Many women at an early age learn how a period influences their mental, emotional, and physical health.
A menstrual cycle has 4 stages that prepare the ovaries and the uterus for pregnancy. In case a pregnancy isn’t conceived, the uterus’s rich blood lining sheds off, which causes a period.
Another aspect of the period is PMS or premenstrual syndrome. This is when you experience mood swings, nausea, certain specific food cravings, and other symptoms that indicate the onset of the period. It is another body change many women have to deal with. Note that the extent of how you feel during the PMS phase is subjective. You may or may not experience one at all!
What many women don’t realize is that while the body undergoes all these transitions, it somehow impacts how we are able to perform at work.
Yes, your productivity at work and period are related!
Our changing hormones affect our work performance
Ever notice days when you get all your to-dos marked done and dusted, and you are more energetic than you ever have been?
And then there are days when you struggle with one to-do and experience unexplained lack of motivation and lethargy?
These changes are often due to shifts in hormones in the body to support the menstrual cycle.
Wondering how to be productive on your period?
Listen to your body when it tries to communicate.
Having an understanding of how your body works is the foremost and the most important step. Identify how different hormones have an effect on your mood, creativity, motivation, energy levels, and ability to handle stress. By doing so, you are taking control of the situation instead of panicking and struggling all day.
Also, via the tensions, you undergo every month, understand that your body is responding to hormonal imbalances that have occurred during the cycle. Nobody else knows more about your body than yourself so learn to interpret via the symptoms like mood swings, lack of sleep, short-temper.
The nobility of naps.
Taking good naps in between could help the body accumulate more energy towards improving mood swings, reducing fatigue, and saving more energy for the rest of the day! I had trouble sleeping at night during menstruation, so I used to take naps in between the day to help me cope up with dark circles and tiredness. Setting alarms for 20 minutes will prevent your sleeping over the time zone limited to naps!
Breathe in serenity.
Indulging in mindfulness meditation could help you control your emotions like anger which could be an aftereffect of excessive production of certain hormones. Remember, hormonal changes can affect your body mentally, physically, and emotionally; therefore, it is of key importance to analyze the right options of healing to overcome these phases of puberty.
Fight against nausea and puking.
During my monthlies, I was sensitive to certain smells like fish, egg, milk, etc… I would get the feeling of throwing up whenever I am surrounded by those foods during my periods, so I decided to carry a lemon in my handbag. Somehow it did wonders to prevent me from puking on anybody! Keeping one lemon in my study room helped me feel refreshed and peaceful, so lemon became my weapon against nausea, find out yours!
The menstrual cycle is usually divided into 4 phases:
- Follicular Phase (lasts 6- 14 days): During this phase, there’s a sharp rise in levels of hormones progesterone and estrogen. Whereas testosterone maintains a steady pace which gradually picks up during the beginning of the next phase.
You may feel more willing to try out new ideas and concepts, making this an ideal time to take up new challenges (a project you have been delaying or were hesitant to take). Plan your week accordingly to ensure you are making progress on a daily basis. Document small details, brainstorm what’s next and how you will be able to make it happen.
- Ovulatory Phase (lasts about 15 – 17 days): Levels of estrogen and testosterone rise significantly.
During this phase, you will want to have more conversations than usual, even the tough ones. You are more aware of what needs to be communicated and how it should be done. The hormone switches are making you a great communicator, and you should absolutely make the most of it. Have a presentation, speak with your team, have client calls, and maybe even ask for that raise!
- Luteal Phase (lasts 18-28 days): There’s a rise in levels of estrogen and progesterone during this time.
This is that phase in the cycle when you feel satisfied in getting things done. You will be more attentive to details which is incredibly helpful in eliminating errors. This phase is all about strategic planning and mindful execution. Also, limit your interactions to ensure you are able to transition into the menstrual phase in a safe and stress-free environment.
- Menstruation Phase (lasts 1-5 days): You are low on energy and experiencing effects of physical pain which can dampen your productivity.
Keep in mind that your body needs care, and it’s okay to take it slow. Get lots of rest and eat healthily. Narrow down and try taking up important tasks. Self-care should be a priority at this point.
Embracing the changes
The period is an essential process. With more and more women talking about it openly, it is time to embrace your cycle.
With research being done to understand and evaluate how a menstrual cycle governs our monthly productivity and other factors, we are learning more every day.
It’s okay to take your time to understand what works for you during that time of the month. Use dedicated apps to keep track of your cycle and identify your own body changes. Eat healthily and indulge in self-care. You are important. Your cycle is important.
If you are experiencing abnormalities in the menstrual cycle, it is best to seek medical attention.