We have all been there: It’s that time of the month and we hate every piece of clothing that we own and can’t seem to get along with our partners, roommate or co-workers.
Before I started to understand my body, I had no idea why I was so moody, irritable and super sensitive on certain days of the month. I would feel very low and want to stay in bed and cry. Since I wasn’t in tune with my body and my cycle I pretty much dreaded that time of the month every month.
I started to track what I was eating to see if this was having an effect on my mood and that led to tracking my cycle. When I recognized a pattern, I could then pinpoint how different days of the month were affecting my work and relationships.
Having this information is so beneficial. I can now let my husband know that it’s not me, but my hormones talking and he can better understand my sudden mood changes (So helpful in a marriage).
Understanding my body also has helped me professionally, because I no longer schedule big meetings or events on days when I know that I will not feel my best.
Trust me, it wasn’t an overnight change! I still have my ups and downs (I am a woman with hormones after all), but I know now when to avoid trying on clothes and how eating real chocolate can be a life saver.
If you are not currently doing so, start tracking your period either on a calendar or an app such as Period Tracker. By taking the time to track your cycle, you can predict how you will be feel so you can stay balanced and sane even though your hormones are constantly changing.
Lets start at week one, the week you get your period. The day before is when you might feel the most exhausted and moody. If you are tracking, this is an important day to avoid overextending yourself. I suggest moving big meetings at work or post work social meet-ups since you run a higher risk of canceling due to fluctuating moods. Instead take some time alone and go for a short walk after work. It’s a good time to go to bed early too.
You will start to notice an improvement in your mood and an increase in energy levels around day three when the estrogen levels in your body start to rise. This is when you can start being your social self again and plan those important work meetings.
Week two is the best week out of month to plan social events and big important meetings because you’ll have your highest estrogen levels. You’ll have the most energy and be your best self. You’ll also look your best — so save your favorite outfit for this week. FYI: If you are trying to become pregnant days 12 — 16 are also when you are most fertile.
Week three is when you will start feeling calmer and more introverted. Rather than scheduling major presentations or public speaking, this will be a very productive week at work for research and focusing on long-term projects. This is also the week to avoid going to the mall. Towards the end of the week, you will start to feel bloated and no matter what you decide to wear you will most likely not like the way your clothes fit. I suggest planning your outfits and wearing loose dresses rather than trying to squeeze into your skinny jeans.
Week four is when you should pay a little more attention to the types of foods you’re are eating and up your intake of iron and magnesium-rich foods … like raw cacao, aka real chocolate. Raw chocolate has no sugar and tons of nutrients in it which will keep your hormones balanced. I like to add raw cacao to my smoothies and I always keep my raw chocolate macaroons on hand for this time of the month.
If you are having trouble sleeping at night and are getting cramps I also suggest taking a magnesium supplement before you go to bed.
Be careful this week, you will be more apt to start a fight and reach for that ice cream so try to plan more grounding activities like yoga, walking, or reading and take some time for yourself.
Within a few short months of tracking your mood cycle, you’ll be more in tune with your body and you should notice an improvement in your relationships at home and at work. Bonus: Knowing why you are feeling a certain way instead of blaming it on psychological moodiness should help you to feel more sane and calm. Who isn’t looking for that?!
If you start tracking your cycle, let me know what you notice in the comments!
[Image credit: DIY Home Sweet Home]