Go with the flow

Person handing a sanitary pad to another person.

Periods and productivity – two peas in a pod.

How is it that, almost a decade later, have I only discovered that the whole extent of my menstrual cycle plays a part in affecting my productivity levels? You’re telling me I’ve been wondering why it’s so hard for me to get out of bed while I’m on my period was because my body is telling me to relax a little? Man, it could’ve saved me a lot of self-loathing for not being productive had I known this earlier. 

I learnt this on TikTok (I know, not the most reliable platform but I did my fact checking, ok) a couple of months ago – that your period and hormones play a huge part in regulating your productivity levels, and how you can use them to your advantage. So, we know the menstrual cycle extends pretty much the entire month from the day you bleed, to the day you stop bleeding, to the days after that and the days leading up to the bleeding again. It varies for every women. 

And in those phases, your hormones fluctuate. So, here’s what I do during those times, specifically the menstruation and ovulation phase. 

Menstruation phase
Let’s start with the one that's most associated with periods – the menstruation phase. Unsurprisingly, your productivity levels are at its lowest here as progesterone dips. Here’s when I feel (and honestly, look) the most horrible with cramps and back pains constantly coming at me, and my hormonal acne at its peak. I just want to hit do not disturb and stay in bed with the company of my comfort movies. I like to call it my bed, bleed and beyond phase.

According to Healthline, this is the best time for some self-TLC. For the past couple of months, I’ve really been trying to take it slow during my menstruation phase. Of course, it’s sometimes hard to do so because my schedule still runs as usual but doing the little things should do the trick. 

I took more breaks in between tasks and tried to call in an early night as much as I could. Also being a little kinder to myself. I try not to talk down on myself about my lack of productivity and the way my body and face looks during this time. 

Ovulation phase 
The total opposite of the menstruation phase – the light at the end of the tunnel, the scene where the protagonist gets back up on its feet for victory. That’s what the ovulation phase feels like to me. Well past the bleeding and crying, your energy levels are at its highest here with estrogen and testosterone both reaching its peak. 

I can tell too that I’m feeling a lot more productive around this time because I always feel like I want to do more. So, I’ll say yes to going out more, to spending more time channelling my creativity, and to trying new things. With productivity levels shooting through the roof, I also try to put in an extra effort with my studies!

Knowing this has not only been amazing for my productivity but more importantly, my mental health. Like I said, it has saved me a lot of self-loathing as I now understand better what my body wants me to do!

Tagged in What messes with your head, periods, menstruation, Productivity