Periods and productivity. It’s important to understand the different phases of your menstrual cycle, and how to use that to their advantage to be more productive at work. It’s not just a case of having your period, and not having your period. There are 4 distinct seasons.
In the 3rd episode of the Females in Tech Show, we talk about the perception society has about periods, and how women are charging through life, acting like men.
Tamara shares an example of when she didn’t honour her menstrual cycle, and how her body started to shut down as a result. She provides an overview of the 4 seasons of your menstrual cycle, and the superpowers women possess in each season.
We also talk about how women can sync their work schedule to align with their monthly cycle.
Women represent 47.0% of all employed persons in Australia1 and 46.9% of the total labor force in the USA2 so there are clear benefits to organisations if their female employees are more productive. To that end, men have just as much to get out of this podcast as women do, particularly male executives looking to build high-performance teams.
Here’s an overview of what we cover:
- The perception society has about periods: (7:05)
- Example of when Tamara did not honour her menstrual cycle, and what happened to her body: (12:59)
- Overview of the 4 seasons of your menstrual cycle, and the superpowers women possess in each season – this is a biggie!: (16:19)
- Feminine and Masculine energy, and how to play to these strengths during your cycle: (25:15)
- How women can sync their work schedule to align with their monthly cycle: (29:55)
- And so much more!
- How women can boost productivity by harnessing their monthly cycle
- Love Your Lady Landscape: Trust Your Gut, Care for ‘Down There’ and Reclaim Your Fierce and Feminine SHE Power (Lisa Lister)
- Code Red: Know Your Flow, Unlock Your Super Powers and Create a Bloody Amazing Life. Period. (Lisa Lister)
- Open Wide: A Radically Real Guide to Deep Love, Rocking Relationships, and Soulful Sex (Melissa Ambrosini)
- About Bloody Time: The Menstrual Revolution We Have to Have (Karen Pickering and Jane Bennett)
- Flo period app
- Joel Norton
- View a full transcript of the podcast at the bottom of the page, or download a PDF version here.
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1 Gender workplace statistics at a glance 2018-19 (August 2019), Workplace Gender Equality Agency, Australian Government
2 Women in the Workforce – United States: Quick Take (Jun 2019), Catalyst.org
Tamara: This is episode number three on periods and productivity. Welcome to the Females in Tech Show where we help women in tech to live a balanced and purposeful life through a career in information technology.
My name is Tamara and I am the founder of FIIT Collective. In this podcast I’ll explore the challenges females face working in a corporate environment and how to overcome them. Beyond technology, I will also dive deep into self-care practices, how they can improve your physical and mental wellbeing and the importance of balancing work and relationships for sustainable and rewarding career.
Joining me in today’s episode is my loving partner Joel Norton. Joel Is an entrepreneurial executive with 30 years’ experience in data driven marketing and in empowering businesses to achieve customer centric digital transformation. He is the founder and CEO of a conversion rate optimization consultancy helping established entrepreneurs to increase sales and sustainably grow their influence to serve more people.
Joel is also a great supporter and advocate for women in tech, which is why he’ll be joining me in the first season of the females in tech show to share his perspective as a male.
Tamara: In today’s episode, we cover the perception society has on periods. Why women are charging through life like a male. An example of when I didn’t honour my menstrual cycle and what happened. A deep dive into the four seasons of your cycle. The superpowers in each season – this is a biggie. How I map out my workday based on where I am on my cycle, the feminine and masculine energy and how to play to these strengths during your cycle. How women can start syncing their workday in alignment of their cycle and so much more.
Tamara: Hey Handsome.
Joel: Hello Beautiful. How are you?
Tamara: I’m really good, thank you. How are you?
Joel: Very excited to be recording our third podcast.
Tamara: It is very exciting.
Joel: Can you believe it?
Tamara: No, but it’s super exciting. I love doing this with you.
Joel: Yeah, me too. Before we kick into it, tell me what are three things you’re grateful for today?
Tamara: I love this question. You and I do this every morning and every night.
This morning I am super grateful it is such a beautiful day in Sydney but like we spoke this morning, it is a little bit confronting because it’s generally not this warm during Winter. So that is a sign of global warming. That said, I am very grateful it’s warm even though I’ve got a jumper on this morning. The sun and the light does make me feel a whole lot more energized and more alive and ready to record this podcast.
The second thing is definitely our delicious breakfast. I absolutely love our homemade baked beans on sourdough. It is so delicious. Thank you Jessica Sepel for your amazing recipe and I’m super grateful for this weekend. We have had such a productive weekend and had a lot of quality time, well, the definition of quality time in my eyes, which is working on FIIT Collective. So very grateful that it’s been super productive and it’s been awesome.
What about yourself?
Joel: Three things, well, for me. I’m super grateful to be doing life with you Beautiful.
Tamara: Aww. Oh, you’re getting emotional.
Joel: I love you so much. And, I love doing life with you. We had a pretty busy day yesterday but overall, I love working with you and love everything about our relationship. So, thank you for choosing me and thank you for choosing to do life with me.
Tamara: Thank you. I love you too handsome.
Joel: Second thing is that I’m grateful for a productive day yesterday. So, we both worked on FIIT Collective, but I also had an opportunity to work on my own business as well. I’m spending a lot of time, doing some preparation for my new website to promote that.
And the third thing I’m grateful for is that, we have been go, go, go. But you also recognized this morning that we needed to have a little bit of time out so we could have some time together. So, I’m really grateful for that, because last night before we went to bed, we had drawn up a schedule for today and it was very military, right 7:55am do this, do this, do this, do this. And it was all mapped out for the day. But we did take the time out for a little bit to be together. So, I’m really grateful for that as well. So, thank you.
Tamara: Yeah. And if you haven’t listened to the previous podcast, that is all about work life balance. That’s just a true example of being flexible and tuning in and really understanding what it is that you and your partner need. So, if you haven’t listened to it, make sure you listen to it. It’s an epic podcast.
Joel: That’s episode number two.
Tamara: It is. I’m sure you get a lot out of it. Okay, awesome. Should we get started?
Joel: Yeah, absolutely. What are we talking about today?
Tamara: One of my favourite topics.
Joel: Mine too actually.
Tamara: Really? Oh, I love that you love this topic. So, we are talking about periods today.
Joel: Periods and productivity.
Tamara: Yes, yes, definitely. Periods and productivity. And how women can understand more about the different phases in their cycle and how to use that to their advantage to be more productive at work.
Joel: I would add men as well. So how women and men can learn more about, menstrual cycle and how you can get the most out of, well what women can get the most out of their superpowers.
Tamara: I love the superpowers. There are so many superpowers. I’m super excited to share this with you all today. Both men and women. Like you mentioned before, men have just as much to get out of this podcast as women do.
Joel: Yeah, absolutely. Not just in the work life area but I think also personally in their relationships. But we won’t cover too much of that today. But I think it’s really important.
So, I’ve got some more stats.
Tamara: Look at you, I love this.
Joel: Okay. So, I think… I’ve just jumped right in there, but I thought it was important to reflect.
Actually, you start, because I know you’re quite passionate about this bit so you start and then I’ll jump in later.
Tamara: Okay. So yeah, I think we’re in a really interesting era. We have more and more women entering into the workforce, which is absolutely unbelievable. But, as a society, the perception of periods has shifted.
It used to be this really sacred experience and a lot of cultures really nurtured that time, whereas now it’s seen as taboo, dirty and shameful, which is really devastating in a way. And as a result, women who have entered into the workforce are charging through life, acting like a men because, if we don’t, it’s another reason for society to give us an excuse as why we don’t deserve equal rights and equal pay. And we must think, act and behave like a male to be able to be equal to males.
It’s really heartbreaking that we’re not able to take the time to rest, and if we do, we’ve been led to believe that this is a sign of weakness. And even when it is encouraged, I’m so guilty of that, females typically get stuck in a world of comparison, because if another female can charge through their period, then so should we, and I say should, because that’s, something internally that a female may or may not believe.
In the end, when we hit those times of promotion. With my current work, there’s two slots in the year that you can apply for a promotion. We don’t want the way that we handle our period to affect whether we are, or are not going to get a promotion. As a result, females are really reaching to these stimulants and medications to be able to cover these painful periods, which is really not the way to go.
Joel: I agree. If you take a step back, because you talked about obviously that females living in a male world, which is different to the Cyndi Lauper song living in a material world, but you’re living in a male world and the repercussions of that is that it’s always on. It’s go, go, go, go, go, go.
If you reflect back, and this is where I got some stats, but if you look back, I think the industrial revolution, which was around 1763 to 1820, all around manufacturing and factory workers. And women were starting to, albeit a small proportion, women were a part of that industrial revolution and that was a very different time. It’s very much bundy in, bundy out time cards, working early, probably 7am-3pm or 7am-5pm, whatever it might be. But, very regimented. It was industrial.
Then you’ve got the different World Wars. World War I, around 1914 to 1918, then you’ve got World War II, which was 1939 to 1945. During those periods, obviously men were fighting, but women were also called in to replace the men back home, doing a lot of things.
You’ve got those things and I think the issue you’re talking about really is, a combination of both men and women, because as there has been the various stages for equality, for women to have equality, women were gradually being introduced into the workforce. But then assuming the same work practices because they wanted that, well in some instances they may not have, they were forced to work for different reasons, but as women and wanting to have that right to work, they just assumed the work practices which were very male dominated and designed because of the wars and the industrial revolution that led before it.
Nothing has actually changed. Fast forward to where we are now to 2019, almost 2020, nothing’s really changed in the way that people do business. So yes, we’ve got technology and we’ve sort of gone beyond the industrial revolution, but I mean look at our education system, all that stuff is still very much in the past, suited for that. And part of that also is our work practices are very much also in the past as well. So, whilst there are some businesses that are having more flexible work arrangements and there is some change, generally speaking, everyone’s treated the same. There is no recognition or understanding of female cycles.
Tamara: Yeah. And I think, for so long we’ve only known this certain way of working, which has been very much a male’s world. And we haven’t unleashed the powers of the female and acknowledged we are so different, and we have so much more to offer if our cycle is taken into account, because we have different superpowers in each phase of that cycle.
The point is no one’s to blame in this situation. I don’t want people leaving saying, oh men are to blame that we don’t have equal rights and equal pay. Females have just a big part, as much as males do, because we often just do what we need to do to get through, and haven’t had the best history of standing up and saying, well, no, actually this isn’t OK. We are in this era today where females are standing up and things are starting to shift.
I’d like to give an example, how I have shifted from, being a Type A personality, always go, go, go mode and how that’s negatively affected me in the workplace.
Before I understood the different phases in my menstrual cycle, I was in go, go, go mode all the time. I still sometimes am…
Joel: It’s very goal orientated. And Yeah, very strong and big goals, big dreams and very driven by that.
Tamara: Exactly. And that’s okay. But it’s very hard for me to slow down and I acknowledge that. And I vividly recall this one time in my life where I was managing eight different projects. I was posting on FIIT Collective and Tamara Johanna every single day, I was going to the gym three times a week. I was getting up at 4:15 AM and during the month I felt okay. I felt really motivated. I felt really determined. Maybe I was a little tired, but I didn’t realize that I was out of sync with my cycle. And it wasn’t until my first day of bleeding, and you probably recall what had happened to me.
I was in excruciating pain. I was in tears. Ponstan, a painkiller for period pain, wasn’t helping at all. I had my head in the toilet, not that I actually vomited, but I felt so nauseated. I was seriously not okay. And my period was heavier than ever. I would have to change my tampon every five minutes. It was really, really bad. And as a result, I had to take the day off. But guess what? I still worked. Which is nothing against my manager. It’s nothing against my current workplace. I just thought I would get so far behind if I didn’t work through that time.
When we, when women start to understand the different phases like I have during the last two years. And how you use that to your advantage? You do go into a state of flow and really beautiful things start to happen, and you do unleash these creative powers that you never knew existed.
Joel: Yeah, well I think there are those seasons. We call them seasons because there’s four of them. Just like the seasons we have, in the world. And to be honest, as we’ve been educating ourselves on this for the last couple of years, amongst a whole lot of other things, speaking personally, I was always thought it wasn’t a season but basically you have your period, or you don’t have your period.
You’ve got a period, those three to five days where you’re bleeding, and then you’ve got the rest of the month. But as we’ve learnt over the last 18 months or so, there are these four very distinct cycles or seasons that a woman has. And understanding the nuances of that over the course of a month is really important. And as you say is, very powerful.
Tamara: Exactly. So, should we dive deep into what those seasons are?
Joel: Sounds great.
Tamara: Awesome, so let’s first start off with the pre-ovulation stage, which is, typically called Spring.
This is the first phase in your cycle, and it occurs around days 7 to 13, when you’ve just finished your bleeding essentially. You’re coming out of Winter and you’ve got increased levels of estrogen and serotonin, so you’re typically more upbeat.
In this phase, your superpowers are, a really great time where you should schedule big presentations or meetings, your memory, logic and reasoning are just absolutely skyrocketing. You have the drive and determination to really make things happen and you’re in the mood to work longer hours. You have renewed stamina and you have the energy for really high endurance exercise. You have that powerhouse for creativity. You feel fearless and you want to be seen and heard, and you’re better at taking risks. So that’s what Spring is typically all about.
Tamara: Then you’ve got your ovulation time, which is your Summer, which is probably every female’s favourite time typically. And that’s your second phase of your cycle, around days 13 to 21.
This is when your egg is released into your ovaries, and a time where you’re most likely to get pregnant, and your estrogen and testosterone are reaching its highest peaks during this phase. So, your confidence is at an all-time high. You’re in go, go, go mode and you’re really ready to socialize. So, the superpowers within this phase is, you’re taking things less personally because you feel invincible. You’re most captivating and persuasive, you take on the world superwoman style, your job performance and KPIs are at an all-time high. And whatever you desire, you can really make happen during this time.
Tamara: Then you’ve got your pre-menstruation time. So, this is your Autumn and this is the third phase of your cycle. So, this is roughly day 23 to when you start to bleed.
This is where you first start to experience withdrawal from estrogen and testosterone and progesterone, and typically a decrease in estrogen increases your levels of anxiety and tears. And in this time, if your partner starts to irritate you, he or she is about to get fully acquainted. And with the decrease in progesterone, you’re pretty much crying about anything. And then the lower levels of testosterone is really making you self-doubt all of your knowledge, and your appearance. So, it’s really no wonder why so many females really don’t like this time of the month. But, it’s sort of ironic because that’s where I am right now. So, Joel, do you want to enlighten the audience on what happened to me this morning.
Joel: Or should we finish the last season first?
Tamara: Okay. So, let’s go into the superpowers of the Autumn phase. So, this is, really where your intuition is really strong and it gives you the ability to make really big decisions. It gives you the ability to give really constructive feedback and that process is a whole lot easier for you. You can move through really hard creative blocks. You are super organized and you ease your way through deadlines, and you have the ability to spot problems and have the creative fire to be able to fix them.
Tamara: So, then you’ve got your last stage, which is Winter, which is your fourth phase of your cycle. And its Day one of your bleeding unless you are pregnant.
Your bleeding will last typically from 3 to 8 days and it’s a really great time to honour your bleed, and I know as career women that’s really, really hard with our busy schedules. But even if you can give yourself an hour, to really nurture that experience, it can honestly do wonders for you.
Essentially how women look after themselves during this phase, will tell the story for the rest of their cycle. So, it’s really, really important that you don’t set any deadlines during this phase. The superpowers in the Winter cycle, you’re very, very clear on your purpose. You know which direction you want to take in life. You have the ability to release things that no longer serve you. You’re really restoring your creative and spiritual energy. You’re able to cope with change a lot easier and you have the ability to forgive and forget.
Now with this in mind, I am going to introduce the moon cycle in this phase. We’re not going to go too deep into this, but if you are bleeding when the moon is full, this is typically when you are more creative.
Whereas if you’re bleeding on a new moon, you’re more likely to tune in and revaluate your life and purpose. So, my previous cycle was bleeding on the full moon, which was super interesting because I was really creative, I was writing lots for FIIT Collective. Super inspired by the Females in Tech Show and just had ideas popping out like no tomorrow.
S0 let’s go back to the Autumn phase because it’s quite funny this morning, I have no idea what had happened, but it seriously explains a lot. So, Joel, do you want to enlighten the listeners to what happened?
Joel: We’d had a good morning, had breakfast, and then we were just having a shower and getting ready. And then, all of a sudden, Tamara had about four wardrobe changes, and I was going, what’s going on? Are you okay? Had I done something wrong, have I said anything?
She didn’t know what it was. She just didn’t feel 100%. And it wasn’t until about half an hour later, when we were sitting down to prep for the show and Tamara realised she was in Autumn. And, looking at the scientific side as far as the chemicals that were changing during that period, and what that meant was that you were more teary, and second guessing yourself, and having that anxiety.
I was like, ah, okay. Well that’s all right then.
Tamara: Yeah. And it really shifted my mindset knowing I was in Autumn. I knew Autumn was coming up, but just re-looking at the scientific evidence like you said enabled me to flip the switch and turn on my superpowers. Just having that knowledge, I would jot them down, what your superpowers are in each phase.
Being able to have that awareness, that you as a female, going through massive chemical changes and you as a result, will have a shift in mood, appearance and energy.
Joel: We will get onto charting a little bit later. But we do try and structure, and schedule things around your cycle as best you can. Obviously it does change a little month to month. So, whilst we know that Autumn’s coming up for you, exactly when it’s going to, what day it’s going to fall, it might be a little bit different month to month.
For example, we’re recording this a little bit in advance, as far as the podcast, we’re looking at where the launch is going to be in the next week or two and we timed the launch around your cycle. So that we were planning and scheduling when we’re recording these things based on where you were going to be, and when you are going to have that right energy.
Another example from this morning. Obviously we talked around the situation as far as you getting changed several times. But the flip side of that also was when I talked about how grateful I was that we had this very tight schedule of things to do but because you’re in the Autumn cycle and you’re more adaptable and more flexible, whereas other times of the month you would be, “no… bang, bang, bang, we’ve got to carry on… charge, charge, charge, charge, charge”, because you’re in Autumn, we had that opportunity to actually take a step back, and have that time together before we jump in and do the rest of the day.
Tamara: Yeah. My intuition was high and I could see you needed some downtime and I was able to spot that problem, and as a consequence I was able to fix it and take that time to rest and have some TJN time.
Joel: Thank you Beautiful.
So, we’ve got those four seasons, Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter. Now there’s also an element around feminine and masculine energy. Should we talk a little bit about that. Do you want to explain what those two things are?
Tamara: Yeah, absolutely. You also did forget the moon cycle filter. So, you’ve got the seasons, the moon cycle, so it’s a lot to grasp, but in time you’ll get it.
Then you’ve got the masculine and feminine energy as well. Firstly, I want to note that, women are fluid. We are flow. And when women are connected with their womb, they can show up differently to life. They can have different skillsets, creative ability, and that’s determined according to where they are in the phase of their cycle.
Secondly, the monthly cycle reflects the masculine and feminine energy at different times. Spring and Summer are typically more masculine, and Autumn and Winter are typically more feminine.
Now when we talk about masculine and feminine energy, I don’t mean, when you’re masculine, you’re acting like a dude. Every single person, regardless of their gender, has both masculine and feminine energies and they will flip between the two. So, with Joel and I, when he’s more masculine, I tend to be more feminine and then we’ll swap over. And when we’re both the same energy, we tend to butt heads a little bit.
The masculine energy is very left brain, and this consists of doing a lot of doing so that go, go, go mode, that type A personality. You have a lot of strength. You’re very analytical. You’re goal directed, you’re striving to achieve anything. You’re very mono-tasked. So, you’re focusing on one thing rather than multitasking. You’re very assertive, you’re very organized, logical, busy, disciplined and firm. So, in this stage women are typically big on energy, they’re amped up for logic and really, really intense thinking.
Whereas in the feminine energy, this is very right brain. So, this consists of being open, being flow, being soft, surrendering. You have really high patience levels. You’re very allowing, you’re very intuitive. You’re very creative, nurturing, loving. You’re very good at multitasking during these phases. You’re very loving. So, the feminine phases are often a time for women to really move inwards and really withdraw from the world.
Joel: That’s a lot of different layers there, but as you’ve outlined, when you understand those cycles and those different energies, if you’re conscious and aware of what they are, and if you’re conscious and aware of where you are in that cycle, you can really, this idea around your feminine Super Powers is not unrealistic.
If you understand where you are, and you understand what those powers are, you can really play to it. Play to your strengths.
Tamara: Absolutely. And there’s been times, multiple times, where I’ve been in this state of flow and I’ve been my most creative and I actually used to think that I didn’t have a creative brain in me, which is sort of ironic, but that just shows that I was never in sync with my womb and my cycle.
Joel: Have you got some examples?
Tamara: Yeah, I do. So, when I’ve been in that state of flow, in accordance to my cycle, I’ve achieved things like winning the hackathon. I thought of a really epic app idea that you and I going to launch, we haven’t even started that. So many things on our list of things to do. I would get, 5/5 customer satisfaction ratings at work.
I also have the ability to look at myself in the mirror and adore my body, which I have never ever been able to do. Not even in my fittest when I had a six pack, was I able to look at my body and think, I love my body. And then the last thing I guess is you and I are so much more in sync. You’re able to move according to where I am in the different phases and it’s really a beautiful energy.
Joel: It is. Yeah. I love it. So, I suppose the question then is what can women do?
Tamara: Yeah, so I think we briefly mentioned it before with regards to charting. This really gives females the ability to understand their cycle and sync their hormonal cycle with their work and life responsibilities. You can do this in so many different ways. You’ve got so many different apps. I use Flo, you’ve got your Google calendar or whatever other calendar you have. Joel and I, we sync that and we show where I start each phase. So, whether it’s Summer, Autumn, Winter or Spring.
Joel: And we’ve had various success with that. So, and this highlights the fact that it does change, month to month because we had a Google calendar where we had marked out as far as what the seasons were. But I distinctly remember, some months it might be out by a day or two and I would quite often be saying to Tamara you’ve got whatever season might be coming up, I’d say, Oh, you’re coming into whatever. And she’s like, okay, that’s good. So, she had that understanding, but then I remember one month in particular, it was just so far out, so far out and it just through the whole thing, I was just lost. What do I do now? So, we’ve had to adapt a little bit, but it’s really important to be able to chart that.
Tamara: And that delay can be due to so many different reasons. I had a lot going on back then. I was moving to Sydney. I had a lot of personal stress going on. And I was traveling a lot as well during that time. So those things can affect your cycle massively.
We have resulted in actually having a paper calendar on our fridge where we write in pencil, which is great. We can rub it out if needed, if I am one or two or three days late and adapt, and map out when we are setting my deadlines according to where I am in my cycle.
So, you’ve got your traditional calendar, you’ve got your digital calendar, you’ve got the period app and it’s about really utilising this information to schedule in your appointments and your meetings and where you’re going to be, most likely want to socialise. So really having that visual to understand where you are in those cycles.
Joel: Because there’s times too, there’s a work piece and sometimes we can’t always change what we have on for work. But there’s the social piece as well. So being aware of that and maybe not scheduling something when you’re due to have your period, which I know you’ve done, and being open and honest with your friends. Say, hey, look my periods come on, I really need to be at home in bed and having some downtime rather than going for a four hour walk or whatever it might be.
Tamara: Yeah. And that’s the thing. Sharing is the next big step.
We need to overcome this perception that your period is dirty. It is taboo. Men need to stop closing their ears. When women start talking about periods, women need to feel comfortable of having a pad or a tampon on their desk. So, sharing your cycle, whether it’s with your friends, with your partner, with your colleagues is the next big step. And I really believe that when we start doing this, we’re going to see a massive shift in the amount of innovation and creativity we have in the workplace.
Joel: We talked about honouring those seasons and scheduling work and social engagements and then I suppose this idea around hibernating for Winter. So, you may not be able to have the whole day but if it’s an hour, or whatever it might be, that’s really important. And sharing as well.
So that begs the question, what can men do?
Tamara: Hmm. I think being open to understanding the female body and the different cycles. So, you have been just so great about my cycles. You have helped me slow down and you’re actually interested in where I am in each phase, and how we can be the most productive in each one of those phases, and really serve me and look after me.
So, whether you’re a partner, you can start doing that and having those open conversations because it’s human nature that we get our period. We get it every single month. And it should not be seen as something taboo or dirty.
If you are a male colleague. I would have, a sit-down conversation with a female and see whether they are open to exploring and sharing their cycles. Some females may not be open to that and that is completely okay. But just having that open conversation and say, look, I really want to help you get to your fullest potential. I’ve done a lot of research, I’ve listened to a lot of podcasts and I really think that when we start acknowledging where you are in your cycle, we can start to accelerate your career and know when to, lock in that exam to get your next certificate, or where we should have a project deadline and things like that.
Joel: As best you can. We know that things are sometimes out of your control due to clients or whatever, but where you can, try and schedule the right work during those different periods. Notwithstanding that, the cycle does jump around a little bit.
From my point of view, men, firstly being open to discussing it. I mean I’m probably a bit more open to discussing it than a lot of other men, partly because my mother had a lot of troubles when I was growing up, with her menstruation cycle. She had a very, very heavy bleed every month. And, the hormones that were a major problem for her, specifically being a single Mum bringing up two boys.
She would spend, and she had to, she had no choice, she had to work full time to bring the money for us to survive really. And then she couldn’t have a day off, but then on the weekends and during the Christmas holidays, she would spend the whole time in bed. And that was because she didn’t have the opportunity to be able to honour that. So, that’s partly my background and having a bit more of an understanding around that.
For men being open and discussing it and understanding more about it, and really from a relationship point of view, the more that you can understand that, it will really supercharge and strengthen the relationship you have with your partner.
Obviously we’ve been talking a lot about the business benefits, but also from a relationship point of view, I think it makes you a lot stronger. You’re working more effectively as a team. So, I think that’s really important and that starts with, to be honest, most men are probably quite immature about periods, and that’s really a form of ignorance. So, educate yourself around those different cycles and all the things we’ve been talking about. Work with your partner and honour her. That’s something else I really enjoy doing with you.
Tamara: Mm. Yeah often give me womb massages at different phases in the cycle and really make sure that I rest and look after me, and give me the hot water bottle when I need it.
I also want to make note that women who are in homosexual relationships can also be applying these tools that we’ve spoken about today. If anything, it’s more vital that homosexual relationships are in sync and understand which phase each one of those females, or your partner, is in different stages because if you’re both in Winter at the same time you could clash. So, it’s really having that understanding of those different phases.
Joel: Yes. Well, and it’s probably more likely that they are because as you were saying the other day that even the women you’re working with all seem to be quite synced at the moment as far as your cycles.
Tamara: Yeah. Yeah. It’s funny how that happens.
Joel: Yeah. So where can women learn more?
Tamara: Yeah. We’re no experts, we’re purely talking based on my experience and based on what we’ve identified and read over the last 18 or so months.
There’s a few books that I’ve read, which are absolutely amazing. Lisa Lister she is incredible. She’s written two books, Code Red and Love your Lady Landscape [Full Disclaimer: We receive compensation as an affiliate, at no extra cost to you, if you purchase through these links.].
When you read those books, be open. There’s a few things in there that are a bit woo-woo, but it’s an absolute incredible book to read. It really opens your mind and I am definitely going to try everything that she recommends in that book. It’s a really, really great read.
Open wide by Melissa Ambrosini is another really great read for women [Full Disclaimer: We receive compensation as an affiliate, at no extra cost to you, if you purchase through this link.]. It’s not just about periods, but it’s about loving yourself. It’s about your relationships with your partner. And then of course, your periods as well.
And then there’s the book About Bloody Time, written by Karen Pickering and Jane Bennett. I haven’t actually read this book, but these two women are in my organization currently and we’re looking at changing some of the employee contracts based upon women and their cycles and things like that. So, I am going to read that one, but that would be a good book to read. They’ve done so much research of the positive effects in the workplace when an organisation is acknowledging a female cycle.
Joel: That’s fantastic. That’s great. Just to reinforce, we’re not medical experts on this, or subject matter experts by any means. We’re just sharing our experience and what we’ve learned over the last 18 months, and a lot of that comes from those books, from Melissa Ambrossini and Lisa Lister that you’ve talked about.
I’ve read the Love your Lady Landscape as well. Which I suppose you do need to be open, some people might find it a little bit confronting, but it’s an awesome read. It really is and really digs into a lot more detail than what we’ve touched on today, about the scientific, there’s the cultural pieces, there’s scientific pieces around understanding the different hormones at different times of the month. It’s really enlightening and a great source really to have a better understanding about your cycle, both for females but also their partners as well.
Tamara: Yeah, it’s hilarious too. She writes it so well, I laughed so many times reading that book.
Joel: It is a good read. Yeah. And then, of course the other thing is just the charting and some of those apps, like the one that we use, which is Flo, that’s also quite good I think as far as learning because it prompts you to ask for what the different symptoms are. So, doing that I think also helps you to be more aware.
Tamara: Yeah. And Flo is tracking all of that information so they know when I have a period that is a little bit abnormal and maybe when I should start seeking some medical advice. I thankfully haven’t had that. But they do help you compare to what the, I guess the average standards are.
Joel: They would be collecting data on everybody who uses the app. So yeah, be able to provide a comparison in a good way I suppose.
Tamara: Yeah so, they’re really great resources. If you want to learn more, I highly recommend really learning more about your periods, seeing what works for you. We talked about the different phases, and gave recommendations of what the super powers are, but you might find that you’re a little bit different and that’s completely okay.
Find out what works for you, find out what your superpowers are, and use that to your advantage. No more charging through life like a male. It’s time that females take the next step and unleash their superpowers.
Alright Beautiful. Do have anything else to cover today?
Tamara: I think that’s about it.
Joel: Okay. Well, thank you very much everybody for listening to the Females in Tech Show, and thank you for including me in the journey.
Tamara: Aw, it’s been my pleasure. Thank you, Joel.
Tamara: Thank you for joining me today. If you’d like more information about today’s show, you can read my show notes and any relevant links at FIITCollective.com/3 that’s F, I, I, T, collective.com forward slash three.
I am so grateful for this opportunity to serve the females in tech community and hope you find the information helpful and inspiring. My goal is to inspire you to reach your goals and provide you with the practical tips on how to be the best version of yourself.
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[…] to learn more about how to get aligned with your menstrual cycle, listen to the third episode of The Females in Tech Show, Periods and Productivity. How to Leverage your Monthly […]