Which week are you on in your cycle?
First day of period to Day 7
Today’s hormone-cast: Rising estrogen and testosterone are giving you energy and making you think faster on your feet, which may convince you that you’ll get more done by multi-tasking. However, study after study shows this is just an illusion and by the end of the day, you’ll have less done than if you focused on one task at a time. The reason? Switching from one task to another actually slows down your brain, making you work less efficiently on each project than if you’d powered through one, then moved on to the next.
Day 8 to Day 13
Today’s hormone-cast: Nervous habits—like nail biting, skin scratching, hair twisting, toe tapping and grinding your teeth—may worsen today as rising estrogen amps up your energy and stress levels. And, they’ll get even more pronounced if you indulge in your usual five cups of whatever caffeine-fueled beverage you down every day. Need to spare your nails, skin, hair, toes or teeth? Start sipping chamomile tea, which contains compounds that have a soothing effect.
Day 14 (or ovulation) to Day 22
Today’s hormone-cast: You have the opposite problem of Week 2 gals: thanks to rising progesterone and lower levels of estrogen and testoterone, your get-up-and-go has got up and went. Luckily, there are lots of easy, proven caffeine-free ways to rev up your motor again: sip mint tea (the menthol scent wakes up a tired brain), take a walk (which gets more oxygen-rich blood to muscles and your brain) or take a laugh or karaoke break by tuning in to a video on YouTube (which also delivers more oxygen to the body).
Day 23 to the end of cycle
Today’s hormone-cast: It may be difficult to make a new start today—such as launching a new project, starting a new class or attending a party where you meet new people—as estrogen and testosterone plunge, bringing down brain chemicals that energize and motivate you. But, making a new start isn’t impossible. Just know that you’ll have less natural oomph, so you’ll have to push yourself to move forward just a bit more than in other weeks of your cycle. However, once you see the results of your efforts—making progress in your task, learning something new or meeting someone interesting—you’ll experience a natural rise in feel-good brain chemicals that make taking the next steps a whole lot easier.