Cycle-Syncing Tip: Try this plan-ahead trick

My Hormonology

Cycle-Syncing Tip: Try this plan-ahead trick

BY GABRIELLE LICHTERMAN

 

MARCH 2, 2021–If there is just one cycle-syncing rule I want you to remember and live by, it’s this: Don’t just plan for the cycle week you’re in. Plan for the cycle week you’ll be in.

The plan-ahead trick that makes every cycle day better

There are lots of times when you have to decide whether or not to do an activity that happens sometime in the near future. For example, you may be asked to accept an invitation to a party, help a friend move to a new apartment or join a group for white water rafting. When these opportunities to plan a future event come up, don’t make your decision on whether or not to do it based on how you currently feel about them.

Instead, think about where you’ll be in your menstrual cycle on the date of the future activity–and how your hormones will be affecting you physically and emotionally–and use that information to help make your decision whether or not to do it.

That’s because your mood, energy, extroversion, introversion, desire for romance, appreciation of excitement, preference for safety and joy of comfort all fluctuate based on which week you’re on in your cycle–your Week 1, Week 2, Week 3 or Week 4. This means what will make you happiest can, and often does, change based on which cycle phase you’re in.

For example?

Say someone gives you an invitation to a late-night Zoom party while you’re in your sedate, quiet Week 3 and the event is scheduled to happen during your high-energy Week 2. Because Week 3 high progesterone is sapping your energy and quashing your desire to chat, you might feel like turning down the party invite because you just can’t see yourself enjoying it. However, if you can remind yourself that by the time you reach your Week 2, your high estrogen will be revving your pep and firing up your love of talking with others, you’d probably jump at the chance to RSVP “yes”.

Or, if a friend asks you to help her move to a new apartment while you’re in your Week 2, you might quickly agree because high estrogen is infusing you with lots of energy and optimism, making a big move seem totally doable. But, if the date she wants to move happens to fall during your Week 3, high progesterone–a sedating hormone–will be draining your energy and slowing you down. In which case, you might want to ask her to reconsider the moving date, recruit additional moving assistants to help out or provide lots and lots of complimentary caffeine to keep you going.

You can use your hormones to plan the future

We all wish we had a crystal ball to see into the future. And, you do! It’s your hormone cycle. So, use it to make all your future planning better.

In fact, you can also use this tip to schedule more of your own activities that you know you’ll enjoy doing in each week of your cycle–such as events, hobbies and projects–because you’ll know ahead of time what your mood, energy level and interests will be.

Cycle-syncing plan-ahead guide

To make it super-easy for you to use this cycle-syncing tip, here’s a quick refresher on the types of activities you tend to prefer in each cycle week:

Week 1: Start off slow, end with fun
Day 1 (first day of period) to Day 7
If your period is painful or fatiguing, you’ll likely want to start off your Week 1 on a slow note with low-key activities you can do at home or that don’t require a whole lot of travel. If your period isn’t a problem, then rising estrogen throughout this cycle week has you wanting silly kind of fun that lets you channel your inner child. It’s also making you more comfortable socializing. Plus, it’s raising your energy day by day, so you can pile a bit more on your plate. As your Week 1 goes on, your thoughts will be turning to romance, making you want to spend more time with a current partner, seek out someone new or simply be around cuties who give you fodder for delicious daydreams.

Week 2: High energy and adventure
Day 8 to Day 14 (or day of ovulation in your cycle)
These are the days your inner wild child comes out. High estrogen and testosterone are making you crave new experiences, new people, new tastes and new scenery. They’re also pumping you up with energy and endurance, so you can handle far more work and play than during any other week of your cycle. You’re in the mood for romance, so you’ll want to keep your current squeeze close or head to locales where eligible singles abound. And your urge to chat with others peaks, making you want to spend more time around lots of folks.

Week 3: Low energy and homey comforts
Begins day after ovulation and lasts 8 days (Day 15 to Day 22 in a 28-day cycle)
In many ways, your Week 3 is a complete opposite of your Week 2: As estrogen dips and progesterone rises, you prefer activities, people, food and locales you know well over anything too different. Your energy and endurance are dropping and the urge to nap is at an all-time high as sedating progesterone climbs throughout this week. Your desire for romance, adventure, chatting and socializing also wane. Instead, they’re now getting eclipsed by a desire to stay close to home and connect on a quieter, more meaningful level with just a few close buds, or even simply spend time by yourself.

Week 4: Pamper and have back-up plans
Final 6 days of your cycle
As estrogen and progesterone plunge in your premenstrual week, you’re more prone to moodiness, aches and impatience. As a result, you’ll prefer activities that are easy and pampering. Your energy is on the low end of your pep scale, so you’ll want to be prudent with how much you schedule since you could poop out earlier than you hope. You’re more quickly frustrated by others, so you’re happier when avoiding activities with crowds or face-to-face interactions with lots of strangers. You could get also get more frustrated when plans fall through, so if you’re scheduling an event, say, a movie and dinner with your BFF, have a Plan B ready in case tickets are sold out or there are no tables available at the restaurant you head to.

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