She was at the start of her Week 3 (which is right after ovulation). This is when things go from Week 2 high energy, revved mood and super-sharp brain skills thanks to high estrogen to a more subdued, moody, blue, fatigued and foggy phase due to a steep drop in estrogen and a steady rise in progesterone.
Mickie had an important social event that involved a lot of physical activity–and worried that because of her Week 3 hormonal changes, she wouldn’t be the “best” she could be.
So, she asked me: “Knowing as much as you do about hormones, is there any advice you can give me on overcoming or nixing this?”
We’ve all been there, haven’t we? Wished a certain event happened in our more high-estrogen Week 2? I know I sure have.
Well, I had good news and bad news for Mickie–and for you if you’re faced with this situation:
First the bad news: Unfortunately, there’s no magic pill that reverses the normal effects of cycling hormones. There really isn’t much you can do for that. (At least that’s legal, healthy or I could totally get behind.)
Now the good news: You can still be the effusive, charming, energetic self that you want to be–despite your hormonal changes.
That’s because, as a Hormonology reader, you already know what’s coming up in your Week 3. You know how the hormone changes you’ll be undergoing will be affecting your energy, mood and mental prowess. (If you need a refresher about your how your hormones impact you, click here.)
Armed with this knowledge about your cycle you can overcome hormonal hurdles two ways:
1. Make a point of pushing yourself a bit more. Just because it’s not your effortless rising estrogen Week 2 doesn’t mean you can’t still be totally awesome. You just have to work at it a little bit more.
Take me, for instance: I once had a mini-reunion with a friend from high school during my Week 3. And since I knew she was a super-gossip who was still friends with everyone from our graduating class and would be going back to each and every one of them to share how I was doing (everyone’s curious to know how the chick with the mohawk turned out), I knew I had to make my best impression.
So, I pumped myself up beforehand, said a few dorky self-affirmations in a mirror and listened to my workout mix, which is pretty high-intensity.
And, in the end, despite my Week 3 hormonal challenges, I totally rocked it. I was witty. I was charming. I didn’t trip over my words once. All in all, I made it pretty hard for her to come up with something snarky to share with our old schoolmates. Not that she didn’t come up with something snarky. But, it probably wasn’t as easy as she’d hoped it would be.
2. Plan ways to reduce or nix hormone-fueled challenges. For example, get more sleep the night before so you’re fully refreshed. Plan to eat more frequent, small meals to keep blood sugar up (because progesterone will give you the hunger crankies by making you more sensitive to blood sugar dips in this phase). And, if you drink caffeine, go ahead and plan to have a bit more. Not a lot more, since that can worsen plunging estrogen irritation. But, a bit more can give you that extra oomph if you need it.
See, you don’t need a magic pill to reverse hormonal changes. Just knowing what’s coming up in your cycle–and how to plan around it–can help you enjoy your life to the fullest!
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