Today I’m sharing a life changing practice to help balance your hormones. Our hormones are constantly changing day to day, but especially week to week. How beneficial would it be if you knew exactly when to schedule important meetings at work because you’d feel more extroverted than introverted?
We have all been there: It’s that time of the month and we hate every piece of clothing 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 it 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 our 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 overdoing exercise 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 or Flo Living. By taking the time to track your cycle, you will soon begin to predict how you will feel throughout the month so you can stay balanced and sane, even though your hormones are constantly changing.
For example, let’s start at 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 and feeling tired. Instead, take some time alone and go for a short walk after work. It’s a good time to go to bed early, too!
On day 3 of your period, you will start to notice an improvement in your mood and an increase in energy levels because the estrogen levels in your body start to rise. You are going to feel more social and will want to plan meet-ups with friends and important work meetings all the way up until day 15 of your cycle. From day 3 to day 15, you’ll have your highest estrogen levels. You’ll also look your best, so save your favorite outfit for the week you are ovulating, anytime from day 12-15.
The first two weeks of your cycle is also when you’ll have the energy for more high intensity workouts. This is a good time to do spin, HIIT, running and more challenging yoga classes. As you head into the second half of your cycle, you will start to notice your energy levels decreasing and you’ll want to take more walks and do less intense workouts. You could do the exact same workout on day 7 of your cycle and feel energized and then on day 17 of your cycle, feel depleted after the same workout. When you move your body in a way that supports your hormones, you can often see better results like weight loss.
Right after day 15 of your cycle, you may start feeling 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.
The week before your period is when you might want to avoid the mall! Towards the end of the week and right before you will start to feel bloated and 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 during this time of the month. This is also when you might start to feel more agitated, so let your partner know that it’s your hormones talking!
The week before your period is when I’d love for you to eat more foods with iron and magnesium… 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. Try this easy to make recipe.
If you are having trouble sleeping at night and are getting cramps, I also suggest taking a magnesium supplement before you go to bed. I really like this one.
The few days before your period is also when 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. When you get your period, try to eat more healthy fats like avocados and root veggies like sweet potatoes and carrots to help you feel nourished and grounded.
The good news is that within a few short months of tracking your 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 about your body and your moods in the comments! If you are curious to see how nutrition can support your hormones and health you schedule a time to speak with me here.
Big Hugs & Health,