Using your Female Hormones to Biohack your Mental Health – Part 4

By: Ashley Carter Youngblood March 7, 2024 no comments

Using your Female Hormones to Biohack your Mental Health – Part 4

This article series was written for Southwest’s Michigan “Moxie Magazine” (formerly Women’s Lifestyle Magazine). You can read Part 3 of this 4-part series here.

Author’s Note: I reference “femaleness” and gender in this article series. There is a diverse interpretation of how to understand what a “female body” is. If you feel “female,” rock it! Regardless of sex assigned at birth, gender, gender expression, or anything similar, we all have the sex hormones of estrogen, testosterone, and progesterone and inputs from other related glands (e.g. Thyroid). Admittedly, this article will be most helpful to those whose bodies are menstruating. However, even for bodies who have not, cannot, or are done menstruating, you can still learn about how the different phases affect a female body to help support other loved ones or help you better understand the behavior of others. Even if you are not, cannot, or are done menstruating, some women find it empowering to use other cycles, like phases of the moon, to unleash their inner fierce cyclical female goddess. Do what works for you!

What To Do

By this point, at article 4 in this series about female hormones and mental health, you may be overwhelmed. That is okay. We have covered a lot. And, unfortunately, all of this information is likely new to you. So, we have a lot to wrap our heads around. If you are not sure where to start with your research, check out Alisa Vitti’s website to find the specific science supporting this understanding of the female experience. You can also find great mood and symptom trackers as apps or templates online if you are ready to start getting down to helping your female hormones work for you.

In the meantime, there is no need to be overwhelmed because now I am going to help integrate all of this information into measurable steps to help you reach your ideal mental health.

In your Menstrual Phase: The theme here is awareness, observation, and patience. In this phase and perhaps even the one before it, you will feel physically gross. You will likely hate everyone or think everyone hates you. But, ride it out. Just be aware and notice what you are feeling. Don’t make any big decisions because you are not at your most objective during this phase.  

Instead, rest. Don’t feel guilty for doing so. And, don’t get caught up in the vicious cycle of self-criticism if you don’t feel up to something. Your body, mind, and spirit need rest. Listen to Her without judgment. Get in touch with your inner Goddess as you are deeply connected to this intuitive divine energy.

In your Follicular Phase: Get creative. Schedule those hard workouts. Chances are you will feel up to it all. So, do all the things!

In your Ovulatory Phase: First things first. If you are trying to avoid getting pregnant and are sexually active with a male partner, use protection. Other than that, go be your social self. Lean into how your body and hormones are working for you, chica! Embrace your bad self!

In your Luteal Phase: It’s all about boundaries. The first part of this longest phase of your cycle may have you still feeling energized and eager. Great. Follow that energy. However, in the second part of this phase, give yourself permission to start slowing down. Your body and spirit are craving a reduction in speed for a reason. And, don’t beat yourself up if you feel like you just can’t get enough to eat. Our bodies can need hundreds of more calories during this phase.

Be Like the Weather

In summary, biohacking your mental health using your female hormones is about being like the weather: change. Allow yourself to understand the season you are in and adapt to what is required during that time. You are not snowplowing in the Summer and you are not trying to pick apples in the Spring. So, keep track of your mood, physical symptoms, and interests. I can guarantee that you will begin to notice patterns and it will help you to better understand yourself and anticipate and meet your needs better, leading to a happier and healthier you.

This change may be frustrating to you. I get it. We want to be consistent and know what to predict. We want to feel good all the time. However, you can either fight these cycles or embrace and learn from them. The Fall isn’t mad that it’s Fall after all, is it? So, why should you be sending yourself bad vibes about something you simply can’t control?

Much of what I do in therapy is helping people to use their knowledge of how their brain and body works to their advantage. Biohacking does not have to be complicated. In fact, it is really simple. You can outsmart your brain and hormones when you do not feel your best by understanding these phases and best supporting yourself with what you have to offer in them.

I know you can do it. Go try. Listen to yourself. Embrace change. Go change your life. It is about time we stopped being resentful of our hormonal shifts and get them to work for us.

~Ashley Carter Youngblood, LMSW, LMFT, CIMHP, CNRC, ADS, NNP

Ashley Carter Youngblood is a licensed Clinical Social Worker, licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Certified Integrative Mental Health Professional, Certified Nutrition Recovery Coach, Acupuncture Detoxification Specialist, and a Nutrition Network who has been in the field since 2007. She offers counseling at her woman-owned and -operated business, Inner Peace Counseling, PLC, for those in Kalamazoo, Portage, Mattawan, Battle Creek, Paw Paw, and the surrounding areas of Southwest Michigan. She is passionate about her work with clients, whether it’s providing traditional individual counseling, life coaching, acupuncture, or Amino Acid Therapy for mental health symptoms. Her specialties include holistic healing, counseling for women, anxiety, nutritional interventions for mental health, and support for Highly Sensitive People/Empaths.

I welcome you to contact me or leave any questions or feedback you have about this post. Please keep in mind that the above information is the opinion of an individual, should not be considered medical advice/treatment, and is for entertainment/educational purposes only. I write these blogs as an expression of my passion for wellness and with the hope to be able to help as many people as possible. So, for more information about how to safely navigate this website and to what terms you are agreeing upon use, visit my Disclaimer page. And, as always, if you are experiencing an emergency, contact 911 or present yourself to your nearest emergency room.

Thanks for reading.

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