Most of us are sorely under-educated when it comes to the very thing responsible for human life:
The Menstrual Cycle
We’re taught about menstrual products and how to avoid pregnancy for the most part (and some are left in the dark about those things, as well).
But what we’re NOT taught is that the menstrual cycle can be an incredibly powerful organizing principle for our lives…and even our work.
Most people have no idea that there are 4 distinct menstrual cycle phases and that you can use them to become more productive.
If you’re one of them, read on because you’re about to be clued in to one of the coolest parts about the bodies of people with periods.
The 4 Menstrual Cycle Phases
The menstrual cycle has 4 phases and they set you up hormonally for different kinds of physical, mental, emotional, and even sexual energies.
Here’s a rundown of the 4 phases, what’s going on hormonally during each, and the brilliant way the body is designed to engage in different kinds of productivity (each of which are totally valuable and necessary to the whole) during each:
This is the time when the uterine lining is being shed and you bleed. This is when your estrogen and progesterone levels are low. These low hormone levels signal the pituitary gland to release Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) which begins the process of preparing for ovulation. This phase usually lasts between 3-6 days.
Physical and mental energy tend to be lowest during the menstrual phase, but intuition is at an all-time high because the left and right hemispheres of the brain are the most interconnected during this time.
Productivity-wise, this is a great time for making decisions, reflecting, doing research, and resting.
The menstrual phase is like your own personal monthly winter. The more you rest and go inward during this phase, the more energized and productive you’ll feel during the month overall.
This is the phase after the bleeding stops. Estrogen and progesterone levels are rising. Folks tend to feel quite motivated, creative, and the most easily able to get new things going during this time. This phase lasts about 6 days.
Productivity-wise, this is a great time for planning and initiating new projects. It’s also a great time to get going on something you’ve felt stuck around.
The follicular phase is like your own personal springtime each month.
This phase is denoted by a rise in FSH followed by luteinizing hormone (LH) which stimulates the follicle in the ovary to release an egg. Estrogen being on the rise also causes thickening in the uterine lining (preparing for a potential pregnancy). Testosterone surges, increasing sex drive, and then it drops down again around ovulation.
Ovulation is the 3-5 days surrounding the day an egg is released from the ovary. The day you ovulate is usually between 13-15 days before the start of your next period.
Productivity-wise, this week is the most verbally fluent and communicative of all of the weeks of the cycle. It’s a great time to be social, to record content, to do pitches, or hold important meetings. This is also the week of magnetism and is a great time to practice Egg Wisdom.
Ovulation is like your own personal summer every month.
After ovulation occurs, estrogen continues to be produced and progesterone is added in (which keeps the uterine lining in place in case of egg fertilization). Estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone all taper off and fall to their lowest levels just before bleeding happens again.
The brain is the most supported for detail-oriented tasks and finishing things up during this phase. Many people tend to feel more inward during this phase, so it’s a great time for solo activities and keeping the meetings and social engagements light.
Productivity-wise this is a great time for data analysis, tidying up digital files, decluttering, reorganizing systems or processes, revising and editing, and bringing projects to completion.
This phase is the 10-14 days before you get your period.
The luteal phase is your own personal monthly autumn.
So, there you have it: the 4 menstrual cycle phases and how to use them to be more productive.
Obviously, none of us can rearrange our entire schedule to align with our menstrual cycle phases, but we can certainly begin to shift the way we do things so that what’s going on with our brains and bodies is supported.
The more you work with your body (instead of against it as the culture has mostly conditioned us) the less friction you have, the less stress you have, and the more flow you’ll experience!
Ready to take the next step?
Check out the Daily Energy Tracker to start tracking your menstrual cycle and/or the lunar cycle and your energetic ebbs and flows throughout it, so you can begin to plan and support your work and life accordingly!
Now, we want to hear from you:
What did you learn from reading this? How are you going to apply this to your work and life? What follow-up questions do you have that we could answer in a future article?
Leave us a comment and let us know!