7 Ways Your Hormones F**k With You & How To Go With The Flow

Our periods mean that sometimes we feel like our moods can be up and down. Pair that with the adversities life throws at you with a mix of COVID 19 and it can sometimes feel like you’re on an emotional rollercoaster 🙋🏼‍♀️

Feeling emotional doesn’t mean there is something wrong with you and sometimes you just want to let yourself feel all the feelings. However, there are things you can do to support a balanced mood, feel in tune with your cycle, work with it’s seasons and go with the flow (literally)...

Learning to sync your female hormonal cycle with your work and life schedule is the ultimate bio-hack that can help us women harness our energy and productivity.


Now, the 7 common complaints of our periods are:

  1. Bloated
  2. Emotional- irritability, tearful, angry
  3. Food cravings
  4. Fatigued 
  5. Acne
  6. Breast soreness
  7. Headaches and backaches

You can probably relate to a few, or all, of these symptoms, and thinking “How the F can I use these to my advantage?”.


Taking your cycle into account when you’re working out is massively important too. Fluctuating hormones impact the body’s energy levels which can affect how our body’s respond to different types of exercise. It can help you plan rest days to make best use of recovery. 

 

Here is a cheat sheet on the 4 phases and the work and productivity superpowers, the best food to be eating and the most effective workouts you can be doing in each phase.


MENSTRUATION PHASE

What and when is this? First day of bleeding to the last day of bleeding. Levels of all our hormones are low. Energy, focus and productivity are also at its lowest. 

What should I do in this phase?

  • Lots of sleep and rest
  • Practice self compassion if you’re working at a slower pace than usual
  • Reduce social commitments 

What exercise should I be doing? Yoga and slow-paced pilates classes.

What foods can help? Banana and citrus fruits are high in potassium and nutrients which help muscle cramps and spasms. Taking a magnesium supplement daily can reduce menstrual cramps by relaxing the smooth muscle of the uterus, as well as being beneficial for anxiety!


FOLLICULAR PHASE

What and when is this? This lasts an average of 16 days. Bleeding stops and there is a sharp rise in progesterone and estrogen. Testosterone stays steady. You’ll have heightened energy levels!

What should I do in this phase?

  • Be more creative
  • Your mind is up for more complex, difficult tasks
  • Good time to learn

What exercise should I be doing? Try new things and book into the class you had your eye on. Classes like SoulCycle, KObox and FlyKick can put that feel-good estrogen to good use. 

What foods can help? We want to keep our hormones as balanced as we can and healthy fats do just that! Fat does not make you fat. Repeat after me. They help with the absorption of vital vitamins and minerals which support our hormones. I eat healthy fats with pretty much all meals and I tend to go for the below:

  • Avocado
  • Nuts/Seeds
  • Coconut oil
  • Olive oil
  • Wild caught fish like salmon 
  • Eggs

OVULATION PHASE

What and when is this? Lasts 3 to 4 days when the egg is released. Estrogen and testosterone peak, progesterone takes a dip. You’ll have lots of outward focused energy and be feeling proactive.

What should I do in this phase?

  • Great time to schedule in tough meetings and chats
  • Team environment and group tasks because it’s an extroverted time for women 

What exercise should I be doing? HIT workouts and aiming for PB’s

What foods can help? You want to eat foods that support liver function because this helps to remove excess hormones from your body.


LUTEAL PHASE

What and when is this? 12-14 days when the uterus is getting ready to shed/ upcoming period. Estrogen rises and progesterone is at its peak. The end of this phase is associated with PMS.

What should I do in this phase?

  • Catching up on admin work
  • Focus on solo tasks

What exercise should I be doing? Simple strength training

What foods can help? You’ll be wanting ALL of the comfort foods right now- think Ben & Jerry’s and a chick flick. 


Complex carbohydrates like brown rice and legumes are rich in B vitamins that will help stave off sugar cravings by promoting oestrogen production. Try to avoid foods high in added salts as they can exacerbate bloating and water retention, which are common problems in this phase. Definitely allow yourself to have your cravings too because right chocolate can fix anything right?!

 

We should never feel ashamed of our periods or disconnected from them! Let’s make this a call to use our natural hormonal cycles to our power and sync our way to success.

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