Can You Ever Have A Happy Period?
Whoever came up with the slogan “Have a happy period, always” had to have been a guy. And even if he’s as sexy as Don Draper, the dude needs to be punched in the face.
The only time I feel “happy” on my period is when I’m lucky enough to have a day to lie in bed in the dark with a heating pad and a day’s worth of ibuprofen; when my cramps stops feeling like a squirrel is trying to gnaw its way out of my uterus, or when the white placebo pills finish off a pack of birth control, and those magical pink pills start up again to make the it all go away.
OK, maybe being on the rag isn’t that dramatic. But for me, it’s never “happy.” However, there are several methods to keeping your body and emotions in check during your time of the month that can seriously improve your situation.
1. Check yourself before you wreck yourself
If you feel like a bitch during your period, it’s probably because you’re being one. Pre-menstrual syndrome is no joke. A recent study in the Journal of Consumer Psychology even found that impulse buying and overspending are new behaviors linked to pre-menstrual syndrome!
While guys see you at your most emotional, your body produces more than the usual amount of testosterone during your period, which possibly contributes to aggressiveness. The National Institute of Health recognizes anxiety and sadness as symptoms of PMS. Premenstrual dysphoric disorder has more severe symptoms that last longer than the week of your period. Binge eating, mood swings, and feeling out-of-control are linked to PMDD.
While these disorders may make you feel powerless to your hormones, it isn’t fair for those around you to have to deal with a week of mood swings! It’s also important to keep tabs on your own wellbeing. If you’re trying not to hurt others while your hormones are coming on strong, don’t suffer through depression or anxiety without seeking help. Ask your doctor about over-the-counter methods of PMS and PMDD relief, and seek a close friend or a journal to vent your feelings without judgement.
If you know you’re more likely to feel angry, anxious and weepy during your period, try to avoid triggers such as picking fights with your significant other over petty matters.
2. Ignore most of your cravings
When Aunt Flo comes to visit, all I want to do is eat pickles, popcorn, canned soup, nuts and salt straight from the shaker. Unfortunately, salt retains water, which can contribute to that awful bloated feeling. The more water you drink while on your period, the better. Try pouring yourself a glass of water every time you feel like reaching for a bag of chips, and promise yourself a salty treat when Flo packs her bags.
Sorry, coffee addicts. Caffeine is also a no-no during your period. As a stimulant, caffeine can make you feel jittery and anxious, heighten cramps, and dehydrate your body. According to Livestrong health, chocolate also contains a stimulant called theobromine. Twice the stimulants can mean twice the energy and anxiety, which can make you extra emotional. Instead of grabbing a Hershey’s bar when you have a craving, ration out some chocolate before your period starts, and make sure that’s the only chocolate you have around. That way you can have just a little every day during a particular rough spot.
Caffeine is in more than your mug and candy. Stay away from soda, energy drinks and coffee-flavored ice cream. Some types of Midol have caffeine in them, so be sure to check out the active ingredients before you buy a box. Instead of relying on your daily Starbucks fix to stay awake, make sure to get more than enough sleep and eat a healthy breakfast.
3. Distract yourself
My aforementioned habit of staying in bed all day isn’t a great way to deal with being on your period. In fact, it only forces you to dwell on the fact that you feel crappy. What a waste of a week! If your symptoms do confine you to a bed or couch, use that time to read a great book, get ahead in your studies, or chat on the phone or Skype with the friend you’ve been meaning to catch up with. If you feel well enough to move about, but don’t feel like going out, go on a cleaning spree. Put on some loud music and dance with your mop. Now that researchers have debunked the myth that menstruating women attract bears, why not go for a hike in the woods? The exercise is going to give you endorphins. “Endorphins make you happy, and happy people don’t shoot their husbands. They just don’t.”-Wise words from “Legally Blonde’s” Elle Woods.
4. Find a mess-free way to get off
Almost every woman’s magazine with a sex advice column gets this question: Why am I so much hornier on my period? It appears to be one of those mysteries of womankind without a solid explanation or cure.
Some sexual partners feel queasy about ‘doing it’ with a messier result than usual, while others enjoy the extra lubrication. Sometime before your period, ask your partner to honestly express their thoughts on period sex. Hopefully they will understand, and you can brainstorm options. Do some research of your own and start the conversation with a few ideas. For example, using a diaphragm or menstrual cup, along with a method of contraception, will keep your blood at bay.
And remember, if they won’t talk about it or refuse outright, you can let them know that if you’re not going to orgasm for a week, neither will they. Plus, DIY is always an option!
How do you cope during your period? Share tips with us in the comments!
Written by Lauren Slavin