I hacked my menstrual cycle to benefit my career, and it worked wonders

I hacked my menstrual cycle to benefit my career, and it worked wonders

I have a manic life, so when I feel myself naturally withdrawing from certain situations, I know it’s time to just take a step back. Unfortunately, you can’t just stop working – so instead I try to take things at my own pace. I feel myself wanting to work more independently, experimenting with new creative designs at work. Instead of my usual chatty lunch break, I try doing a gentle yoga class, for some more quality ‘me’ time. I try not to isolate myself too much though, because equally I know that won’t help me either – so on another day, I go on a hot girl walk with my friend and have a proper catch up.

Spring (late follicular phase)

Oh hello, my absolute favourite time of the month. After your period, you approach ovulation and oestrogen levels are rising. I feel confident, I feel sexy – goodbye overthinking! “You’re naturally able to push ourselves harder during this time, so now is the best time to put your headphones on, go to the gym and practice weightlifting, or go for that run; it’s known women can get their personal bests during this time,” says Sabrina.

I’m told this is the time to be proactive, so I write everything I want to achieve, have a catch up with my boss and discuss future steps. Equally, this is the time to apply for that new job or try to negotiate a higher salary. I feel more sociable and have a clear plan in my head about what I want – but I’m mindful not to burn the candle at both ends.

Summer (ovulation and early luteal phase)

“Typically within days 10-17 days (based on a 28 day cycle), you’re at your maximum energy level now with oestrogen at its peak – and progesterone levels low,” says Sabrina. Now I think about it, I have so much energy and ideas during this time each month. I make a point of organising a meeting to discuss an idea I’ve been hoping to try, and set about finishing a presentation I’d previously been putting off. And it feels so productive.

Outside of work, I make some inspiring boards on Pinterest – (my favourite app) and manifesting what I want my dream house to look like and any places I’d love to visit. Anything is possible. My advice? Do your Cardio and HIIT workouts during this time, try boxing, and put yourself out there and go on that date – it is the week of endorphins, after all.

Autumn (late luteal and premenstrual phase)

Finally comes Autumn, the time in the menstrual cycle where your progesterone levels rise. Many associate this time with PMS and low mood, but Sabrina helped me to reframe this idea. My body finally gets to relax! This month, I learnt to love that feeling of slowing down, having a hot bath, watching countless episodes of Friends on repeat, and doing a bit of gentle life admin.

I look at my diary – hoping ‘Summer’ Néamh wasn’t too ambitious and hadn’t booked a full week of socialising – and I journal, writing out my thoughts and not being hard on myself. When you start to check in with your cycle, you can notice the difference – I am certainly more quiet and can sometimes feel a bit withdrawn during this time. But, to put my newfound awareness to the test, I had a big creative meeting slap bang in the middle of my Autumn phase, which might have usually made me quite stressed but as mentioned, I woke up earlier, knew I was prepared and wrote down any stresses I had before leaving for work. Everything went well, and I felt much better having actually checked in with myself.

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