Today I’m talking about how I sync my work and social calendar with my menstrual cycle. This has changed my business, my productivity, and how I feel throughout the month. Let’s dive in!
In this episode Allie discusses:
- How the world operates in cycles
- What is cycle-syncing
- How she syncs her cycle with her work and calendar
- What her workflow looks like in each phase of her cycle
Mentioned in this Episode:
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Mom life. We’re surrounded by the message that it’s the tired life. The no-time-for-myself life. The hard life. We’re supposed to get through it. Survive. Cling on by the last little thread. And at the same time, Carpe Diem—enjoy every moment because it’s going to go by so fast. The typical mom culture that sends us all kinds of mixed, typically negative messages. We shouldn’t take care of ourselves; it’s selfish. The more ragged you run yourself, the bigger your badge of honor. But also, ditch your mom bod and work out. Don’t yell. Make more money. Show up. Be better, but not at the expense of time with your kids. I am putting a hard stop to all of this. While being a mom, running a business, and whatever else you might have going on is hard, it is a lot and there’s lots of giving of yourself, the idea that motherhood means living a joyless, nonstop-hustle-with-zero-balance kind of life, where you give and give and give and never take, needs to stop.
I’m on a mission to help you stop counting down the minutes till bedtime (at least most days). Stop the mom guilt and shame game. Stop cleaning up after your kids’ childhood and start being present for it. I want to help you thrive in work, home and life. I believe in John 10:10 that we are called to living an abundant life and I know moms are not excluded from that promise. Join me in conversations about simplicity, some business and life hacks, spirituality and lots of other good stuff that leads to a life of less for the sake of enjoying more in your motherhood. I’m Allie Casazza and this is The Purpose Show.
Hello, my friend! Welcome to another episode of The Purpose Show podcast. Today we’re talking about something that I never really thought I would talk about. Not that I’m afraid to talk about it, but a few years ago if somebody would have told me that I would record an episode like this, I’d be so confused.
But I’ve really come such a long way when it comes to how I live, what is important to me, respecting myself, and honoring my body. It’s been such a journey. It’s been a huge part of the weight release process that I went through last year and into this year.
As my body ebbs and flows I’m learning to just allow my body to be what it needs to be, allow it to respond to stress, allow it to respond to pain, allow it to respond to what I’m eating, and removing the good and the bad labels around everything.
I have just become more in tune. It’s made me a better person. It’s helped me be more productive in my day because I’m resting, which is such a paradox. But that’s really part of the beauty of life and I’ve learned so much.
So, here I am sitting at my desk, recording an episode on how I sync my work, and really my life, with my menstrual cycle. It’s helping me win. It’s helping me be better. It’s helping me perform better in all the different roles in my life. It’s helping me feel better.
It’s made my cycle so much lighter and easier to deal with. Some of you may know that I have been diagnosed with PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) since I was 17 years old and it has been a huge part of my life because it demanded it. It took over my life really.
Over the last couple of years, I’ve been working with my body and working with the PCOS. I don’t want to take that on as an identity because according to my last blood work and how my body has been feeling, I don’t have symptoms of PCOS anymore, which is great.
All I’ve done is just really naturally take care of myself, listen to my body, and sync my life with my cycle rather than having it be this inconvenient thing that I shove into the rest of my life and push through.
One of the things that I’ve learned is that cycles are natural. Not just menstrual cycles, although they are, but everything is sort of naturally cyclical. The seasons, the moon’s phases go in a cycle.
Our day goes in a cycle. It’s naturally in a cycle of being awake and sleeping, the sun rising and then the moon rising. All cycles have differentiation, including our menstrual cycles. They have ebbs and flows. That’s what makes them cycles.
They’re not the same all the time. It’s winter and then it’s spring, then it’s summer then fall and then it’s winter again. Then the cycle starts over and we follow that cycle. We just accept it. It is what it is.
Everything in nature, everything in our world, really, is cyclical. During the summer we play outside more or go to the ocean or the lake. We wear bathing suits. We take a break from school. We do summer things. But we don’t just do those summer things all the time.
There are seasons where we pause and do different things based on the cycle of nature and what season it is, and that rejuvenates our energy. It’s why we get so excited about summertime coming soon because it’s been so long since it was with us.
It’s why we get sick of summer and want fall to come, and our kids go back to school. We want the holidays to be over so we can experience the fresh start of the New Year because we’re ready for it.
We’re synced to this natural cycle. The natural cycle of the seasons helps keep us restored, balanced, happy. It’s just the natural order of things.
And yet, in modern society there are so many things that are not like that. There is so much that is just all the time. That is very cycle-less. It’s almost anti cycle in a lot of ways.
One of the biggest things that I see this in and we can all agree on is how we work. Typically, you go to a job 9-5, five days a week, maybe more, maybe less, depending. Or if you’re a business owner, you work whatever days you’ve set and you can set your own schedule. Maybe you decide you work Saturday through Thursday, or you go ahead and do Monday through Friday while the kids are in school, but you get to end your day early and spend time with your kids or whatever.
We do these things all the time. We work all the time. If you’re a stay at home parent and that is the nature of your work, you take care of your big to-do list at home and in your life every day, without considering any cycles. It just has to keep going and things have to get done, so you just keep going all the time and there is no cycle in the art of what you’re doing every day.
Because we live on this naturally cyclical planet and we are naturally cyclical beings, it makes sense that we would wear out. Our culture sends us messages all the time that wearing out is a problem. That it’s weak. That it’s unproductive and inconvenient.
There are tons of life hacks and products designed to keep us going when our minds and bodies are really needing a cycle and are naturally wearing thin and needing a rest. There are energy drinks, productivity methods, coffee drinks, supplements, substances. It’s an endless list of things designed to turn us into the Energizer Bunny rather than encouraging us to listen to our bodies and work with them instead of seeing them as an enemy, an inconvenience, and forcing ourselves to keep going.
The message is always Get more done. Keep going. That’s how you win. Rest is weak. There is no time to listen to your body. And I bought into that for many years.
Before I started my business, I was a stay at home mom. When my first child Bella was about six months old I became a stay at home parent and I was in that role until Bella was about seven. I think that’s when I started my business. In both roles, being a stay at home mom and being a work at home mom, I bought into that for a lot of time. And specifically when I started my business.
Before that I battled with depression. I really, really struggled. There was a lot that went into that, but definitely a big part of it was just me not allowing myself to breathe and not listening to my body and allowing myself to rest. I was always going, always performing to be a good mom, and really never, ever gave myself a freaking break.
Then when I started my business it turned into—I’ve got to go. I’ve got to hustle. We’ve got to get out of this place we’re in, out of this financial bind we’re in. I’ve got to make it. No rest for the weary. You’ve got to keep going.
And that turned into severe adrenal fatigue. The doctor I saw said that it was the most extreme adrenal fatigue she had seen without the person not being able to walk around and live. I was barely living. I was having extreme problems.
I could not stay awake. I was having liver problems from all the things I was ingesting in my body to get through the day and keep going. I was having kidney problems. My body was starting to shut down.
I was getting crazy migraines all the time. I was taking meds to keep going. My body was shouting at me with hormone problems, issues with my menstrual cycle, teeth issues. I was getting strep throat all the time. It was just weird, crazy stuff in every part of my body.
I truly believe the body keeps the score. My body was holding on to all of this push, push, push energy. It was trying to shout a message at me that how I was living wasn’t working. That was the result for me when I was working like this.
I am so grateful for my body now because I used to be so annoyed at it. But what I realized was that if it wasn’t for those messages it was sending me and all the issues that were coming up, I wouldn’t have been forced to go and deal with it.
And then I wouldn’t have come across all the different people, resources, healers and things that helped me learn and see that my body is telling me something. I wouldn’t have learned to work with my body. I wouldn’t have learned to slow down. That’s a very broad summary of my journey.
But then, enter the cycle-syncing. It’s something that I learned about a couple of years ago, but didn’t start implementing until the end of 2020, maybe earlier than that, maybe a year ago, somewhere in there. I really just went all in on it. I don’t even remember what it was that got me to do that.
I’m a really intuitive person. I go with my gut. I’ll get kind of like a download that something needs to happen or a move needs to be made in my business, or I need to make a decision, and I will just follow it because it’s always right.
I just decided to do it and it’s been so good. It’s been so transformative for me. Cycle-syncing makes so much sense because you’re going back to the natural cycles in nature. You’re going with the natural cycle in your body, which as a woman is so a part of your power.
Like I said, a minute ago, the body truly does keep the score. It is safe to listen to it and let it make a lot of your decisions and lead the way in things, like how you work. It would make sense that that would really aid you in your life and in your career.
In fact, we have to listen to our bodies. If we don’t now, eventually they will demand that we do, and that’s not going to be fun. It’s not going to be pretty. And it may be too late in a lot of ways. I know that’s not what any of us want.
When I decided to go all in with cycle-syncing, it was a little awkward because my team is such a big part of my schedule. And when you cycle-sync, the biggest part of that in my experience is your calendar, what you’re doing, and how you’re spending your time.
I basically held a meeting on Voxer. I just got everyone together in the room and shared that this is something that I’m learning and this is something that I’m going to do. I shared how it works and walked them through the steps, and just shared it with everyone.
We had this conversation and some of my team were like, Okay. Some were like, What? Oh my gosh, this is so crazy. I’ve never heard of this. Tell me more.
We had this conversation about it and got on the same page. It just was what it was. And I was just like, Yep, this is what we’re doing. Thanks.
At that point, my whole team (well, not my whole team, but the ones that help schedule, which I’d say it was about four different people) had access to my period, my cycle, and how things go. It’s absolutely changed me as a person.
It’s changed my business. It’s changed my productivity. I feel so much more rested all the time, even when I’m not in a rest period of my cycle. I feel more energized when I’m supposed to be energetic. I feel more restful when I’m resting. I feel rested when I’m energetic. It’s just really, really, really good.
I’m going to dive in and explain how I sync my schedule to my cycle. Specifically, I’m going to talk about my work. I do this outside of work. I do this with social engagements anytime I can.
Obviously, for example, in a few months I’m going to be going to a wedding and it’s actually at a really relaxing time in my cycle that I normally would be staying home resting, reading, doing laptop work, but I’ll be traveling and going to a wedding.
I want to go to that wedding. It’s important to me and Brian and it’s fine. I’m not going to be like, Sorry, I’m going to be bleeding. I’m not going to go that far and be that weird about it.
But ideally, I am syncing my life with my cycle and working with my body. And if there’s a situation where I can’t, or if I’m choosing not to because something else is more important like that wedding, then I will support myself. I will, as I’ve talked about on the podcast before, work from a place of rest, or be out and about, be social, from a place of rest and supporting myself.
Maybe giving myself a little bit of time off from exercise that week and doing more meditation, yoga, and bringing in some supplements that help ease discomfort during my period. I’ll just take care of myself and also have a blast at the wedding.
It doesn’t have to be extreme. It doesn’t mean that certain times you never do anything and you’re anti-social, almost like overly babying yourself or anything. It’s not like that. It’s just to support you.
I’m going to go into how I did that, then I’ll go into what my workflow looks like now in terms of my cycle, and give some specific examples for each phase in a woman’s cycle. Before I do that though, I just want to give a quick note on what to do if you do not have a regular period, if your cycle is irregular. First of all, I think the biggest tool for so many different things, but especially for things like this, is to journal.
I would recommend getting a journal that’s just for this. Leave it out on the counter when you’re home, bring it with you in your bag, open an iPhone note or whatever in your phone. Do something so that you’re going to be keeping track. Notice how you feel.
Do you notice that there’s a week where you’re really, really just on edge? Maybe your anxiety increases? You’re irritable? You’re really tired? You’re cranky? You feel like you need a nap? You’re kind of dragging and you feel like you need an extra cup of coffee? Make note of that. How many days did that last?
Do you feel worse the next week? Or do you feel better? How many weeks out of the month do you feel like you tend to be more high energy? What is going on in you and your moods? Notice for I would say at least three months. Is there a cycle to that?
I’m going to give another suggestion, but I think it’s really good to track yourself. Just because you don’t actually have a period every 28 days or whatever that’s cyclical doesn’t mean that you are not in a cycle of your energy and how you’re feeling.
The other suggestion that I always recommend when I talk about this is to put yourself on a 4-week or 30-day cycle. My cycle is actually 30-32 days. It’s not exact. It’s within a couple of days. If I didn’t have a regular period, I would put myself on a 30-day cycle. I would say, Here’s 30 days, so every month, this is what I’m doing each week. I would cycle myself.
I don’t have anything to back this up, but when I’m reading about cycle-syncing, I have read that a lot of women do that for themselves. They begin to give themselves a cycle, journal and notice how they’re feeling.
They put themselves in a 30-day cycle, which by deciding what their 30 days is going to look like, they’re honoring their bodies, they’re resting, they are more balanced and often their period will return to a healthy, regular, cyclical state. It’s worth a shot, right?
Here’s how I sync my work to my cycle. The first thing I did was I used my period app to get super clear on my cycle. Any period app will do. Whatever you use to track, or if you don’t track, get an app and start to track when you start your period. The day you start bleeding is day one of your cycle. Keep track for a few months and just kind of watch and see so that you have that data.
I’ve been tracking my period for a really long time, so I had lots of data to plan off of. I just had to study it a bit. From there I created a new calendar within my Google calendar. If you use Google calendar then you can add calendars within your whole Google calendar.
My Google calendar has my work schedule, Team Allie’s schedule, my cycle. I have multiple calendars within my calendar and I can toggle them on and off, depending on how much I want to see when I’m looking at the screen.
I started a new calendar in Google that was called Allie’s Cycle. I matched each phase of my cycle. So follicular phase, luteal phase, ovulation phase, premenstrual phase, and menstrual phase. I matched each phase of my cycle to my Google calendar within a day or two of wiggle room just to accommodate for that wiggle room that’s naturally in my cycle or any delays. Sometimes if I travel, my period will delay a bit or start early or have some changes.
Then what I did was in each phase I put short descriptions of expectations for each phase so that my team would know what to schedule for me during which phase, what to expect from me, et cetera.
For the follicular phase, it’s very high creativity, strategizing, dreaming, so I put tasks that I would be doing, or if my team needs something from me that falls under that category, that is a great time of my cycle to put it on my calendar, to put it in my task list and ask me to get that done.
It’s me letting the team know that I’m now working in a cycle, so whenever there’s a task like this to be done, this is a really great time of my cycle to go ahead and ask me for that.
And it’s helpful for them too, because I’m more likely to get it done when I’m in that phase. I’m more likely to not only get it done, but make it awesome when I’m in a phase of my cycle that is supporting that task or aligning with it.
It’s a detail that you can add into your life that feels dramatic and kind of over the top, but actually once you start doing it and you start to feel the difference in how you feel, you can not believe that you lived without this for so long. I started doing this with work and then I started doing it with social stuff. It’s changed my life and I’m never going back.
Once I got everything organized in Google calendar, I shared the Allie’s Cycle Calendar with my whole team or the team members that it mattered, and we worked together to begin to align my schedule with my cycle over the course of a month or two, because obviously some things were already scheduled and we didn’t start canceling stuff and getting really intense about it. We just eased into it.
Over the course of 4-8 weeks, it was matched up. My calendar was matched with my cycle and it was great. Now, this is so normal. Everyone on my team mentions my cycle offhand and it’s fine. It’s awesome. I feel so supported and they do too, because they’re not guessing if this is a good day to schedule this.
I feel like when you are running a team, the team loves clarity, so my team has clarity. They have clarity on when to schedule things. They have clarity on what mood I’m going to be in and what’s going to be the best thing for me to do.
They have clarity on when to put making videos on my calendars for my energy to be really high to make the videos great, or when I should be recording podcast episodes. It supports the mission, the message. It supports everybody trying to get this message out to women.
I’m going to go into what my workflow actually looks like for each phase. This is a section where you may want to take some notes or come back and listen and take notes because it’s so, so helpful. We’re going to start with a follicular phase.
Everyone is different. This is why I would encourage you to track in an app when your cycle starts and ends, and how you’re feeling during each phase. It’s so much more helpful for you if you can keep track of things and know for you how you’re feeling.
During the follicular phase, there’s more mental energy for me. This is a time for me to quietly create sales strategies, work on my vision board, make monthly plans, and go over calendars. This is laptop work, creating, visionary kind of stuff.
The luteal phase, this is more energy for me. I am physically energized. I increase the intensity of my workouts during this time. This is when I’m more social. For some people it is the opposite. You’ve got to know yourself and learn about yourself if you don’t already know.
For me, the luteal phase is a long phase. This is when I’m creating plans. I’m writing and recording podcast episodes. I am interviewing guests. I’m showing up. I’m editing content, emails, and posts.
I’m creating courses and programs. I’m writing if I’m writing a book at the time. This is deep work. This is high energy. I will tend to work a little bit longer days.
My work days are pretty short in general because that is what I need and that’s what works for me. But if I’m going to go a little longer or pick up my laptop on a Sunday because I feel like it, it’s going to be in the luteal phase for me or the ovulation phase, which is next.
The ovulation phase is very energetic for me. I become magnetic and excited. I’m extra social. I’m ready to freaking go. Luteal phase is pretty good, but ovulation is ready to go. This is when I’m batching social media content and making reels and going live.
I’m holding team meetings and leading my people. I’m doing coaching calls if I have a one-on-one business client. If I’m doing a group mastermind, this is when the monthly call would be.
This is when I do webinars. This is when I’ll be a podcast guest or batch my own episodes. That’s really high energy. It’s not a very long phase, but it’s really, really high energy. We value that phase a lot.
And then finally, I’m going to batch these two together: premenstrual and menstrual phase. Premenstrual for me is the worst. I don’t want to use negative words and I just did, but it’s the most difficult for me to work. It was like this before, but now that I’m aware of it I just obviously notice it so much more.
I am dragging my feet. I am exhausted. The simplest things make me feel so depleted and so tired. I feel like I need a nap every single day.
I’m in a bad mood. I don’t feel like myself. This would really not be a great time for me to go live. It would not be a great time for me to be doing a webinar or something that’s very high touch and high energy.
This is a time where I’m resting. My calendar is pretty much empty this one week every month. I’m banking up energy that’s going to last me the rest of the month.
This is a time for me to reflect on numbers and results, to meditate, pray, ask for guidance, do deep journal work. I get very spiritual.
I’ll take yoga classes. I’m not very social. I don’t talk to my team very much. I’m off the grid a little bit. I just take a break. I take some days off and I just rest.
That really leads into the menstrual phase because the first couple of days of my period are so intense still. I have a pretty heavy flow. I feel really tired.
But then the middle end of my menstrual phase, I’m good to go. I’m starting to get energetic. I’m good.
That’s really how we do it. Remember, it’s not perfect for me. There are things that come up or that I decide to do. It doesn’t need to be this thing that I’m crazy perfectionistic about at all. I’m really not. It doesn’t need to be like that.
The point is that I’m learning to work with my body, which has been such a huge part of my journey over the last couple years, especially in the last 12 months. I’m honoring my body. I’m listening to that natural cycle.
And because of that, I’m more productive. I get more done. I tend to make more connections. I make more connections in my work and my business. I may be showing up less now, but when I am showing up, it’s really, really worth it and it’s really good.
I’m still on Instagram, doing my favorite things, and sharing every day. But the type of work is shifting and evolving and I’m not pooping out. I normally burn out a few times a year and have to tell my team that I need a break and I haven’t.
I wrote a book and have been doing all this crazy stuff and I just haven’t. I’m telling you it’s because I cycle-sync. It is a game changer.
If there’s one thing that I can tell you about wellness to start doing right now, it’s a toss up between this and drinking more water. Those are game changers.
I got asked so much about this on Instagram when I hinted about it and everyone asked for an episode, so here you guys go. I hope this is eye-opening. I hope it’s helpful.
There are so many books and resources on this. I know there are a lot of people that talk about this. There are a couple people that this is their niche. They exclusively talk about it. Do your research and see what floats your boat.
But I know that when I talk about things it’s just different and some people really resonate with that, so I definitely wanted to throw my hat in the ring and share how I do this. I feel like it’s pretty simplified and not as complicated as some people that have taught it that I’ve read about.
It just works. It makes my life easier. It makes my life simpler. It makes running my business simpler. It makes running my teams simpler. It’s easier for Brian to help run my life, my business, my photos, everything that he’s running and for us to run our family on our social calendar.
It’s been really, really good. I have absolutely nothing negative to say about it. And when you have something like that, you share it.
I hope this was helpful. I love you guys so much. Cheers to syncing those cycles.
Thanks so much for hanging out with me! In case you didn’t know, there’s actually an exclusive community that’s been created solely for the purpose of continuing discussions around The Purpose Show episodes. It’s designed to get you to actually take action and make the positive changes that we talk about here. I want you to go and be a part of it. To do that, go to alliecasazza.com/facebookgroup.
Thank you so much for tuning in! If you’d like to learn more about me, how I can help you, how you can implement all these things and more into your life to make it simpler, better, and more abundant, head to alliecasazza.com. There are free downloads, online courses, programs, and other resources to help you create the life you really want.
I am always rooting for you, friend! See you next time! I’m Allie Casazza and this is The Purpose Show.
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