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TEAM ZOELLA MAY 11, 2022

Period Productivity: The Art Of Working With Your Cycle, Not Against It

We’ve partnered with Unfabled, the world’s first cycle care shop, to show you how to work with your cycle, and not against it. 

This article is an ad-guest post curated with Unfabled

The last thing you’d probably think about in relation to your menstrual cycle is being more productive. When most of us think about our cycles, we instantly focus on cramps, fatigue and PMS, but getting in sync with your cycle can be a great productivity hack – the trick is knowing how to make the most of the rise and fall of your hormones each month. To prove it to you, we’ve partnered with Unfabled, the world’s first cycle care shop, to show you how to work with your cycle, and not against it. 

First thing’s first, your menstrual cycle is so much more than just the bleeding bit – in fact your period is only one of four phases of your cycle that your body goes through every month.They are called:

As you move through your cycle, your sex hormones dip and rise to perform essential functions for your body – with this comes the positive and negative symptoms of your menstrual cycle.

Menstruation Phase

This phase starts on the first day of your period, all the way through to your last day of bleeding, and typically lasts about 3 – 8 days. During this phase of your cycle, your hormones are lying low and this can make being productive and getting things done tough with energy and focus out the window.

How to work with this phase:

  • Don’t fill up your calendar— give yourself space to rest.
  • Schedule time for self-care.
  • You might not feel very social – skip the night out.
  • Get an early night. 
  • Book a yin yoga class over that HIIT session.
  • Be gentle with yourself if you move at a slower pace than usual.

Follicular Phase

This phase overlaps with menstruation and officially begins on the first day of your bleed too. It’s the longest phase of your cycle and can last for 11 to 27 days, but the average is 16 days

In this phase, your progesterone and estrogen levels will rapidly increase, while Testosterone stays steady, but it may rise toward the end of this phase. Thanks to the boost in estrogen, you’re suddenly feeling driven to take on any challenge.

How to work with this phase:

  • Take advantage of your newfound energy and get to work on your creative projects.
  • The brain fog has lifted and you’re ready for those more complex tasks.
  • High energy kickboxing or spin class? Yes please!
  • Feeling ready to try something new – maybe a hobby class or even a trip to somewhere you’ve never been before.

Ovulation Phase

This phase occurs in the middle of your cycle when your follicle releases an egg. It usually lasts for only 24 hours, but the high estrogen and testosterone levels mean you can make the most of it for 3 to 4 days of your cycle.

The hormonal peak of testosterone gives you an outward-focused energy, while the estrogen peak makes you feel energetic and proactive. Think go-getter, social butterfly.

How to work with this phase:

  • This is a great time to schedule important meetings and tough decisions.
  • It’s an extroverted time for most women, making it ideal for working with groups of people.
  • Got a big project coming up at work? Now’s the perfect time to take it on.
  • Schedule that first date in this phase, and thank your hormones later. 

Luteal Phase

The Luteal Phase exists to prep your uterus for the possibility of a baby. Both estrogen and Progesterone rise, with Progesterone reaching its highest peak – but if the egg doesn’t fertilise, both hormones drop dramatically at the end of this phase. This phase tends to last anywhere from 12 to 14 days in most folks.

Progesterone has a calming effect, meaning that your mind will probably be a little slower, and productivity levels are low. It’s a natural winding-down time, and the end of this phase is associated with PMS.

How to work with this phase:

  • Prioritise self-care.
  • Queue your favourite rom-com. 
  • Lighten your workload if possible.
  • Gentle exercises like a swim or a walk are good choices. 
  • Use this time for simpler tasks requiring less active brainpower, such as editing your work or catching up on admin.

Looking for more ways to make the most of your cycle and work with your hormones? Unfabled has a ‘shop by phase’ feature on their website, so you can find the right cycle care products to support you as you ride the wave of your hormones each month. Get in sync with your cycle and tune into that untapped period power – and take 20% off using the code ZOELLA20 at checkout. 

This article is an ad-guest post curated with Unfabled

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