I know periods are this thing we all kind of HATE to talk about and deal with… It’s just one of those inconveniences of being a woman that we all have to put on our big girl pants and take care of, right?
What if I told you that’s totally wrong? That it’s a gift to have a menstrual cycle, and that each of the four stages of it actually impacts every single area of our lives? Is that crazy, or do you believe it?
When I started using my Ava bracelet, it was to address the struggles we were facing with fertility and decoding my cycle. But now, I use it to track my cycle to see which stage I’m in, and I literally craft my work schedule, plans, and everything else around what my cycle looks like. And y’all, it has been life-changing.
If you’ve listened to the podcast recently, you might’ve heard episode 270 with life/period coach Claire Baker who explained that understanding our cycles (and hello, our bodies) better helps you be more productive, less reactive, more intuitive, and just all around happier. It was a pretty astonishing realization for me, and I’ve been tracking my own nonstop ever since.
So, beyond the obvious reason for cycle tracking (aka, either wanting or not wanting to get preggers), I want to share the four biggest areas your menstrual cycle impacts your life, and why you may want to consider tracking yours.
The four cycles of menstruation
Quick lesson time: Before we dive into how your cycle affects you, let’s first break down the four phases of menstruation. For a while, all I really knew about was ovulation (the time you can get pregnant) and menstruation (the good, old period time).
We’re all familiar with the feelings that come from the menstruation phase: some lethargy, slowness, low energy, just wanting to totally chill and veg out. It’s a more reflective and slowed-down time because hormones are at their lowest levels, and it normally lasts between 3 days to a week.
The follicular phase follows with increasing levels of estrogen, which boosts energy, focus, and confidence. This overlaps with menstruation and lasts about 16 days on average.
Next is ovulation, when the egg is released, you’re most fertile, and you get a surge of hormones and energy. It happens generally right in the middle of your cycle if you’re following a 28-day cycle. And finally, there’s the luteal phase when progesterone dominates the cycle (aka, when we’re PMSing). You feel more reserved and sensitive this time of the month.
You can probably begin to see how these shifts in energy and temperament throughout the month would affect all areas of your life, so let’s dive into what times of the month you should really hone in on within your personal and professional life.
Work and Productivity
When it comes to work, no matter what industry or position you’re in, your follicular and ovulation phases are ultra-important in getting. ish. done. Once you hit that follicular phase, with the upswing in hormones, your energy begins building and your projects become just a little easier to tackle than they were during PMS and menstruation. You experience a lot more clarity and the ability to be highly productive during this time.
And then you hit ovulation, and you become full-on superwoman. I’m serious — do you ever have those times when you’re just like, “I GOT THIS”? Those probably have fallen during your ovulation phase! You have optimal energy at the peak of your cycle, so you really feel like you can tackle the world AND do it really stinkin’ well.
The luteal and menstrual phases are times for you to retreat a bit and focus more inward. You might feel lazy or sluggish, and it can be easy to criticize yourself for not being able to get as much done during this time. This is totally normal, and if you know you’re in these phases, just allow yourself to take it a little easier, rest more, and get ready for the more productive phases that are on their way back.
Your ovulation phase is also the very best time to lean into your relationships, catch up with friends, reach out to loved ones, and yep, get it on with your hubby or partner in the bedroom. (I went there.) This is that peak, high-energy phase, remember? So you’ll be itching to connect with all the people and love on them well.
You’ll also feel some of this energy during the follicular phase leading up to ovulation, too. But give yourself a little grace and you-time during the luteal and menstruation phases. These are when you have less patience, more introversion, and more desire to focus on personal development, healing, and internal growth.
Big Decisions and Planning
If you’re needing to plan a big trip or make a major decision, you might be tempted to tackle it (along with everything else) during your ovulation phase, but don’t do it! Your focus during ovulation should be DOING, while you should save planning and decision-making for your menstruation phase.
Because you’ll be taking it slower during menstruation, it’s a natural time to look inward and weigh your options. If you experience menstrual pain or discomfort, however, it might be better to just rest and leave decisions and planning to the luteal phase (PMS) right before menstruation. You’ll enjoy alone time and setting boundaries during this phase.
Your most fertile time (ovulation) is also the time to really harness and channel your creative energy into projects, relationships, and yourself. You’ll experience surges of new, amazing ideas and feel energized to take action right away.
The boost of hormones in this phase brings fresh life, perspective, and creativity to your life and work in order to make really interesting, lovely things. Because luteal and menstruation are more of reflective and restful phases, don’t put pressure on yourself to perform and create a bunch of wonderful things during these times, because you might end up disappointed.
There you have it! These are some of the major ways that your cycle impacts your life in pretty much every single arena. Once I learned about this incredible, seasonal way to structure my months, everything changed. I learned to lean into the energetic days and allow myself to step back, retreat, and rest during the more introspective phases.
But you guys, I wouldn’t even begin to be able to know exactly where my cycle is without my Ava bracelet. It tells me about my cycle and gives me data about my health, sleep, and stress. It’s been transformational for not only growing our family, but also improving and streamlining my entire life.
This post was sponsored by Ava, but all opinions are my own.