You would think that since I linked my depressive mood to my menstrual cycle back in 2015 that tracking my cycle would be high on my priority list – nope, those dark thoughts and feelings still creep up on me!
But that is about to change.
Until now I’ve neglected paying attention to it, however, I believe that tracking our cycle needs to be high on our self-care agenda.
When we monitor our cycle we know where we’re at. For example, if you find yourself yelling at your husband or your children in a rage, you know that you’re not going mad or falling apart, but that your hormones are playing havoc with your emotions.
So let me paint you a picture of when my hormones play havoc with my emotions. That inner critic rears its ugly head and says things like: you’re not good enough, you can’t achieve that, you’re a rubbish mum, you can’t do anything right, everyone is better than you.
When I feel like this I want to hide away from the world. My reactions are short & fiery and internally I’m screaming ‘get me out of this sh*t hole’.
Because it’s sh*t.
Research shows that the three key hormones that rise and fall throughout our monthly cycle are estrogen, testosterone and progesterone. These three hormones, depending on where they’re at in our cycle, can affect our mood, energy, confidence, memory, romantic life, social life, shopping habits, food cravings and virtually every other part of our day.
So here is a snapshot of how we can feel at different times of the month based on our cycle:
WEEK 1: Day 1 (first day of period) to Day 7 – this is my FAVOURITE week!
During this week, estrogen starts out at rock-bottom and begins a steady climb. Once you get past the achy, fatiguing part of your period, this rise in estrogen will be boosting your energy, mood, optimism and brain skills. It also makes us chattier and pushes us to connect with others both socially & romantically. We feel more fun and playful!
WEEK 2: Day 8 to Day 14 (around ovulation time)
Estrogen and testosterone rise till they peak
Estrogen continues to rise throughout your Week 2, amping up all the positive affects you experienced during your Week 1. So, you’re likely to be more upbeat, optimistic, chattier and confident, self-assured, have a sharper memory, and perhaps even thinking more romantic thoughts! In the latter part of this week testosterone is on the rise making you more impulsive, daring and competitive.
WEEK 3: Begins the day after ovulation and lasts for 8 days (Day 15 to Day 22 in a 28-day cycle)
Progesterone rises; estrogen and testosterone drop for half the week, then estrogen rises again.
The first half of your Week 3 is your “pre-PMS” phase. By ‘pre’ I mean it’s the less intense version of PMS. You might experience irritability, fatigue and a down mood. Like PMS, pre-PMS, is also caused by plunging estrogen (there are two dips of estrogen in each cycle). By the second half of Week 3, estrogen rises again, putting a stop to any annoying pre-PMS symptoms, which help level out our mood – yes!!!
Throughout Week 3 progesterone rises, which can make you sleepy, quiet, less interested in socialising and more cautious. It’s also dampening your libido and triggering cravings. If you’re particularly sensitive to progesterone then this hormone can make you a bit blue. Progesterone may trigger a bit of forgetfulness and fogginess while also making it more difficult to speak eloquently.
WEEK 4: Final 6 days
Estrogen and progesterone plunge
As estrogen plunges during this premenstrual week, it can trigger moodiness, the blues, muscle aches, insomnia, headaches, fatigue, and a wide variety of other PMS-related symptoms. Not every woman suffers from premenstrual syndrome and symptoms can be milder or more severe from month to month, often due to diet, stress, medications, exercise habits or your body’s personal sensitivity to hormones.
This is the ideal week to treat yourself to your favourite indulgences. Why? Because the plunge of estrogen depletes your brain of mood-boosting chemicals, leading to irritability and negativity. But, when you relax in a bath, watch a much-loved movie, go for a walk or do anything else you enjoy, it gives you a temporary boost to our happy brain chemicals, making us calmer and more upbeat.
So I hope that you’ll now join me in tracking your cycle so that you are prepared for those tricky moments. See paragraph 2 on this blog post for my favourite essential oil blend to help balance our hormones – I could not live without this blend.
I’d love to hear from you and what you struggle with most during the different stages of your cycle, so please comment below, I love to hear from you.
Grab your FREE eBook “5 Easy Steps To Boost Your Energy & Get Your Hormones Humming” by clicking the book!