As I stood in front of the mirror this morning, I found myself nodding in approval. “Not bad. Not bad at all,” I mused. “And that’s saying a lot for a premenstrual day!”
This thought ran through my mind because on a typical premenstrual day, plunging estrogen can turn you into your harshest critic about your appearance, making you see yourself through a funhouse lens that magnifies what you perceive as unflattering parts of yourself and minimizes what you perceive as flattering parts of yourself. It’s simply a natural result of this plummeting hormone dragging down the levels of mood-regulating chemicals in the brain, resulting in less confidence, patience and general cheeriness.
However, I was aware that this hormonal self-esteem-sabotaging effect would be more likely today before I put on my clothes, did my hair and applied my makeup. So, I consciously decided to thwart it several ways: I chose an outfit that was high on comfort and low on fussiness. I took more time with my hair. And I stuck to a tried-and-true makeup routine rather than try any new fancy colors or maneuvers. That I could then stand back, take a good look at myself and be happy with what I saw–despite the three full inches of holy-moly-when-did-I-become-this-grey root growth that I haven’t yet dyed since my spine surgery–is what I consider the perfect “wrong” Hormone Horoscope.
I’ve written about my wanting your Hormone Horoscope to be wrong–at least some of the time–once before. In that post, I wrote about how I was able to catch a falling razor faster during a plunging estrogen day when reflexes are generally slower. But, today I was reminded of this wrong Hormone Horoscope again–and I want to remind you of it because it’s kind of important. Here’s why:
When I tell you in your Hormone Horoscopes that on certain days in your cycle your hormones are going to be impacting you in specific ways, some of these effects will be helpful while other effects may be challenging. But, the great news is that when you know that you’ll be facing a challenging hormonal effect, it means you don’t have to simply accept it–you can try to override it. You can make your Hormone Horoscope wrong. I did this when I caught my razor faster on a slow-reaction cycle day and I did this again when I took steps to make sure I was happy with my appearance despite the high risk for not liking what I was going to see in the mirror.
In a similar way, you can make your Hormone Horoscope “wrong” a whole bunch of great ways: When you know your energy level may be low–for instance, during your sleepy Week 3 when sedating progesterone is rising–you can plan breaks into your day to walk outside, have a caffeinated beverage or do something fun, such as play a video game, to boost pep and momentum. Or on premenstrual Week 4 days when you’re prone to higher spending due to plunging estrogen weakening the willpower to save, you can avoid splurging by keeping your cash and credit cards at home. Or when you’re more likely to take big or dangerous risks in your Week 2 due to high estrogen, you can write a note and stick it somewhere you see it often (like your bathroom mirror) reminding yourself that you’d like to avoid ending up in a full-body cast today, so to play it safer.
I hope that the more you learn about how your hormones impact you, the more your Hormone Horoscope is wrong. In the best way possible.