let's dive into each phase, and plan together, in order to figure out our killing and kissing schedules.
What are my hormones doing during my period? A break-down of your menstrual cycle
Menstruation Phase (approximately from day 1- 5)
Tracking your cycle starts on the first day of your period. During the menstruation phase, there’s a drastic drop in your progesterone and oestrogen levels, which eventually rise as you get further along in your period. You may feel tearful, emotional, and unsettled during this phase. Now, how do we make the most of it?
Go grab : Warm food and drinks, root vegetables, and healthy fats
Make plans to : Your energy is centered inward during this phase - say no to clubbing with your friends to focus on yourself. Journal, meditate, or snuggle in with a book.
Work goals : This is an amazing time to brainstorm new ideas. However, it’s not the perfect time for execution, so remember to pause before you start making it happen.
A bonus tip : A great way to keep your energy up is having early nights and slower mornings. Additionally, exercise more - we know you won’t be in the mood but you’ll be surprised by how much it can help your cramps.
Follicular Phase ( approximately from day 1-13 )
The follicular phase also starts on the first day of your period (creating a tiny overlap with the menstrual phase) and goes on until you ovulate. Your oestrogen levels are now rising, boosting your energy and productivity. Here are a few things we’d recommend for this phase.
Go grab : Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, kale or cabbage, fermented pickles
Make plans to : Your energy has now shifted to have an outward focus - put on that glitter dress for all the 4 am night outs! Do household chores like organising your wardrobe and cleaning the kitchen.
Work goals : It’s the best time to take a plunge into starting new things - whether it’s pitching a mega project or executing the plan you’ve had for your startup.
A bonus tip : Your brain will produce a greater amount of feel-good chemicals in response to exciting experiences during this phase - get your vibrator out.
The Ovulatory Phase ( day 14 )
It is frequently the shortest part of your cycle and can cause oestrogen to plateau before it begins to recede. This means that your energy from the follicular phase continues. Now, what do we do with this amount of drinking vodka-and-dancing energy?
Go grab : Make smoothies with anti-inflammatory fruits like strawberries and oranges
Make plans to : get some action - your sex drive is at its peak here!
Work goals : You have the best communications skills right now, making it the perfect period to have important conversations and discussions. Ask for a raise, negotiate your freelancing fees, get the promotion or speak to your vendors for better deals.
A bonus tip : Ovulation is a great time to test your physical limits. If you wish to know how fast you can run or how much you can lift, this is your time to find out.
The Luteal Phase : (approximately from day 14 - 28)
You’re now at the final stage, where your uterine lining thickens in order to prepare for a possible pregnancy. It ends when the body sheds this lining - thus marking the first day of your periods and thereby, the menstruation stage again.
Go grab : Foods that are rich in magnesium like chocolates, serotonin producing items like cheese, eggs etc.
Make plans to : It’s time to cut down on energy but not completely shut down - a bring your own beer thing at a friend’s place is something that you should RSVP to.
Work goals : Your attention to detail is at peak during this time, providing a good opportunity to organize projects you’re working on. Also, meet your deadlines right now.
A bonus tip : Some people have reported feeling better when they avoid sugar and alcohol during this phase - try it for yourself and tell us if it worked for you!
When you now look back in retrospect on how you felt during a particular week, you’ll see patterns emerging. You’ll realise that the ‘mood swings’ are not personal flaws - they’re just a result of the hormonal cycle you go through. You can still choose to just wing your social calendar schedules - but hey, if you keep these hormonal changes in mind, your body will bio-chemically support your kisses (and of course, kills), enhancing both of these experiences for you!