Could Cycle Syncing Be the Best Kept Secret to Productivity?
Last week, we talked about the four phases of your menstrual cycle. If you don’t know what those are, catch up on our last post and come back. It’ll make a lot more sense for everything we’re about to say.
As promised, we said we’d tell you about something cool you could do with your cycle. This week, we’re diving into cycle syncing!
What exactly is cycle syncing? It’s the best way to boost productivity, maximize nutrition, and exercise more efficiently using your menstrual cycle. It almost sounds too good to be true, right?
If you’re keeping a regular menstrual calendar, you’re already familiar with how your cycle treats you. In knowing that, you can now fine tune other aspects of your life. That way when your period comes, everything is way less stressful.
Let’s be real, having a uterus means that we’re going through natural highs and lows. But we live in a culture that favors the grind and the hustle. It's unrealistic to expect us to go all the time. But, with cycle syncing, think of it as your little hack. You’ll still get everything done that you need to do, while giving yourself time to rest when you need it most.
How Can I Take Advantage of Each Phase?
Start with your period calendar, or download an app to keep track of your cycle. We have a couple that we really like here.
Take extensive notes in the beginning. Pay attention to when you feel more energetic than usual. Do the same when you feel tired. With regular notes, you’ll start to notice a pattern around your unique cycle roughly around the same time each month. This is what is known as your infradian rhythm.
We’re familiar with circadian rhythms because our whole world revolves around them. It’s why we do everything in the morning and go to bed at night. But infradian rhythm exceeds that. It’s your natural bodily cycle. And the more you pay attention, the more you’ll be able to work with it.
Follicular (The Planning Phase)
It’s the beginning of a new cycle - quite literally. Your estrogen is slowly starting to increase, making you feel a little more stimulated. Do you have a project that you’ve been wanting to get done? Do you have a research paper to do? Maybe you’ve been wanting to do a thorough cleaning of your space.
Now is the best time to make those dreams a reality. Take time to plan and map out everything that you hope to accomplish.
If you find you have an abundance of energy, it’s also the best time to focus on cardio. Have a run, dance with friends, or go on a hike.
Ovulatory (The Party Phase)
Though it is the shortest time in your cycle, it can also be a great time to put yourself out there. Your hormones will be at their peak, and you’ll more than likely feel social and confident. Get out there and connect with people. Network. Be the life of the party!
With all this extra energy, it’s also a great time to do a high intensity workout.
Luteal (The Wrap-Up)
Your energy may be starting to dwindle, but that’s okay. You’ve laid the groundwork for what you want to do. This is the phase to sit down, make time, and do it. You know. The to-do lists. The studying. The research. The writing. This is the best time to concentrate on the finer details of what you need to do. Get those projects done because your period comes soon after.
Your body may start feeling the effects of PMS. When you exercise, go for something low impact. Swimming, a nice walk, or yoga would be most beneficial around this time.
Menstrual (The Rest)
You’re bleeding, you’re irritable and you don’t want to deal with anyone or anything. Your energy is at an all time low - and that’s okay! This is the best time to rest and recover from everything you’ve put your energy into. Take time to put that energy back into yourself by going into self-care mode. Take a bath. Journal. Get extra sleep - and don’t feel bad about it!
It’s always a good idea to get in some light exercise during your period to ease any cramping. Go for a walk. Try out some yin yoga. This is the phase where doing the least is absolutely acceptable.
The key to this system is welcoming flow into your life. Your energy is going to crest and fall. Working with this system may be the best way to handle what life throws at you. You’ll be able to gauge your energy and know your limits.
If you’re in the thick of an assignment and you feel like being social, encourage a study group.
If you have an ongoing project that you have to get done but you’re menstruating, do the lighter parts of the job until it passes. You got this!
If you’ve made cycle syncing a part of your routine, we’d love to hear more about it in the comments.