• Nadja Eriksson

How to Prevent Burn-Out and Fatigue by Life-Hacking Your Moon Cycle

Updated: 14 hours ago


December was a hot mess. I felt so close to burn-out.


Tired before I got out of bed, I had at least one latte a day. Okay, maybe two, which is A LOT. Cos you know who gets the jitters from coffee? Uhuuum.


As a result, I’d get more stressed and snap at people (more than the usual PMS snappiness my husband has to endure at times).


While my body and Big She (which I call my intuition or my soul being) were calling me to rest, the ego was pushing. GO, GO, GO! You have to finish all this work before the holidays, or the world is going to end!


But wait, there's more.


Two nights before Christmas, we found out that our landlord had put our house on the market. We’d asked to buy from him directly, and selling didn’t even occur to him before that innocent question. But family ties don't matter -- he's just in it for the money.


The same night, my in-laws had the glorious idea to usher all their “children” (including me) onto a treasure hunt. On a cold, rainy night. You gotta be kidding me. Wasn’t searching for gifts an Easter tradition?


Apparently not. In Sweden, they do this stuff for Christmas.


Cussing in the drizzling rain, I trodded along. Until I couldn’t hold it in anymore. Hot tears started pressing into my eyes. I hurried back to the house, where Mama Bear stopped me from hiding in the bathroom and held me to her bosom until I managed to stop sobbing.


My chill, tuned-in, confident self had left the building.


I’d stopped walking my talk. I worked during my period (something I promised myself to NOT do). I ignored winter’s call for rest and stillness. I did not dare to communicate important boundaries to our family.


So I morphed into a bitchy monster.


Until my body forced me to stop, and I finally surrendered to the call for deep rest and stillness.


My only new year’s resolution? Heed nature’s seasons and cycles. There’s so much wisdom in it. Tune in. Listen. Honor HER guidance.


Did you know that your body goes through a mini-year every month, reflecting all four seasons through your menstrual cycle?


When I first read about this in Sara Avant Stover's book, The Way of The Happy Woman, I was intrigued. Once I applied it, my life changed forever.


Here's what I learned.


As women, our nature is deeply cyclical. And since our bodies are part of mother nature, our monthly menstrual cycle reflects her seasons. When we align and connect with nature, we thrive.


Unfortunately, most of us have forgotten her ancient wisdom. Instead, we value masculine go over feminine flow.


We chose male role models because we believe that to be as successful as men, we have to be more like them.


In the long term, however, this is exhausting for the female nervous system. A lifestyle only focused on go-energy can lead to burn-out, anxiety, and depression, problems that affect women twice as much as men.


Even if you are not on the verge of burn-out, you are still running the risk of feeling tired, over-worked, and drained. Your zest for life disappears, and your inner light dims.


Plus, increased stress hormones lead to more cravings for sugar and other fast carbohydrates that can make you gain weight. Do you feel in your full power when you suffer from stress and weight gain?


Welp, I don't.


Let's break this cycle-thing down so you can understand exactly how it applies to your work and career.


Let's start with spring, the season of new life, regeneration, and vitality. Your body is just beginning to breed a new egg in your ovaries, and you feel fresh and vital.


This is a great time to start projects, implement new ideas, and design your schedule. The energy usually rises continuously around this time of the month, and you may feel almost euphoric.


Allow yourself to follow this life force and let your creativity run wild. Plant new seeds of inspiration that will be harvested later during summer and fall.


Be creative: write, teach, plan, and strategize, follow your joy and inspiration. You can even put fresh flowers on your desk to remind yourself of the energy of spring.


Summer is a time for celebration and extroversion. In your body, this means ovulation time. While you may experience a small dip in energy the day you ovulate, your overall vitality should now be at its peak.


It's time to go full throttle in life and in business. Enjoy your strength and have fun!


Schedule all your important meetings and tasks around this literal spring- and summertime. It is now you will feel most confident and strong.


This is the perfect time for public speaking, sales pitches, salary negotiations, or difficult conversations.


Next up is autumn, the season of letting go. PMS (Pre-Menstrual Syndrome) is coming up. This can cause your hormones to get a bit out of whack, and you may feel emotionally unstable.


However, once you have learned to deal with strong emotions such as anger or sadness, you can find the gold in it. PMS can become your best friend if you appreciate her message. She lets you know when your boundaries are crossed, so listen to your body.


Use the wisdom of this time by getting out your journal. Instead of stumbling into heated arguments, write about all the things that upset you.


Gather your insights and postpone the tough conversations until springtime returns to your body.


Finally, we enter the deep rest and stillness of winter. When you look at nature, there's silence. The animals are either in hibernation or have flown south. The trees are naked. Nature slumbers while dreaming of spring.


This is your monthly bleeding or, if you have stopped bleeding, post-menopause. It is a time of silent contemplation, dreaming, and inner visioning.


In some Asian countries, women take time off from work during their periods to rest and recharge their batteries.


In ancient Judaism, women were not allowed to work during the first three days of their period. Instead, they all gathered in a so-called red tent, where they told stories, enjoyed sweet treats, or rested and daydreamed together.


If you can't afford the luxury of taking 1-3 days off during your period, give yourself a little extra self-love. Bring a thermos of hot ginger tea to work, or wrap yourself in a cozy cashmere scarf when you're at your desk.


Concentrate on routine tasks and assume a slightly slower pace. Delegate and take your time to rest more. Take space for rest and reflection after work.


Your intuition speaks loudest at this time of the month. Make the most of it by listening to these inner hunches. If you pay attention, you will receive gifts in the form of new ideas, inspiration, and creativity. But wait with implementation until after your period, when the new energy inspires you to be full of life again.


Follow your body's guidance, and you will know when it is time to venture out into the world again. If you are unsure about your cycles, pay attention to your body.


There are great apps for tracking this.


My favorite is called Clue. It notifies you of your upcoming ovulation, PMS, and period. You can even get a forecast for several months. This makes scheduling effortless.


I even add my PMS week and period to my Google Calendar. This is how I keep from becoming a bitchy monster. Whenever I listen to my body and follow her needs, I stay sane and loving year-round (and my husband thanks me for it!).


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Website design and copy by Nadja Eriksson. Portraits by Jan Dahlqvist.

 

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