Go with the Flow – How to Optimize Your Cycle with Biohacking + Cycle Syncing
Experience balanced energy levels, creativity, productivity, and rejuvenating rest
Could it be possible to have a positive take on periods? At Holief this is a full body yes! We just have to learn to work with them, and pun intended, go with the flow. When we become educated on what is actually happening in our body, we can learn a lot about how to plan around our energy levels, mood and so much more.
Before we dive in let’s cover a few important definitions.
Biohacking – a relatively recent, trending term also known as “DIY biology.”Biohacking broadly refers to any efforts to optimize your physical body processes from productivity to weight loss, memory to athletic performance and so much more
Cycle syncing – the process of adapting your exercise, diet, work, rest, and social schedules with your cycle to optimize and align your experience, balance productivity expectations, and better support your body
Cycle syncing is essentially a biohack for your menstrual cycle, utilizing the wisdom and natural cycles of your body to know when your energy levels will align with work, productivity, and socialization, and when it’s optimal to rest, rejuvenate and practice self-care. It can also be applied to monthly diet changes and exercise routines.
Now let’s get clear about what happens during a full 28-day cycle. Our bodies are up to a lot when they aren’t menstruating. So let’s break it down.
Phase 1: Menstrual
Your menstrual cycle begins on the first day of your period and lasts for approximately 7 days while you are bleeding. This is when your hormones are at their lowest and often with it your energy levels and mood. Cramping, and headaches, among other symptoms, can make being productive or sticking to your regular schedule more challenging.
Phase 2: Follicular
The day after your period ends marks the first day of the Follicular phase when the body starts preparing for a potential pregnancy and ovulation. This stage occurs for an average of two weeks and is when estrogen and progesterone rise significantly. The increase in hormone levels leads
Phase 3: Ovulatory
Around Day 14 of your cycle, estrogen levels peak, and the egg is released and travels down the fallopian tubes to the uterus. The ovulatory phase lasts for about 7 days.
Phase 4: Luteal
Halfway through your cycle is the Luteal phase which lasts for approximately 14 days and begins with ovulation. Progesterone levels are at their peak but will decrease towards the end of this phase if the egg isn’t fertilized.
Cycle synching + Biohacks for the phases of your cycle
The first step in cycle synching and biohacking during your period is to of course, get to know your cycle. Keep a period journal and calendar or use an app like MyFLO. Mark the first day of your period and start tracking the phases from there. It may take a couple of months, but by noting flow days, mood fluctuations, and changes in food cravings and energy levels, you will get a good idea of what your monthly cycle looks like. Once you get to know your cycle you can start adapting your work and social calendars, as well as diet and exercise plans to match the phases.
With hormones at their lowest, and with them energy and mood, your menstrual cycle is the ultimate time to rest, practice self-care, and turn inward. On the days when you don’t feel productive, take the time to journal your goals for when your energy levels rise, get creative or simply relax. For inspiration on what to eat, check out our 5 Minute Guide to Eating on your Period. Low-intensity workouts such as restorative yoga and taking walks are best during this time.
With your hormones on the rise, you will find your mood and energy levels experience a boost as well. This is a great time to take the goals you listed during your period and start making an action plan. Try out a new structure or workflow, step into your most productive self, and enjoy this wave of energy. Social meetups and taking on new projects at work will feel more aligned during this phase. Try to stock up on protein, veggies, and foods high in Vitamin E.
With estrogen levels at their peak, motivation and productivity will likely be at a monthly high. Time to take that project off the back burner, bust through procrastination, try out that new power yoga class, go on that date, or explore exciting events in your community. This is the perfect time for progress and aligned action. Magnesium, antioxidants, and vitamin C will be your best friends.
If you do not become pregnant, your hormone levels will start to drop as your body begins to prepare for another cycle of menstruation. This is the perfect time for evaluation, what worked well this month? What systems, structures, or routines can you start to integrate to make your day-to-day flow and feel balanced? Have you tried habit-stacking with not only productivity goals but self-care practices? Make your favorite soul food, a good detox tea, and journal your accomplishments.