Homework: Make a “Hormonology Happiness Map”–it’s easy and you’ll thank me later

/Homework: Make a “Hormonology Happiness Map”–it’s easy and you’ll thank me later

Homework: Make a “Hormonology Happiness Map”–it’s easy and you’ll thank me later

My Hormonology

This past weekend, I fell into a dark funk.

I’d hit some snags in work and Hormonology and the (admittedly overly ambitious) schedules I’d set for myself in both arenas just weren’t going to be met.

And, worse, now it looks like some projects I wanted done immediately are going to take far longer due to complications beyond my control.

As the realization of these frustrating facts set in, I felt a dark cloud loom over me.

But, when the cloud stalled overhead and the darkness got worse, I knew it was a serious problem that needed to be addressed.

That’s because it’s my Week 2, which is a time when high estrogen should have me rebounding from difficulties more quickly and looking for silver linings in problems that make them worth plowing through.

So, when I realized I wasn’t rebounding like I’d normally do in a Week 2, it was a red flag–a warning that I couldn’t rely on hormones alone to get me through this. I’d need to take action to boost my mood or risk spiraling downward.

Hormones and happiness

To reverse the darkening trend, I needed to do something that would put me in a positive frame of mind as quickly as possible.

So, I thought about a whole bunch of things I love to do that make me happy quickly–which include taking photos, baking, watching favorite TV shows, exercising, gardening, organizing, decluttering, reading and practicing drums.

Then, I took it one step further: I thought about where I was in my monthly cycle–which was my Week 2–and the many ways my hormones were impacting me: High estrogen was amping up my desire to be physical and social and to have fun, travel, achieve an accomplishment and create. It was also making me less sentimental, quicker and more coordinated.

With all this mind–what makes me happy + where I was in my cycle–I carefully weighed which was the best activity to do for the biggest, fastest happiness-boosting results.

I considered watching a favorite TV show I never get to watch since my full work schedule doesn’t allow me to sit in front of the TV very often and that would be fun. But, then I thought about how doing something so passive and unproductive on a high-estrogen day when hormones are pushing me to do, do, do would just make me feel worse.

I considered taking my camera to the beach to do some shooting, but realized that even though that would make me happy because it involves travel and creating, I just didn’t have that kind of time in my day.

Then, I caught sight of something: The edge of a big pile of stuff jammed into a corner nook of my office that I’d been meaning to clear out literally for years. It had turned into a catch-all for files, books, old electronics and crafts I’d never gotten to–and clearly would never get to.

I personally like my surroundings to be simple, organized and clear of clutter. The clearer the space, the more peaceful I feel. So, this messy nook, which taunts me daily, has been a nagging irritation. But, I’ve just never gotten around to focusing on it and clearing it out.

It occurred to me that if I took just one hour to tackle that pile and clear that space, I would be using my high-estrogen desire to be physical, organize and de-clutter along with my lack of sentimentality, higher speed and sharper coordination to toss, recycle or donate stuff I hadn’t used or needed for quite awhile.

And, seeing that space emptied would give me the kind of accomplishment that my high estrogen craved–and that would fill me with immense pleasure.

With that, I got to work tossing, recycling and organizing a donation pile. Every square foot cleared felt made me lighter and happier. It felt great to move and sweat and declutter. And, once the entire space was finally empty, a huge wave of relief and peace swept over me. The dark cloud had been chased away.

And, even better, once my mood was lifted, I was able to see solutions that would help me deal with my work-delay issues, making them easier to handle. Which, naturally, made me feel even better.

The Hormonology Happiness Map

I’m sharing my story with you because I think that it can help you, too. When you’re feeling down, it would be handy to turn to a mood-boosting activity that’s synced with your cycle to give it a better chance of working and have an even greater happiness-lifting effect.

My one mistake was that I didn’t have my mood-boosting activities picked out beforehand. I wasted valuable time trying to figure out what would make me happy instead of just going right into the activity that would change my mood.

So, I made a “Hormonology Happiness Map” for the next time I need a quick, surefire mood-booster.

I went through each week of my cycle and plotted out which activities would appeal to me most based on how my hormones were impacting me.

I made sure to include a variety of activities to suit a variety of situations–lots of time, little time, at home, away from home, etc.

To make it easy for you to do this, too, I’ve created a Hormonology Happiness Map template that you can download and fill out yourself here.

Or copy and paste this version below.

copy and paste

MY HORMONOLOGY HAPPINESS MAP

Use this worksheet to pinpoint the activities that will boost your mood more quickly and effectively based on which week you’re on in your monthly cycle.

Instructions:

1. Describe how your hormones impact you each week of your cycle—either adding or subtracting from the pre-filled descriptions or keeping them as is.

2. List all the activities that make you happy that are in sync with the way your hormones are impacting you each cycle week (such as playing mini-golf in Week 1, going for a run in Week 2, baking a cake in Week 3 or getting a mani/pedi in Week 4).

3. Be sure to include activities that cover a wide range of scenarios, such as having lots of time, having little time, being at home, being away from home, etc.

4. When you need a mood boost fast, refer to this worksheet—then get the happiness lift you need!

WEEK 1
Day 1 (first day of your period) through Day 7

How my hormones impact me: 

During the first few days of my period, I may have aches and low energy due to menstruation and/or low estrogen. At the start of this week, I typically prefer to be close to home, but three to four days after the start of my period, rising estrogen tends to give me the urge to travel and explore the world outside. As my Week 1 goes on, I want to have silly kind of fun, connect with people I like and talk more. I enjoy starting new projects and learning new skills. Low-but-rising estrogen makes me enjoy new twists on things I already enjoy.

Activities that would make me happy: 

WEEK 2

Day 8 through ovulation (which is Day 14 in a 28-day cycle)

How my hormones impact me:

High estrogen revs my desire to be physical and social and to have fun, travel, achieve an accomplishment and create. It also makes me less sentimental, quicker and more coordinated. I enjoy getting into the heart of big projects and learning new things. I’m flirtatious, chatty, extroverted and competitive.

Activities that would make me happy:

WEEK 3

Starts day after ovulation and lasts 8 days (which is Day 15 to Day 22 in a 28-day cycle)

How my hormones impact me:

Lower estrogen combined with rising progesterone makes me prefer homey, familiar comforts. My energy is lower, making me more sedate, quiet and mellow. I’m hungry more often and gravitate toward favorite indulgent foods I’ve had many times before. I’m more cautious and veer toward more traditional options. I prefer few people to a large crowd or even prefer to spend time alone.

Activities that would make me happy:

WEEK 4
Final 6 days of cycle

How my hormones impact me:

As estrogen plunges, I like to give myself permission to treat myself well and indulge in guilty pleasures. During this cycle week, I’m more physically sensitive to my environment (such as a chair that’s too hard or air conditioner that’s too cold). My energy may be on the low side and I may be dealing with premenstrual aches. I’m less patient and more easily frustrated when things don’t go as planned. I prefer things and people I know well to anything new. I enjoy time alone or with one or two close buds.

Activities that would make me happy: 

Tip: Always have a “Plan B” as a backup during your Week 4 in case your “Plan A” doesn’t work out to avoid premenstrual frustration!

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My Hormonology

By | 2017-09-26T17:40:53+00:00 September 26th, 2017|hormonology tip, Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4|0 Comments

About the Author:

Gabrielle Lichterman, founder of Hormonology® and a longtime women’s health journalist, pioneered the growing movement among women to live in sync with their menstrual cycles and know more about all the ways their hormones impact their moods, health and behavior. This movement was launched in 2005 with Gabrielle’s groundbreaking book, 28 Days: What Your Cycle Reveals about Your Love Life, Moods and Potential, and her creation of Hormonology®. She offers a variety of tools–including her popular free Hormone Horoscope® app, eBooks, infographics, videos and tips–to share vital information about hormones.

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