The easy plan-ahead tip that makes every week of your cycle better

My Hormonology

The easy plan-ahead tip that makes every week of your cycle better

1400517656593I’m not the type of gal who likes to buy shoes by the dozen. It’s just not my thing. However, every year I do look forward to treating myself to one new pair of strappy, comfortable, cruelty-free sandals for the summer. And now that the Floridian summer is here, I knew it was time to hit the shoe store.

So, I went online, found a pair of summer sandals that were perfect–then timed my purchase so my new shoes would arrive during my premenstrual week.

Why? Because I knew that the arrival of something in my premenstrual week that I would enjoy would provide the perfect pick-me-up when plunging estrogen is threatening to throw my mood down the garbage chute.

And when the shoes arrived–right on schedule during my premenstrual week–I got that PMS-busting mood boost I was looking for.

Why do I bring this up? Because with just a little pre-planning like this, you can make every week of your cycle better, too.

You can pre-plan which movies to watch, what kind of music to listen, what events to attend, which products to buy in advance to time it specifically with the mood or needs of each week of your cycle.

Here are just a few examples:

Week 1
Day 1 (first day of your period) to Day 7
This first week of your cycle is perfect for planning to taking full advantage of Week 2’s sharper sense of smell, desire for new foods, love of adventure, leap in energy, enjoyment of socializing and longing for romance.

For example, just a few days ago at the start of my Week 1, I ordered handmade soap (French lilac and cinnamon coffee–yummm!) from a friend who has her own shop (HighStreetSoap,com) because I know I love trying new scents in my Week 2. I also just got a bunch of plants, flowers and shrubs for a dream garden I’ve always wanted. And, I plan to do the hard work–digging the garden and planting them all–as I usher in my Week 2 since I know I’ll have more physical oomph then.

You can do something similar: Make plans for your Week 2 by ordering a fragrant soap, making reservations at a new restaurant, trying a complex new recipe, gathering friends for a trip to ride a thrilling rollercoaster or digging in to a big project.

Week 2
Day 8 to ovulation (which is Day 14 in a 28-day cycle)
It’s all fun and games in your Week 2, but when Week 3 comes rolling in, lower levels of estrogen combined with rising progesterone make you more sedate and introspective. So, in Week 2, it’s a good time to plan activities that match your more reserved Week 3 when you prefer spending time with smaller groups of people, quieter settings, comforting foods and projects that enhance your home.

For example, to plan for a better Week 3, during your Week 2 you might want to borrow a new book from the library, get luscious bath bombs for a long, luxurious soak, find a documentary you’ve always been meaning to watch, invite a friend to a brunch at a favorite restaurant or take out old recipe books and try whipping up a much-loved dish from childhood.

Week 3
Begins day after ovulation and lasts 8 days (which is Day 15 to Day 22 in a 28-day cycle)
In your Week 3, you have the power to make your premenstrual Week 4 happier and more relaxing by planning activities that counter plunging estrogen’s propensity to trigger stress, anxiety, the blues, irritation and insomnia.

I scheduled a pair of summer sandals to arrive during my premenstrual week for a quick pick-me-up. You can schedule gifts for yourself to arrive at your door during your premenstrual phase, too. You can also stock your cupboards with your favorite Week 4 foods, plan a day–or at least an hour–of pampering or put together a relaxing mix of songs to help you get to sleep.

Week 4
Final 6 days in your cycle
During your Week 4, you can make your period week–Week 1–far easier by preparing your favorite menstrual cramp-busting remedies, planning energy-boosting iron-rich meals and plotting activities that take advantage of your desire to socialize and get out of the house as your estrogen rises in the coming week. 

For instance, plan to refill your supply of heat patches, chamomile tea or any other painkiller you use to counter cramps so you won’t have to limp out to the store to get them when pain has already struck.

Fill your cupboards and fridge with beans, tofu, eggs, spinach, enriched cereal and other foods high in iron to combat the fatiguing effects of low iron due to menstruation.

And, even though you may not feel like socializing a lot right now, sign up for classes, workshops or social events that occur in the second half of your Week 1 when you’ll enjoy chatting with new people.

* * *

Today, I gave myself a pedicure to go with my new summer sandals. And I’ve picked a bright and fruity shade of “citrus summer glimmer” nail polish over the more mundane “blush pink” I had originally planned to apply–because I knew with my Week 2 coming soon, my high estrogen would have me preferring a bit of a bolder, more fun color instead.

When you start making plans around your cycle, leave a comment to let me know how it worked out!

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