Weird (but easy!) trick to revving your pep on low-energy days

My Hormonology

Weird (but easy!) trick to revving your pep on low-energy days

jogright1You know how you sometimes need a little extra oomph on low-pep days in your monthly cycle? For instance, maybe your slow days are at the start of your period when low estrogen and a drop in iron double-whammy you. Or maybe it’s when sedating progesterone peaks at the end of your Week 3. Or when estrogen bottoms out at the end of your cycle, taking the last of your zip with it.

Well, no matter when your drop in energy hits, there is one odd way to temporarily boost it back up:

Force yourself to speed up. Meaning you walk, read, talk or do something twice as fast as you normally do (except eating–choking to death isn’t going to rev your energy any).

I was reminded of this strange technique yesterday evening at 7:30 pm: I was already in my PJs and ready to settle in for a mellow night of work when the doorbell rang. It was one of my husband’s guitar students–and hubby wasn’t back yet from a lesson at another student’s home.

This meant I had to race to get out of my night clothes, get redressed into my day clothes, fix my hair and answer the door–all before the student turned and left.

As I hurriedly slipped off my flannels and stepped into a pair of jeans, bra and a top, I was surprised by a surge of pep that was rising in me. Rushing into the bathroom to turn my nighttime hair into more presentable daytime hair, I felt my energy level rising even more. By the time I flew to the front door, my heart was racing and I was almost out of breath.

While I usually usher Douglas’s guitar students to his music studio and immediately return to whatever I was doing, I was so energized, I found myself chattering at this poor student about anything and everything. Which is odd, since in my premenstrual Week 4, plunging estrogen makes me even quieter and less interested in making conversation than usual.

When I finally released the hapless student from my verbal grip and strode (practically skipped!) back to my office, I marveled at the amount of alertness and zip I had. It was a complete change from the foggy, mellow state I’d been in just before the doorbell rang.

That’s when I remember this 2006 study from Princeton and Harvard Universities that found forcing yourself to speed up to twice as fast as normal artificially puts you in a manic-like state, which then continues to feed that speed and keep your energy up. It also makes you feel more powerful, upbeat, creative and confident.

You may notice this effect in yourself when you’re running late for an event or appointment and, while racing to find your keys and purse and get out the door, you suddenly get hit with a powerful whoosh of pep that helps propel you faster and, perhaps, even makes you a more aggressive driver or pedestrian. (I sure know this happens to me–sorry, everyone between me and my destination when I’m running late!)

Well, you can use this easy tip to help ratchet up your mental and physical energy whenever you need the extra pep, for instance, during your period in Week 1 when low estrogen coupled with iron loss during bleeding triggers fatigue, to counter the sedating effect of Week 3’s rising progesterone or to give yourself extra oomph as estrogen plunges in your premenstrual Week 4.

Simply start reading a book or the newspaper super-fast, go for a really brisk walk or do anything else at twice the speed you normally do it. (Except that eating thing. Oh, and chopping anything with a knife, of course.) And you should notice your battery getting recharged in minutes.

If (I’m betting when) you try this, let me know how it worked for you!

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