icecreamWhat’s the only thing in the world that’s better than a cold, fresh, creamy scoop of ice cream? Two scoops, of course!

With that in mind, this month I’ve been squeezing more benefits out of each week of my cycle by doubling the positive hormonal effects that come with each week.

Meaning, I not only take full advantage of the hormone benefit I enjoy. I do something to make that benefit even more intense.

For instance? During my Week 1, I knew my rising estrogen would be giving me a boost in energy. So, I supplemented it by drinking more caffeine than I usually do. Talk about a power-blast!

And last night, I knew I was in for a deep night of sleep thanks to Week 2’s high estrogen. So, I planned to make my sleep even more heavenly by giving all the bedding a deep wash and reading before turning in rather than watching TV. This morning, I woke up feeling more refreshed and rested than I have in years.

Like me, you can also squeeze more benefits from each week of your cycle by doubling-down on the positive effects of your hormones–and it’s easy! Read on to for a few suggestions that can make every week of your cycle better:

Week 1
Day 1 (first day of menstruation) to Day 7

  • Love the lift in pep rising estrogen triggers in this week of your cycle? Do what I did and down some energy-boosting caffeine for an even bigger turbo-charge. Not a caffeine drinker? Exercising and listening to up-tempo tunes have a similar gas pedalling effect.
  • As estrogen climbs, it boosts your mood and rosies your outlook. Want to double your boost in positivity? Work out, shop, play miniature golf or do anything else that gets even more feel-good brain chemicals churning.
  • As your Week 1 goes on, rising estrogen is sharpening your memory and helping you think faster on your feet. For an even steeper rise in brain skills, go for a brisk walk, eat dark chocolate, sniff rosemary or sip green tea. All are study-proven ways to rev cognitive skills in a jiffy.

Week 2
Day 8 to ovulation (which is Day 14 in a 28-day cycle)

  • If you enjoy the on-edge, high-wire feeling high estrogen can prompt in this week of your cycle, then pump up your adrenaline even more by planning to propose a big project to your boss, ask for a raise, attend a big concert, do a risky activity (like rock climbing) or dare to ask a cutie you’ve been secretly eyeing out on a date.
  • Can’t get enough of the revved libido high testosterone is giving you? You can supersize your sex drive by treating yourself to a new toy, watching a spicy movie or reading a saucy romance novel. Other options: Studies suggest drinking one more cup of caffeine than you usually do or taking 20 mg. of pine bark extract daily, which can stimulate nerve endings down below.
  • Are you like me and look forward to Week 2’s deep sleep thanks to high estrogen? Then you can deepen those zzz’s even more by putting freshly-washed sheets on your bed, reading a book rather than watching TV, sipping chamomile tea a few hours prior to bedtime and/or doing calming meditation before turning in.

Week 3
Begins day after ovulation and lasts 8 days (which is Day 15 to Day 22 in a 28-day cycle)

  • So glad when rising progesterone in your Week 3 mellows you out and takes the edge off? Sink into a more chillaxed state by taking a soothing bath, getting an all-over massage or curling up on the sofa with a much-loved movie you’ve seen a hundred times before. There’s a bonus if you pick a romantic movie: Research shows shmaltzy love stories spike your progesterone another 10%.
  • As progesterone rises, so does a desire for your favorite comfort foods. If you’re a foodie who wants more inspiration to indulge in or whip up much-loved treats, hit up Pinterest, recipe websites, your treasure trove of cookbooks and anything else with pictures of delicious-looking dishes. Research proves that simply viewing images of foods prompts a craving for it.
  • During your Week 3, you may notice you’re more nurturing of others as progesterone makes your mothering instincts come out a bit more. To feel even closer to others in your life, invite over a girlfriend to catch up. In a 2009 University of Michigan study, researchers found that your body’s level of progesterone climbs when you’re having a meaningful chat with another woman, making you feel even more bonded to her.

Week 4
Final 6 days of your cycle

  • As your progesterone winds down in this premenstrual week, you may notice that its sedating fog is lifting a bit, helping you have a bit more mental and physical energy. To clear the fog even more, go for a brisk walk, take a chilly shower or do other invigorating activities that boost alertness and pep.
  • If you enjoy channeling your feelings into art, music or writing as plunging estrogen puts you more in touch with your emotions, get even more inspiration to excel at your craft by looking at or listening to other artists you admire.
  • Look forward to treating yourself like a queen guilt-free in this week of your cycle because it helps counter a flagging premenstrual mood? Banish any lingering traces of guilt about buying the shoes, eating the last cookie or taking total control over the TV remote by thinking back to all your recent accomplishments and how much you’ve done for everyone else around you to remind you why you’ve earned the special treatment.

Let me know if you try any of these suggestions–or come up with your own!

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