Your Period May Be the Secret to Productivity
When it comes to things like channeling your creativity and becoming more in tune with your intuition, we often turn to activities such as painting, journaling, and meditation to access our best selves, both in the workplace and in life. But what if the secret to attaining all of those feats is actually right under our noses – or in our underwear?
“Getting your period is about more than just bleeding,” says Taran Ghatrora, CEO and Co-Founder of Blume, a brand that offers safe, sustainable period products. “Our cycles hold the key to unlock more productivity and energy.” By paying attention to our cycles’ phases, the power lies in your period to do everything from ask for a raise to kill it on the creative front.
“Our cycles hold the key to unlock more productivity and energy”
The secret lies in our fluctuating hormone levels, which change throughout our menstrual cycle and affect more than just your mood. “Hormones can influence your cognitive state, nutritional needs, sex drive, and energy levels,” says Ghatrora. “Being in tune with our bodies and cycle can help us be more productive in our professional and personal lives, while feeling more connection to our overall intuition.”
“Being in tune with our bodies and cycle can help us be more productive in our professional and personal lives, while feeling more connection to our overall intuition”
Being in tune to your cycle starts with understanding how its four phases can affect you. As a primer, we’ve outlined them below, what they mean, and how you can tap into the potential of each.
The first phase of your cycle is when you actually get your period, and your mood tends to be more introverted and introspective. “I love journaling during this time, and reflecting on events of the past month,” says Ghatrora. “This can help you become more attuned to yourself and how you’re feeling about certain situations.”
Next up is the follicular phase, when your mood and energy levels tend to be higher, and you’re at your most creative. Use this time to brainstorm, experiment and strategize – your verbal and memory skills actually improve during this phase.
In this phase, estrogen and testosterone – and consequently, your confidence – peak. “We have a heightened power of influence, and it’s an excellent time to negotiate or ask for something you want in a professional relationship, like money,” says Jacqueline Jennings, a leadership coach and business consultant. “I also suggest to my clients that this is when they schedule photoshoots or speaking gigs, because not only do we feel more beautiful and confident, but our hormones actually enact witchcraft to make our faces look more symmetrical and attractive.” Witchcraft or science, we’re certainly here for it.
In the cycle’s final phase, PMS spikes, thanks to a drop in both estrogen and serotonin levels. “This is why many of us experience sadness, irritability or anxiety right before our period starts,” says Ghatrora. Ease up on meetings in favor of focusing on tasks and execution. “It’s a perfect time to do focused solo work, edit written materials, and be super productive in work output,” says Jennings.
So, now that you have more of an idea about what each phase in the menstrual cycle means – and, at risk of sounding like a public speaker at a professional development conference – how the heck do you harness each to unlock your true potential?
It starts with getting to know your period a bit better, which means tracking it. “Become familiar with your cycle and the changes you experience each month,” says Ghatrora. In a world still tragically ruled by cis men, it’s no surprise most of us are conditioned to the idea that our periods work against us, rather than for us. “As humans, we’re not endlessly productive, energized or consistent, and we shouldn’t expect ourselves to be – especially since our bodies don’t feel the same every single day. Rather than ignoring this, we can embrace it.”
"Our bodies don’t feel the same every single day. Rather than ignoring this, we can embrace it”
Secondly, help break the stigma. “I think as we see the rise of awareness in some workplaces around JEDI (justice, equity, diversity, inclusion) it opens up opportunities to have these discussions,” says Jennings. Advocating for your workplace to meaningfully create dialogue around inclusivity – ones where we talk about periods, and ones that provide access to pads and tampons in bathrooms – is a step in the right direction (and one that your coworkers who get their period will thank you for).
As for both using your period to your advantage and shifting the taboo around menstruation in your workplace and beyond, Ghatora sums it up: “Periods are normal, so why aren’t the conversations we have about them the same?”
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