Does it seem like sometimes you are this amazing woman who has it all together and then all of a sudden – often overnight – things completely go to pieces?
It’s as though you have two personalities. One is a loving, stable and competent woman who feels good in her own skin.
But then there’s a she-wolf who will tear you apart if you set her off. In this mode, we feel angry, anxious, depressed, irritable, tired, bloated and hungry. All at the same time.
It’s in this state that we are dangerous. One wrong word or look and we can snap.
For the most part, society explains our moodiness as PMS and hormonal imbalances that need to be corrected, but there’s more to it than that. Your mood changes throughout the month for reasons related to fertility and having babies.
It’s in our nature to have ups and downs.
The good news is that our moods actually follow a predictable pattern every month and, when you understand and embrace the changes, our moods can be a source of creativity, power, intuition and guidance.
Learning to recognize our monthly mood patterns helps us in so many ways:
- We’ll have better relationships.
- We’ll know the best time of the month to tap into our creativity.
- We’ll know when to plan social events or big presentations.
- We’ll know when we are more attractive to others.
- We’ll know when we are better off staying home curled up on the couch watching TV and enjoying our own company.
- We’ll know when to ask for extra help with chores and children.
- We’ll know when to expect a dip in motivation and what times of the month we’ll feel more tired.
In this article, you’ll learn to identify not only when you will feel your best, but also which days you are going to feel less than optimal – possibly even fierce. Your mood, energy and motivation are going to rise and fall every month and when you work with your natural rhythms, life feels so much better.
Your Venus Week
Your Venus Week is your peak week – the time of the month when you feel your best.
I was first introduced to this concept years ago when I read a book called “The Venus Week: Discover The Powerful Secret Of Your Cycle” by Rebecca Booth, M.D (highly recommended reading for all women!). Most women know that at a certain time of the month they feel miserable (we usually call it PMS). But what you may not know is that there’s also a time during the month when you feel way better than usual. Rebecca Booth calls this your “Venus Week.”
Your Venus Week happens during the pre-ovulatory period – the 5 to 7 days before and the day of ovulation. If you track your cycle you’ll be able to identify this time as your “fertile days”. If you don’t track your cycle, and assuming you have a regular cycle, your fertile days will probably start a few days after your period and last up to ovulation.
Nature wants to facilitate you getting pregnant during this fertile time so there are some subtle changes that make you more attractive to others but also make you feel fantastic. In particular, peaking levels of estrogen and testosterone make you feel great.
Studies have found that during your fertile period and ovulation:
- Others find you more attractive.
- Your voice changes and sounds more attractive to others. (One possible mechanism is that your hormones act on your larynx to create these changes).
- Your natural scent may increase testosterone in your mate. For example, one study found that males smelling the shirt of an ovulating woman had higher testosterone levels.
- Your libido increases.
- Your skin is more clear and hydrated.
- You’re more likely to choose a man based in his physical attractiveness at this time, rather than his potential to be a good partner and father.
- You’re more flirty than other times of the month.
- You’re more likely to choose revealing clothing or dress to impress others.
- You feel an increased motivation to manage your attractiveness and weight so you eat less (based on this finding, I’d guess you feel more motivated to go to the gym as well).
- Your appetite is reduced and you have fewer cravings.
Your Venus Week is essentially your “peak week” during the month. Since the research shows that you’ll be more confident, social and able to positively influence people’s impression of you it makes it a great time to:
- attend or host important events
- give presentations
- hold important meetings
- negotiate with someone
- have a first date
- spend quality time with your partner.
After ovulation we move into a different phase of the cycle where life can feel pretty rotten sometimes. However, if you understand what is happening during this stage of your cycle, there’s some pretty cool things about it too.
Your Fierce Time
Your Fierce Time is an opportunity to tap into your inner knowing and practice self-care.
We mostly associate the second half of our cycle (after ovulation) with PMS and feeling tired, hungry and bloated. However, I want to put a positive spin on this time of the month because too often we think negatively about it and we feel guilty for how we act. The changes in your mood during this part of your cycle happen for a reason and can be a source of guidance and intuition if you learn to work with your body instead of against it.
That’s why I’ve decided to call this time of the month your “Fierce Time.” During this time of the month you are more reflective, intuitive, and solitary. You’re more in touch with what you want in life. However, this is also a time when if pushed, you might bite. Especially if you haven’t been looking after yourself.
I love how Dr Christian Northrup, an internationally recognized OB/GYN physician and women’s health advocate, describes this stage of the menstrual cycle:
“The luteal phase, from ovulation until the onset of menstruation, is when women are most in tune with their inner knowing and with what isn’t working in their lives.”
Over the years I’ve actually started looking forward to my Fierce Time. Somehow I feel stronger during this time. More willing to stand on my own two feet and fight for what I want in life.
Yes I’ll be more emotional and tired – especially if I’ve had a stressful month – but I’ll also be more fierce and independent.
So why do our moods change at this time of the month?
During this stage, which happens after ovulation, your hormones change in such a way that would help your body nurture a pregnancy. These changing hormones make you feel different than you did in the lead up to ovulation. If everything is in balance, rising progesterone has a calming effect. One of the roles of progesterone is to make sure there isn’t too much excitement going on in your brain. However, for many of us imbalances in our estrogen and progesterone can make this a difficult time. Studies also show that feel-good endorphins and dopamine are higher before and during ovulation. When they fall after ovulation, along with estrogen, you can feel pretty emotional.
No matter what we do, our moods are going to change in the second half of our cycle. It’s in our nature.
Here’s how you know your Fierce Time has started:
- Your basal body temperature rises (after ovulation, your body temperature rises and if you use natural fertility tracking, you’ll know when this happens each month).
- You are suddenly annoyed by everything and everyone.
- You feel like being alone.
- You question your life, relationships and/or career.
- You are more sensitive, anxious, tired and hungry.
- You find yourself acting irrationally but you can’t stop.
- You cry easily.
- You lack motivation and it takes way more effort to get to the gym and eat well.
- You may have more skin breakouts and water retention.
Putting It Into Practice
When I first heard about the Venus Week, it was sort of like learning I have a superpower. If there’s a time of the month when others perceive me as more attractive and competent – without me doing anything at all – then I should take advantage of it.
Hopefully you’ll now start making the most of your own Venus Week and approach your Fierce Time with curiosity for what your intuition has to say. Slow down during your Fierce Time and spend some time alone. This is the best way to get in touch with your “inner knowing.”
We women are complex beings. No matter what we do, our moods are going to change. We have beautiful monthly rhythms that are driven by nature.
If we work with these rhythms we enjoy more fully what it means to be a woman. Life tends to feel a lot better too!