How to Plan Your Life Around Your Menstrual Cycle and Make the Most out of Every Day

How to Plan Your Life Around Your Menstrual Cycle and Make the Most out of Every Day

We always want to be on our A-game, reaching our full potential each and every day. However, if we’re asking the same of ourselves on week one as we are in week three of our menstrual cycle, we’re only going to end up feeling let down and frustrated.


Planning your life around your menstrual cycle may sound dramatic, but it’s a wonderful way to ensure that you live every day to the full. If you know what to expect from yourself at various points in your cycle, you can plan accordingly, and learn to give your body and mind exactly what they need at each stage of the month.

Unlike with men, whose hormone pattern typically remains the same day-in-day-out (a peak of testosterone in the morning, followed by a steady decline throughout the day) women’s hormones fluctuate throughout the month.  Many like to equate this process to the four seasons, though of course no-one’s cycle is identical so you can only get to grips with your own ‘seasons’. However, many would say period days 1-5 represent Winter, 6-12 being Spring and so on. Generally speaking, there are plenty of ways in which you can get the most out of each stage of your cycle. And yes, that includes the dreaded period week! 

Let’s take a closer look at how we can be kind to our bodies and minds to ensure we thrive at every stage.



Days 1-5: Menstruation

Getting the most out of your life when you’re on your period can feel like an uphill battle. When menstruating, your hormone levels are at their lowest — you’ll most likely feel low, unmotivated, and withdrawn, hence why some refer to these days as the ‘winter’ phase.

We’re all familiar with this seemingly uninspiring phase, but once you’ve readied your period essentials, such as non-applicator tampons, treat foods, and comfortable clothing, there are plenty of ways in which you can still be your best self.

You’ll likely feel introspective and reflective during this stage, but that certainly doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Use this time to practice journaling while you rest and recharge, or crack open your favourite book. Seeking comfort doesn’t have to feel ‘unproductive’ after all! Using this time for self-care and mindfulness is a great way to allow you to thrive during your period.

At this stage, your body will be shedding the inner layer of your uterus (your endometrium) and you’re likely to feel more tired than usual. Don’t let this put you off doing a bit of light exercise though. You may not feel like exerting yourself too much, but a relaxing yoga class is a great idea at this time of the month.


Days 6-12: Follicular Phase

During the next stage of the cycle, which we’ll call the ‘spring’ phase, you’ll be ready to take the world by storm! These are the days when you’ll feel the most energetic, so it’s a great time to hit the gym and start up a more active routine.

In the spring phase, your oestrogen levels will be on the rise and you’ll feel particularly outgoing. You’ll be feeling sharp and ready for anything, so if you were thinking of trying new things, starting a project, or working for a promotion at work, now’s your time! Don’t hold back during the spring phase, it’s time to get out and about and start making your goals a reality.


Days 13–18: Ovulation

A heightened testosterone level during ovulation, or ‘summer’, makes for a boost in your libido, clear skin, improved confidence, and a desire to socialise. If you’re planning any social activities with your friends, then get them in your diary during the summer phase because you’ll be on your best form during ovulation. 

If you’re feeling good, this is also a great time to get out and about and top up your exercise regime but be sure to prioritise your own fun and enjoyment during this time of the month. After all, that’s what summer is all about!


Days 19-28: Luteal Phase

Finally, it’s time to wind down a bit for ‘autumn’. Once the energetic summer phase is over, you’ll begin to feel a bit more lethargic, and you’ll be ready for some long, undisturbed nights of sleep. In fact, you will sleep the best during this stage so be sure to make the most of it, and don’t beat yourself up if you fancy a lie in — it’s what your body needs during the autumn phase.

This is all going on because your body is now under the calming influence of progesterone, which stabilises your blood sugar levels and causes decreased energy levels. Rather than starting new projects or heading out to big events, it’s best to use this time to focus on the more detailed things in life.

This is a great time to focus on specific tasks and get planning — meal prep for example or reorganising your room. You’ll be more detail-oriented than normal, so if you have any admin to do (whether in your work life or your home life), now is the perfect time to crack on with it.

You may feel tired and demotivated during autumn, but it is actually the time when your body is able to burn fat most easily. So, if you can manage to maintain the exercise regime you’ve built in over spring and summer (before a healthy break during winter), try to keep going!

Knowing what is reasonable to expect of yourself during every stage of your cycle is helpful for both your mental and physical wellbeing. It’s easy to get frustrated when we don’t feel like we’re meeting our full potential, but there’s so much going on with everyone’s hormones that we simply cannot be functioning at 100 per cent every day of the month. It’s time to take back control, start tracking your period, and planning your life around your cycle to thrive every day!