The hormonal cycle of women is more complex than you think it is. Every single day is different for women in how they feel, act and think. While men live on a 24 hour cycle, women live on a monthly cycle. I am here to teach you the basics of the hormonal cycle you go through each month. Little sidenote: external factors such as stress, sleep and general health can also play a role in intensity of the mentioned effects of the hormones.
Menstruation (day 1-7)
I am going to start off with the most popular phase for most women ;). The week that is known for its days filled with cramps and back pain (unless you're lucky). Estrogen and progesterone are the two main female hormones that will make you happy to the right extent. And because these levels are both very low in this phase, it can lead to fatigue, moodiness and irritation. It is important to not ask too much from yourself, especially on physical terms. So adjust your workout intensity for example and just take time for your body to rest (add some extra hours of sleep whenever this is possible!)
Follicular phase (Day 1-13)
But good news! In the follicular phase it gets better every day. The hormone estrogen increases and you could start to notice an overall better mood. Estrogen helps you feel energized and confident, promotes a healthy libido, mental sharpness and additionally promotes better skin, so bye bye hormonal acne. This is the perfect time to be productive, get things done and plan social activities.
Ovulation (day 14)
This is the shortest phase where a peak in estrogen takes place and progesterone starts to slowly increase a little. All the mental effects that take place in the follicular phase are on its peak while ovulating. Which can lead to an increased sense of attraction and confidence. This is just like the follicular phase, a good time to get things done and participate in social activities.
Luteal phase (day 15-30)
This is personally my least favorite phase to be honest. The hormone estrogen that made us so happy before, now decreases while the hormone progesterone takes over. This is a huge hormonal switch which may lead to things such as mood swings, anxiety, seeing things in more of a negative daylight and sometimes PMS (premenstrual symptoms). How you will react to the hormone progesterone is different for each woman, on some women it has a calming effect and on some women it has a negative effect. When it has a negative effect I advise you to focus on your emotional well being. It’s also the perfect time to take your mind off by going to the gym (or whatever works as a stress relief for you). Keep in mind that working out produces happy hormones: endorphins, serotonin and dopamine! So, perfect to compensate.