Can Cycle Syncing Help With Your Productivity?
Career & Money

Can Cycle Syncing Help With Your Productivity?

Cycle syncing has been a popular topic in the Internet streets, and there’s this sense that, hey, maybe we can finally look at our menstrual cycle as something that enhances our experiences as women versus something to loathe. The whole period process gives us a superpower, really.

Well, with cycle synching, you’re able to ensure various aspects of your life are aligned with the phases of your menstrual cycle. (To learn more about the specifics of each of those phases, check out this article). Cycle syncing, by the way, is something that was reportedly first introduced by Alisa Vitti, an integrative nutritionist, and women’s hormone expert, in 2014. Vitti even trademarked a method associated with it, offering a specific “framework” that “matches food, workouts, and lifestyle with your cycle phases.”

As someone who struggled with fibroids for years (and finally had to have nine tumors removed before my menstrual cycle got back to any semblance of normal), I love the idea that cycle syncing, at least in theory, can debunk notions I’ve been taught as truths about how to navigate my period, in order to empower myself and lessen the stress in my life.

I figured let’s turn the tables a bit, especially when it comes to our professional lives, and consider how we can at least attempt to ensure optimal productivity by coordinating certain work-related projects and activities around our cycles. (And just remember, by cycle, I mean the full 21-35 days considered “normal” for a menstrual cycle, not just the 2-8 days many of us actually bleed.)

While we might not be able to totally replicate a trademarked framework for this (and would need to actually download an app or pay for access to specialized content or regimens), on the surface, let’s at least attempt to approach things from a cycle-syncing perspective based on the simple concept of it. Walk with me on this, sis.

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For example, according to experts, the follicular phase, which starts on the first day of your menstrual cycle and lasts 13 to 14 days, is a time when “energy and mood are often higher.” Cramping and other annoying (and sometimes debilitating) cycle symptoms that we deal with during the menstrual phase are not typically present at this time. For me, this is the perfect phase to do many of the tasks I’d typically procrastinate doing or work on projects that I’m super-great at doing (and love tackling).

This is also a great time to come up with new ideas, processes, and projects, approach work from a big-picture perspective, and take on the heavy lifting of activities like strategizing the management of projects, delegating leadership for completing phases of projects, scheduling important meetings, or negotiating, well, anything (deals, promotions, salary increases or service rates).

In the luteal phase, however, it has been found that feelings of anxiety are heightened and that brain fog and issues with concentration hit hard during this time of the cycle. This phase is the final one, the time when ovaries release eggs (ovulation), and lasts about 10 days (but can go 14 depending on how long your cycle is).

For me, since I’ve struggled with depression and anxiety most of my life, during this time, it’s ideal to go heavy on the journaling during my lunch (or other work breaks), tread lightly on immediate responses to emails—especially those that involve a lot of moving parts, long threads, lack of comprehension on the part of the sendee, or things that probably should be talked about in a meeting.

It’s also best, for me, to tap into joy, wonder, and intellectual stimulation (i.e. reading a chapter of a good book, playing a word game, practicing mindfulness, or brain-dumping in my notebook for at least 5 minutes during my work day).

Sometimes, it’s even good to team up with that work friend, smart colleague, or another super-positive and professional co-worker to get some good energy and vibes from them that help keep me on my A game. I often find inspiration and motivation from the people I work with, and I’m reminded, through their talents, emotional intelligence, and leadership of my own strengths and purpose in doing my job.

Through trial and error, I’ve learned that it’s best to see the challenges associated with this phase as an opportunity to go on the self-care offense versus just giving in to the feelings and moods. (Once, when I was in this phase, I abruptly sent a rudely worded response to someone’s email and found out later that I was loud and wrong. I had to apologize and really could’ve avoided the work-related snafu had I just considered my menstrual phases and taken the aforementioned approach.)

As with anything, offering myself grace is key, especially when it comes to work, so, if I’m just not feeling well, need to take a day off, or simply need to flow with, well, my flow, I will. We all know (and science has proven) that there are several factors that affect our menstrual cycles, and to be totally honest with you, sometimes I’ve felt my most enlightened, creatively open, and energized during the menstrual phase, free-bleeding, cramps, feisty attitude, and all.

Science is science but not every month’s cycle experience is the same. And life be lifin’ sometimes. So add that.

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