When is the best week of your cycle to schedule stressful activities? It depends….

My Hormonology

When is the best week of your cycle to schedule stressful activities? It depends….

stressIf you haven’t “friended” me on Facebook yet, here’s a good reason to go ahead and send me a friend request now:

You have another way to ask me questions about your hormones and how they impact your behavior and how to use them to better plan your life!

For instance, take Gemblina, a Hormonology reader who’s friended me of Facebook:

This weekend, she asked me about the best time of her cycle to retake her practical driving test–you know, the one where you’ve got to actually climb behind the wheel and do all the stops, yields and three-point turns in front of a very dour-looking man or woman with a clipboard who takes copious notes while tsk-tsking you the whole time? Yeah, that one.

Well, normally, I’d tell someone to schedule a driving exam for their Week 2 (which starts 8 days from the onset of your period). That’s because high estrogen buoys confidence.

However, Gemblina’s situation was a bit different. She said her anxiety was high. And her anxiety was the very reason she didn’t pass her practical driving exam the first two times.

I can so relate. Like Gemblina, I failed my first two practical driving tests due to nerves.

So, for Gemblina, I recommended scheduling her driving exam during her Week 3 (which starts right after ovulation in the middle of your cycle).

Why? Two reasons:

1. While rising estrogen bolsters confidence in Week 1 and Week 2, when high, this same hormone can also intensify and prolong anxiety, especially if you tend to fall on the anxious side already.

2. A rise in progesterone during your Week 3 has a sedating effect, which can help make you more relaxed and calm in the face of stressful situations.

A follow-up post from Gemblina confirmed that she’d taken her first two exams during the first half of her cycle when estrogen–and her anxiety–were on the rise. So, now she’s going to try retaking it during her calmer Week 3.

Why am I telling you all about Gemblina and her driving exam?

Because Gemblina’s situation can help you, too:

If you tend to be more anxious or you notice a rise in estrogen during the first half of your cycle pushes you into anxious territory, then you, too, may prefer to schedule super-tense events (like a job interview or driving exam) for Week 3 of your cycle when rising progesterone will help mellow you out.

If you tend to be cool as a cucumber under stress or you notice that rising estrogen doesn’t impact your anxiety levels all that much in the first half of your cycle, then you may prefer to schedule super-tense events during your Week 2 when high estrogen charges up confidence.

If you try this cycle-syncing tip, let me know how it worked out for you.

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