That exhausted, depleted, frazzled feeling you have every Friday night (or every night) after work)? Its burnout. And it’s a real, diagnosable condition.That’s according to the World Health Organization (WHO), who last month declared burnout a legitimate occupational phenomenon. Burnout is a result of “chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed,” said the organization, and it negatively influences one’s health.The condition is characterized by three things:
- Feeling depleted or exhausted
- Feeling cynical or negative about one's job, or feeling increased mental distance from one’s job
- Being less effective and productive on the job
This news will come as no surprise to anyone with a demanding job or other workplace stressors, like a difficult boss, unsupportive co-workers, an unhealthy work environment, a long commute, and/or the expectation of “being on” 24-hours a day. As the speed of work picks up, and as more of us work around-the-clock, burnout has become a way of life.But women have a key advantage when it comes to battling back against burnout. We can tap into the natural rhythms of our 28-day hormone cycle and use our natural strengths during each phase to work more efficiently, be more productive (without feeling overburdened), and find more satisfaction—and less stress—in our jobs.
The Hormone-Burnout Connection
The idea that your hormones could help you have an easier and less stressful experience at work might seem far-fetched, but I’m not making this up!Research shows that our hormone cycles have a direct influence on our mood, energy, creativity, and worldview. So when we plan our activities in accordance with the natural flow of our hormones, we can be top-performing, high-achieving women with energy left over at the end of the day—no to-do list app necessary. (Though we benefit greatly from knowing where we are in our cycle, which is what I designed the MyFLO app to help you do.)If, however, we ignore our hormonal patterns and force ourselves to work in a 24-hour-a-day, 7-day-a-week time construct (one that works for men because of their more quotidian hormonal patterns), we’re more likely to experience burnout—and, as women, that chronic stress shows up in our our cycles, fertility, sex drive, and mood. In other words, working the same way, with the same rhythm, day in and day out makes period problems worse… and that prevents us from taking advantage of the solution, which depends on a healthy cycle!It’s a bit circuitous, I know, but that is exactly what it is: a vicious cycle. When we don’t practice The Cycle Syncing Method™, our hormones fall deeper into imbalance—and that makes it harder to use our cycle as a powerful tool for escaping burnout. As women, our strengths, desires, talents, and behavior shifts with our changing hormone patterns each month. Having female hormones does not mean you lose a week a month to PMS and your period. It just means that by noticing these shifts and then working with your hormones, you can make your hormones work for you.
Heal Workplace Stress By Learning To Work With Your Hormones
To harness the power of your hormones, first you need to know what your hormones are doing and when. That’s where the MyFLO app comes in. It allows you track your cycle and tune into which phase you’re in at any given time. Once you’re familiar with your cycle, you’re ready to practice The Cycle Syncing Method™, which is the method I developed for engaging in phase-based self-care. The Cycle Syncing Method™ involves working with food, movement, and time management to feel and perform your best (you can learn more about every aspect of the practice here), but for today I’m going to focus on how you can engage The Cycle Syncing Method™ specifically to battle workplace burnout.Here are the four phases of your 28-day hormone cycle and how you can harness your natural strengths during each one to perform better at work, while stressing less!Follicular Phase
- When: The week after your period ends
- What’s happening hormonally: Estrogen is on the rise
- What to do: Set your intentions for the coming weeks, clarify your vision and purpose at work, organize what you want to accomplish next. Get moving on new projects. This is a time to really lay the groundwork for what comes next.
- When: Mid-cycle for 3–5 days
- What’s happening hormonally: Estrogen is at its highest point
- What to do: Share your intentions with colleagues, collaborate with like-minded folks, schedule meetings, connect with others, brainstorm to find solutions. This is a time to bring others on board with your vision and to work as a team.
- When: About 10–12 days before your period begins
- What’s happening hormonally: Progesterone is at its highest point
- What to do: This is your ‘get it done’ time! You are at your most organized during this phase and you love getting granular about the details. Make this phase all about accomplishing the activities and goals you outlined during your follicular phase.
- When: The days when you are bleeding
- What’s happening hormonally: All of your hormones are at a low point
- What to do: Slow down, reflect on what’s happened over the last month, and practice gratitude for all the good things you’ve accomplished. Think back on any areas of your work life that feel less than optimal or that need more attention and use them as a starting point for setting intentions during your next follicular phase.
I guarantee that if you start to prioritize projects at work in line with your cycle, you will experience less stress and greater productivity. Burnout will no longer be a way of life. And if you really want to transform your work life, you’ll engage the other aspects of The Cycle Syncing Method™ in combination with the changes you make at work. This involves food, movement, supplements, and self-care. If you put all these changes into place, you will be unstoppable at work — and in life!Always remember that once you have the right information about how your body really works, you can start making health choices that finally start to work for you. You can do this—the science of your body is on your side!
Get Actionable Advice in a FLO Coach ConsultationWe believe that no woman should suffer simply because she has a period. And we also know that it’s not always possible to get access to functional and holistic healthcare solutions — sometimes they’re too far away and most of the time they are way too expensive. That’s why we offer phone and Skype consultation sessions with our FLO coaches. In your consultation session, your coach will go over your health history and symptoms, get feedback on any health changes you’ve implemented from our resource library, review your hormone test analysis if applicable, and help you develop a plan of action to solve your symptoms.