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Productivity and People who Menstruate

Updated: Jul 6

I'll start with a personal anecdote: a few years ago, at 25, I experienced my first burnout. It was a dark and challenging time, and I felt like I had hit a wall. I didn't understand why I was so exhausted and overwhelmed all the time, and I didn't know how to get out of the vicious cycle.

Around the same time, I started experiencing hormonal imbalances after a birth control injection left me in shambles, and I felt like I had lost control of my body and mind. That's when I began researching the menstrual cycle and how it affects women's productivity and overall livelihood. I discovered that hormonal imbalances could cause various symptoms that affect productivity, including fatigue, brain fog, and mood swings. It made sense to me why I felt so drained and unable to focus. But it also gave me hope that I could retake control of my body and that there was a way to work with my natural rhythms to boost my productivity. That's when I discovered the concept of cycle syncing. The first book I read was Alisa Vitti's " in the flo" when I tell you this book was a game changer, I feel like a veil was lifted.

Cycle syncing is the idea that women's bodies go through different phases during their menstrual cycle and that each phase is associated with varying levels of energy, moods, and productivity levels. You can maximize your energy and productivity by syncing your activities and tasks with your natural cycle. For example, during the ovulatory phase, like your inner summer, you tend to have high energy levels and a natural confidence boost. This is a great time to take on big projects, network, and tackle challenging tasks. On the other hand, during the luteal phase, which is like your inner fall, you may feel more introspective and focused on detail-oriented tasks. This is an excellent time to plan, organize, and wrap up loose ends. Learning about cycle syncing and applying it to my life has made an enormous difference. I feel like I'm finally in control of my body and productivity. And I know I'm not alone - many women are discovering the power of cycle syncing and are ditching the pill to reconnect with their natural rhythms.

This is why I created Sanza_cycle on Instagram because I do think that a lot of women are not privy to this information. There are already a few voices on the issue, but people that look like me and have my values might not have access to this information, so I thought I would add my voice and my specific point of view. Some of the issues I stand for might also be controversial to the feminine audience that usually costumes these types of content. So, why is this issue dear to me? Because I know firsthand how debilitating hormonal imbalances and burnout can be. But I also know that there is a solution that empowers women to work with their bodies instead of against them. And that is something that I believe we all should strive for - to embrace our natural rhythms and unleash our full potential. Studies have shown recently that hormonal changes throughout the menstrual cycle can impact cognitive function, memory, attention, and mood.

One study published in the journal "Brain Research" found that women had reduced verbal fluency, cognitive flexibility, and working memory during the menstrual cycle compared to the post-menstrual phase. Another study published in the "Journal of Women's Health" found that women who experience premenstrual syndrome (PMS) reported significantly lower work productivity and increased absenteeism. Furthermore, research has shown that women who use hormonal birth control may experience even more significant impacts on their productivity due to the artificial regulation of their hormonal cycles. One study published in the "Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine" found that women who used hormonal contraception reported more presenteeism (being physically present but performing poorly) and increased sick leave compared to women who did not use hormonal contraception.

Fortunately, there is a growing movement of women who are ditching hormonal birth control and instead using natural methods such as cycle syncing to harness the power of their menstrual cycle. Cycle syncing involves adjusting your diet, exercise, and work schedule to align with the hormonal changes of each phase of the menstrual cycle. By doing so, women can optimize their energy, focus, and productivity throughout the month. If you want to go off the pill, I suggest you read " beyond the pill" by D Jolene Brighten.

Personally, cycle syncing has been a game-changer for me. I have improved my overall health, managed my hormonal imbalances, and increased my productivity by tuning in to my body's natural rhythms and adjusting my habits accordingly. I still have a long way to go, but I no longer feel overwhelmed and exhausted all the time, just sometimes, and those times it makes sense to be overwhelmed, and I can perform personally and professionally at my best. As more research emerges on the link between menstrual cycles and productivity, I hope to see more workplaces become aware of this issue and offer support and accommodations for people who experience hormonal imbalances. Doing so can create a more inclusive and supportive work environment for everyone. Well, thanks for coming to my ted talk. See y'all later.

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