Last night, as I sat down on the couch to unwind and watch television with my significant other, it hit me… the unbearable craving for chocolate… and potato chips…preferably together. Thirty minutes later, I had a handful of salted pita chips in one hand and a piece of chocolate fudge/caramel cake (from a local dessert place that is unfortunately way too close to my house) in the other. Then my husband make a crucial mistake… he looked at me. In a fury of anger and tears, I scolded him for judging and continued to rant.
“That time of the month again?” he asked. Damnit. I hate when he is right.
Pre-menstrual syndrome, pissy mood syndrome, perpetual munching spree, puffy mid-section, pardon my sobbing, pass my sweatpants… they are all one of the same… and they all are quite unpleasant. Between the mood swings, bloated stomach, cravings, cramping and hormone induced headaches, what is a girl to do? In order to keep myself (and those around me) sane during that special time of the month, I try to remember a few simple rules.
1. Your partner still loves you, and you probably still love him too. This is not the week to make huge relationship decisions. This is not the time to threaten a break up, or ask if he still loves you. He does. You’re fine. Move on. Re-evaluate at a later time.
2. Your friends also do not hate you, and your boss is not going to fire you. If you have not broken any rules and things were fine and dandy last week, don’t panic this week.
3. Do not starve yourself, but don’t binge either. This week, it doesn’t matter whether you eat nothing but celery and lettuce, you will gain five pounds and your jeans will not fit. Try to eat healthy, balanced meals and drink lots of water, but have a little compassion for yourself and don’t beat yourself up if those cravings take over. Don’t go crazy (no pun intended), but allow yourself a little indulgence every now and then. Your uterus is getting ready to literally squeeze itself clean, that deserves a little extra sweet snack if you ask me.
4. Exercise. Hormones vs. Endorphins… it’s like the hunger games of neural synapses. Give yourself the chance to level out that foul mood. Exercise has been proven to elevate moods and lift spirits. It is also a great way to work off some of that pent up aggression and negative energy.
5. Divide by Three. You are right. That ASPCA commercial is sad, and that country song is heart breaking. Although these feelings are valid, the intensity might not be. I like to “divide by 3”. However intense I am feeling, I try to tone it down three notches. Allowing yourself to feel is important, but it’s not necessary to get yourself worked up for no reason during each commercial break. Focus on something else.
6. Remember that this too, shall pass. Find a mantra to get you through this week. Calm your nerves, breathe, journal, meditate. You will get through this. You are an amazing woman who can bleed for an entire week and not die… that is impressive.