If you use your body cycles, you will be able to be more successful at college this semester. No, I don’t mean to use your bicycle. I’m talking about your body cycles. So, I’m sure you’re asking right now, what in the world does this mean?
Body cycles are the cycles that your body goes through that repeat over and over. There are many types of cycles. Some have to do with male and female hormones. Some have to do with circadian rhythms. Whichever they are, they can really make or break your success in college.
1. Women’s menstrual cycle. This is a big one. Do you know how long your menstrual cycle is? Do you know when your next menstrual cycle will begin? This is very useful information to know. Personally, the day or so before my menstrual cycle, I tend to get very emotional. By knowing ahead of time what day or days this will happen, I can do many things. I can avoid making any decisions during that period, and can try to lay low and not cause a scene if I get upset about something. I will know ahead of time that the strong emotions I feel are simply based on the menstrual cycle, and I can gain control over the situation.
It also happens that the first day or two of my monthly menstrual cycle, I experience not only great pain, but also problems focusing and concentrating. So, if I know when this is coming, I can avoid scheduling tests or other events that take a great deal of thought.
The best thing to do is to write down when your cycle begins and ends for about a six month period, and then you will know how many days your cycle is. You can’t just assume that if it comes on the 6th this month, that it will come that same day the next month. This is especially true because some months have more days in them than others. Some women have 28 day cycles, while other women have 30 day cycles. Find out yours. If yours is really 28 days every cycle, you will be able to predict months out when it’s coming. You can avoid scheduling important college dates on the times when you will not be your best self.
2. Circadian rhythm or body clock. Are you a night owl? Do you rise with the roosters? Does your body follow the 24 hour circadian rhythm that most do? If you are a night owl, you can use this information to help you with college. You can schedule your courses in the afternoon and evening, and avoid early morning drama. Also, if you tend to go on a longer than 24 hour clock, you can use this knowledge to help you. If your body seems to run for 48 hours before getting tired, then take classes on Monday, Wednesday and Friday so you can sleep Tuesday and Thursday evenings extra time, etc. Although the general rule is that we work on a 24 hour clock, some people may work better adjusting this schedule a bit.
3. Hormonal cycles. There are also cycles of different hormones that take place. I find that once every three months, I tend to feel more energized for about a week or two, and in higher spirits. My hair and nails tend to grow more at this same time. If you pay really close attention, you can find different hormonal cycles of your own in your body. You can start to predict when you will be at your peak during the year. Keep a calendar for a year where you write down different things you notice about yourself, such as more energy. Then, use this information to schedule extra events. You can also assume in general that you will be less likely to get sick during a more energized state like this. (Of course, this does take time to figure out- but it’s worth it!)
4. Other cycles. You may notice other types of cycles as well. It may be that towards the end of each month, or every 30 days, you tend to feel tired and worn down. Or, every two months you have a day where you feel sick on your stomach. Get to know these cycles, so that you can avoid certain events and tests when you’re not going to be your best.
The number of cycles our body experiences has yet to be discovered. I believe research over the years will show us more and more how the body really works on all types of cycles to regulate itself and stay healthy. Our genes and DNA have codes that we don’t even know about yet! If you really get to know your body, you can be ahead of science and find out how to work at your peak. Then, you ‘ll have an incredibly successful time at college, because you’ll schedule things when you are at your best, and avoid things when you’re feeling off. Try it, and you’ll be surprised how much more you have to offer!