As a Boss Babe you’ve got enough to worry about. Your period shouldn’t be one of them. Let’s dive into how to make your period your b*tch.
Think about this – the Office on Women’s Health in the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services reports that over 90% of women in their childbearing years struggle with some form of PMS. This includes symptoms like irritability, bloating, and headaches, among others like acne, brain fog, and lower energy.
This means the week before our period most women are not performing at their highest level. This one week contributes to 25% of the month.
In a 2017 study by YouGov, women were asked about their period and how it related to their job. In their results, 88% reported they have dealt with period pain in their menstrual week, as categorized by cramps, headaches, or muscle pain, and it impacted their work.
This is another week your hormones can get in the way of your productivity and can add up to 50% of your month!
Forget work for a moment – that’s also 50% of your life!
By understanding your monthly cycle and how to support your body best, you can work to improve these symptoms.
I fall into the 5% of women who struggle with PMDD, a more intense version of PMS, and had a very painful period. I’m here to tell you that if I can eliminate PMDD and have a calm and happy period – you can too!
How to make your period your b*tch:
Step 1: Get to know your cycle
There are many period apps that can help track your cycle. Take the next 2-3 cycles to keep track of when you have your period, when you’re ovulating, and any symptoms that come up and when. Get as specific as possible.
This insight will help you pinpoint your weak spots so you can then work to alleviate them.
I didn’t know my cycle was irregular until I started tracking it. My cycle was 40-43 days, which is considered abnormal. It went unnoticed because I was getting a period, just not at the right time. I learned I had symptoms like bloating, acne, and headaches come up during ovulation and they would last through when I got my period. These symptoms took a hit to my self-esteem, energy levels, and my productivity. There was no way I was operating as my best self.
When you know what symptoms you experience and when they start to become predictable. Once you know what they are you can plan your life better.
Step 2: Don’t spot treat it
A normal monthly cycle for women is anywhere between 21-35 days. However, within this cycle, we don’t need to just worry about our menstrual week. Our body has four phases it clicks through that make up our entire monthly cycle.
Our period week is just one phase.
Each phase builds upon the next. This means you can’t just support your body well in one phase, you must listen to your body all month long. How you treat yourself in one phase will either improve or derail how you feel in the next, and so on.
Step 3: Understand the four phases of your cycle
Once you know the four phases of your cycle, you’re well on your way to improving your health and operating at an even higher level! You’ll be amazed at how predictable your mood, energy, emotions, and all your thoughts become.
Your cycle starts the day your period begins. For most women, this lasts for 3-7 days. Our energy levels are naturally lower here and our brains want us to turn inward. This is a great week to reflect on yourself and the actions you are taking in life. If you feel discontent, ask yourself how you can redirect your efforts in the month ahead. Pay close attention to those internal messages. Your gut reactions hold so much wisdom!
During my period, I love practicing the Chinese Medicine principle of creating more blood flow in the uterus. I do this be eating warming foods like soups and roasted vegetables.
Your follicular phase occurs after your period ends. This lasts for 7-10 days. You should feel your energy pick up and your brain strategize on all the ideas you came up with during your period. This is the best time of month to create an action plan!
During my follicular phase, I map out all my social media, blog posts, guest podcast slots, and when I’ll film videos and webinars. I double check my finances and start putting feelers out for any collaborations for the month ahead.
Your body ovulates for 3-5 days. Most women know of this phase as the one in which we can get pregnant. Mother Nature designed our bodies to be energetic and social so we’d be more likely to find a mate. You can take advantage of this energy high by hosting workshops, attending conferences and networking events, filming videos, and being the face of your business.
Our communication skills peak during this phase and you may notice you attract everything you want!
After ovulation ends, our body enters the luteal phase which lasts for 10-14 days. In the first half, our energy is still really high as estrogen levels decline. This means you can still move forward with all your extroverted activities.
The second half is our premenstrual week. It’s the best time to tune more into ourselves and pay attention to any resistance we feel. Our body becomes less resilient to stress here, so it’s best to not overexert ourselves in life or business. If you can outsource some of your projects and get comfortable asking for help, you’ll find you have more energy as you move forward. Many women feel irritable during this time because they’re not speaking up for what they truly need!
Now that you understand your cycle, you can let go of anything that’s held you back. Watch out world, this Boss Babe is on fire!
Laura Charelle is a high performance women's health coach and the founder of Balanced Bombshells. Laura teaches Boss Babes how to use hormones and hack their monthly cycles to optimize their food, fitness, work, and daily routine in order to reach their highest potential. Through hormone balancing recipes, cycle based living, and education on seven key sets of hormones, Laura empowers women to manage their lives better so they can look, feel, and perform at their best. Built on the foundation to make women feel good about themselves, Balanced Bombshells' programs offer a simplified approach on how to use hormones to benefit your active life.