In December 2018, I called 911 not once, not twice, but three times.
The most memorable time was when we had friends over for a holiday party. It was the end of the night, and most people had left. My daughter, barely four months old, slept in my bedroom in her bassinet. I walked in and smelt the pungent smell of gas. I thought of my tiny, fragile baby sleeping in a room with a gas leak, and I went into Mama Bear mode. I made sure she was breathing and healthy, I moved her into the crib in her room, and I called 911.
Three firefighters showed up at my house. They detected gas and called the gas company. They sat down at the crumb sprinkled card table we used as a kids’ table during the party. They sat with the crumbs for almost two hours. And in the end, there was no gas leak.
A child accidentally turned the knob on our stove, and gas leaked for a few minutes during the party. Somehow, that gas leaked into our bedroom.
I knew about the leaking stove. I turned it off during the party. But I was far too stressed to think clearly. My second child turned me into a stress monster. This parenting thing is hard. Adding all of the holiday to-dos to the wavering tower of stuff I had to do, caused it all to crash down – right on top of the poor firefighters who came to my house for nothing, and me.
I vowed not to let this happen ever again. I would prepare for the holidays as early as October and enjoy the holiday season from now on. And I did pretty well last year. I didn’t even call 911 once.
This year I plan to optimize. I’m going to use my natural energy from my hormone cycle to get things done when I’m most prepared to do them.
The Natural Hormone Cycle
Our natural hormone fluctuations follow a project life cycle, and we should use this to our advantage!
- High-level planning: What do we want to get done? What should we focus on? Make these decisions during the menstrual phase.
- Come up with specific ideas: How will we do what we planned? We’re most creative during the follicular phase, which allows us to come up with the best ideas.
- Talk to people about the plan and get feedback: You will be the most social during ovulation, and getting feedback will be the most fun during the ovulatory phase.
- Follow-through: Now get to work and do what you planned to do, using the feedback you received during ovulation. During the luteal phase, you’ll turn inwards and feel the need to complete projects.
How Does this Relate to the Holidays?
There are so many extra things to do during the holidays! When we plan around our energy, these tasks feel easier and more manageable. Most holiday tasks aren’t a full project, which is great because we can jump right in, no matter where we are in our cycle!
The two sides of your brain communicate best during your period. You are optimized to do some high-level planning. Use it to your advantage.
- Think about what has worked in previous years and what has not. We want to recreate the good and plan something new to avoid the bad.
- Write a list of all of the holiday things to do this year during the holidays. And then focus on what is most important to you.
- Holiday gift planning. Who will we see? Who needs a gift? (Don’t worry, what to give is coming up!)
- Plan meals and decide who will be responsible for different tasks at Thanksgiving and Christmas/Hanukkah.
- Determine what we’re responsible for this holiday season. Give deadlines and figure out everything we need to buy. I don’t know about you, but I do not want to rush to the store in a pandemic during the holidays!
- And last, because the pandemic is our reality, we need to think about what will be different this year. How can we make sure this holiday season is as memorable as others?
After your period and before ovulation is the best time to do creative tasks. You’ll find you come up with better ideas. Use the creative energy to your advantage.
- Now is the time to come up with gift ideas. It will be a lot easier to think about during the follicular phase.
- Make any homemade gifts
- Decorate for Thanksgiving and the winter holiday season
- Design holiday cards
- Come up with elf on the shelf ideas!
You’re magnetic right now! This phase is your time to shine as a social butterfly.
- If you plan a party (OK, this is 2020, a small get together), plan it during this phase
- Visit family members you won’t be able to see in a large group
- Talk to your family about what is most important for them during the holiday season
- See holiday light displays with your family
After ovulation and before your period is the luteal phase, and the longest phase of your cycle. You feel like completing projects, and you have about two weeks to do it.
- Buy the presents
- Make your holiday card list, and address the envelopes
- Buy postage stamps
- Bake holiday cookies
- Buy anything you need for the holiday season
- Follow through on the things you planned to do!
Making the Holiday Season Easy
I do not plan to have any firefighters sitting at my empty kids’ table this year. Planning for the holidays before they come will help, but using my natural energy to do what’s easy will make the season fun this year! I’d love to hear if this works for you. Stay in touch and join my list. I’ll even send you a free daily planning checklist that will help you use your cycle energy to your advantage all year long.