If you've come to believe the myth that your period hurts you at work, Alisa Vitti is here to bust it. As a functional nutritionist, founder of the period-tracking app MyFLO, and author of WomanCode, she's discovered that your period can actually help your career — if you know how to take advantage of it. Each phase of your cycle makes you more inclined toward a particular type of task, and by indulging these inclinations, you can drastically increase your productivity.
You often hear "hormonal" used as an insult to women on their periods, but the truth is that people of all genders are hormonal all the time — and that can be a good thing, Vitti tells Bustle. Depending on what's going on with our hormones, they can help us connect with people, brainstorm ideas, and do a whole bunch of other things that benefit our work.
"When you play to your strengths, you can get more stuff done at home and at work," says Vitti. "The first thing is to get your period straight." Vitti recommends using a period-tracking app to figure out where you are in your cycle. Her online health center Flo Living will also help you get regular periods so you can use this knowledge. Once you become aware of your phases, here's how you can use each one to your advantage at work, according to Vitti.
Follicular Phase: Project Planning
As your estrogen starts to increase, you're going to want to start working on something new. So give in to the urge to daydream and think about what you can work on next to move your career forward.
Ovulatory Phase: Networking
As your estrogen spikes, stimulating the verbal and social centers of your brain, you'll be at your most charismatic. This is a good time to slot in meetings, whiteboard ideas with your time, ask for raises or promotions, and go to networking events.
Luteal Phase: Completing Tasks
As your progesterone rises, you'll be extra capable of staying focused and determined to get things done. Before you start a new project, focus on finishing what you set out to do in the follicular phase.
Menstrual Phase: Evaluation
Your period increases cross-hemisphere communication, which makes you better at synthesizing facts, says Vitti. So, it's a good time to evaluate a project, your performance, or whether you even want to be at your job in the first place.
Despite what we've been told, "Your hormones don't make you deficient in any way in any week," says Vitti. "But you are more inclined because of the input of these hormones to be in the mood to do different things at different times."
By working with these fluctuations, we can be more efficient and having less stress on the body, she says. And that's what we all want, isn't it?