Which week are you on in your cycle?
First day of period to Day 7
Today’s hormonescope: In the second half of your cycle, you were cautious about your spending, worried about making bill payments on time and less likely to splurge. The second half is a whole other story. As estrogen and testosterone rise during Week 1 and Week 2, you become more impulsive, less worried about your financial picture and more susceptible to sales tactics used in ads and in person. The easy solution to keeping your money in check? Give yourself a 24-hour cooling off period before making major purchases to be sure you really need or even still want the item you were so ga-ga about. And keep track of your bill due dates on your calendar so you don’t get socked with hefty late fees, which can also ding your credit score.
Day 8 to Day 13
Today’s hormonescope: Today, estrogen amps up your stress response. Armed with this knowledge, you can try to avoid “distress”—which is a negative stress response to situations—by deep breathing, visualizing a calm place and/or sipping chamomile tea when you feel your blood pressure begin to rise. And, you can take advantage of this estrogen reaction to harness a little “eustress”—which is a positive stress response to situations—by using it to propel yourself to apply for a new job, pitch your boss an exciting project, ask someone you’ve been eyeing out on a date, start a micro-business, you name it.
Day 14 (or ovulation) to Day 22
Today’s hormonescope: Feel irritable, achy or blue during the first half of your Week 3? Welcome to pre-PMS! Consider it the dress rehearsal for the real PMS that occurs in Week 4. And they’re both triggered by the same reason: plunging estrogen and testosterone. As your body withdraws from these powerful hormones, it can cause a bevy of uncomfortable side effects. Luckily, these should be milder than during your Week 4. And, once you reach the second half of Week 3, these hormones rise again, giving you a temporary reprieve that makes you feel better before the big PMS-triggering dip arrives in Week 4.
Day 23 to the end of cycle
Today’s hormonescope: TV shows you love, books you’ve read over and over and snacks you’ve eaten for years will feel like old friends today as plunging hormones make you crave familiar things that make you feel comforted. Research shows that surrounding yourself with old favorites helps you overcome the down moods and discomfort that can bother you during your premenstrual week.