health

A step-by-step guide to lifehacking your period.

Comedian/sexual health educator, Lucy Peach, has worked out the secret to using your period for power. Not like electrical power, or woo-woo power, but the kind you can exercise over your whole life; from relationships, to work, productivity, and everything in between.

Speaking to Mia Freedman on Mamamia‘s No Filter podcast, she shared that secret, breaking it down into practical advice on how to harness the hormonal changes that occur in each week of your cycle and use them to your advantage.

“It’s like a lady version of ‘when you’re happy and you know it clap your hands’. It’s just like another lens to look at yourself through and work out what you need and how to get the best out of yourself,” she explained.

Though she said there are many ways to approach the concept, she uses the analogy of the four seasons. Here’s how it works:

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WINTER: The week you start bleeding.

What it means: “All of your hormones are at rock bottom. Your energy levels are a little bit lower. It doesn’t mean you need to spend the week in a onesie, you know, crying over Netflix. It just means you’re a little bit slower a little bit more tender and this is the time to really nurture yourself to really fill up your cup, as it were,” Lucy said.

What you should do: “If you can actually give yourself what you need – even if it’s one hour of true, deep rest – you’re going to get so much more out of yourself for the rest of the month.

“If you get asked to do someone a big favour or start a new project, if you can just put it off for a couple of days, do it. Don’t take on too much especially day one or day two – whatever is your biggest, heaviest day. And also you know everyone we always talk about how we need to meditate and relax, this is the perfect window, because you actually feel more easily able to drop into that sort of dreaminess and that big-picture thinking.”

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SPRING: Getting ready for ovulation.

What it means: Rising oestrogen. “So imagine a bird who’s about to lay an egg and they just want to get their nest just right and everything has got to happen now and in a frenzy,” Lucy said.

“I actually find this is the time when I can feel a little bit anxious, because I’m looking at my to-do list and I’ve got all these things I want to do… I don’t really want to sit and listen to how you feel, [I’m] not as communicative.”

What you should do: Make the most of your energy and single-mindedness; those things that you put off during your period, do them now. “I always say that if you choose not to do something because you’ve got your period you’re not procrastinating you’re prioritising,” Lucy said. “It’s your body’s way of actually trusting that you’ve got this energy rise coming up and you can make the most of it.”

Video by Mamamia

SUMMER: Ovulation.

What it means: “Once your oestrogen is peaked you ovulated and then all of a sudden it’s a little bit softer. You’re still riding high on this on this energy, but you want to collaborate and communicate and cooperate. You have more for other people.”

What you should do: Avoid rash decisions. “This is the time when I always say, ‘Don’t go and look at the greyhound adoption page or put your hand up for being the president of the P&C’, because you’re more likely to make these big-ticket promises, of spreading your love far and wide.”

AUTUMN: The end is nigh.

What it means: “Once you ovulate you start producing progesterone and you’re just swimming in all of these feel-good hormones, and once they start to come down you’re getting ready to let go again, you’re getting ready to do it all over again. And so you’re not emotionally where you were last week, and if you feel pressured to keep that level of generosity up you’re going to feel cranky, you’re going to feel that disconnect between what’s going on in your body and how you’re trying to be in the world.”

What you should do: “When you start to get that fizzy [irritated] feeling, for me, it’s a real reminder that I need to spend some time by myself and I also need to direct some of that critical, creative, crunchy energy onto something that really makes me feel like me… [For you it] could be crocheting, it could be gardening, it could be singing, it could be dancing – it doesn’t matter, and it you don’t need to have an attachment to the outcome. It’s just that you’re spending time with that creative part of yourself.”

For more of Lucy’s period lifehacks, listen to No Filter.

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