Tiffany, a Facebook friend, asks: “We are in the process of building a house. I have to pick out colors and flooring and cabinets and all this other stuff that is making me crazy. Do I need to try to lock myself into a decision in the times where my estrogen is up and I am more impulsive or when I am more reserved (I usually second guess myself a lot then)? Do you have a specific week that might be best for me to look toward?”
My answer: Your question is a great one–when to make important decisions regarding the design elements of your home. Ones that are fairly permanent. There are a few ways you can approach this hormonally:
1. Need to keep your eye on the money? If you’re looking to stick to a budget and not go overboard, then decisions are best made during Week 3 of your cycle. The combination of rising progesterone plus lower levels of estrogen and testosterone make you less impulsive and less likely to splurge on unnecessary extras than you would during Week 1 and Week 2. But, at the same time, you’re also less likely to cut corners or go too cheap to save money like you would during your premenstrual Week 4 when plunging estrogen is highlighting money worries.
2. Want to focus on personal style? Try making your design decisions in the week of your cycle that matches the usual style you prefer. Which means this: If you like to go bold, artsy, out-of-the-box and make a statement, make your design decisions in Week 2 when high estrogen and testosterone pump up your confidence and ability to brainstorm creative ideas. However, if you prefer a home that’s decorated in a subtler, more conservative fashion, then wait for Week 3 to make your design decisions, since your hormones will be making you more cautious and preferring to stick to tried-and-true colors, patterns and fixtures.
The reason? If you prefer a conservative style and start making design decisions during your experiment-loving Week 2, you could end up with bold choices you ultimately don’t love in the long run. And vice versa: If you love the “wow!” factor and make design decisions during your conservative Week 3, you may end up with boring choices you ultimately don’t love in the long run.
3. Need help making a big decision? Simply can’t choose on a style, color, pattern or fixture? If you have the time, then think about how much you like your top choices through the four weeks of your cycle. If you find you love a particular one in all the weeks–through the ups and downs, when you’re feeling both bold and conservative–then it’s the decision for you. (I usually give women this same advice when they’re wondering if they’re pursuing the right romantic partner, too!)