As I crawl deeper into my thirties, I’m becoming more and more aware of my whole self. I pay very close attention to everything from my inner feelings to the way my body feels physically. I guess it’s safe to say I care more now that I can actually see myself changing. Also, it really matters to me that I make more wise and informed decisions as I grow older. Age makes you keenly aware of the essence of time and how quickly it slips away.
A key area I’ve noticed a drastic change in over the past year or so is my behavior during my menstrual cycle. These mood swings are manufactured in the pits of hell. Swear.
I’ve always experienced the typical mood changes associated with the phases of my cycle, but here lately everyone around me also notices and gets to experience the swings (no, hard blows) they bring about.
I am quite fascinated by this science, and so it’s a conversation I’ve had with my mama and my girlfriends for years. She’s always advised me to monitor what day of the month it is, especially when it comes down to making emotional decisions. For the most part I’ve heeded her advice, but the truth is: mood swings are impossible to control.
Or are they?
Some studies say diet, exercise, and a healthy lifestyle can and should regulate our hormones naturally, and that women who regularly experience several symptoms of PMS should see a doctor and possibly seek alternative methods to regulating their hormone levels.
I would love to say I’m at that point, but the truth is I need to try a healthier lifestyle first.
The other way to somewhat ‘control’ behavior throughout the menstrual cycle is to simply know what to expect so as not to feel unpredictable to yourself and those around you.
Here is a simple break down of the menstrual cycle: --I promise the awareness helps so much. I make sure to go over it with my significant other often. I don’t want him grow weary of my natural and recurring ups and downs.
#MOOD: Everything is Amazing!
Cycle Phase: Estrogen is returning.
This is my favorite week. This is the week I am full of life, energy, and optimism. During this week I might plan a dinner party, clean my house, take my daughter to the park, and get ahead at work/on my side aspirations. I am so nice to my boyfriend. We are so in love. This week I’m a pleasure to be around.
#MOOD: I Think I’ll Shave
Cycle Phase: Estrogen nears its monthly peak.
During this week I might wear matching lingerie. Oh, you always do that? Tuh. Not the kid.
I’m looking for my man this week. I’m feeling good. My dinner party plans are coming together. My kiddo is happy, because Mommy is happy. The house is lived in but not a mess. I feel really, really good. Like myself.
#MOOD: I Can’t
Cycle Phase: Ovulation has happened. Estrogen has left the building. A small bit of progesterone is saving the whole day.
This week I’m coming down from my high. I feel really drained. Things are beginning to take a toll on me. Do I really want have that dinner party? I want my man, but can he please put the freaking toilet seat down? Oh. My. GOSH. You know what? Maybe I’ll just take a nap and feel better when I wake up. Oh, I forgot. My kid needs to eat something. UGH!
#MOOD: Call Off The Party
Cycle Phase: Estrogen and progesterone have both called it quits.This is the week I’d planned to have people over for a dinner party. I’m currently sending out texts cancelling everything. I’m not talking to my man. Don’t ask why (it’s too hard to explain). My kid has eaten Chick Fil-A for the past two nights, as that’s the best I can do. I really just can’t do this job anymore. I actually went into my boss’ office and expressed my desire to leave. Thankfully, she’s a woman, we’re pretty close, plus she’s used to my monthly meltdowns.
And it never fails, just as SOON as I go off on my significant other, Aunt Flo makes her appearance. Never fails that I’m apologizing the next day, and he’s saying “It’s okay babe, I know you were PMS’ing.” (because he has my cycle phases down to a science!) -Smart guy. That’s why I love’m. LOL
And menstrual cycles actually ARE a science! That’s what’s important to note.
This is not a thing that only a few women experience. 85% of women experience at least ONE symptom of PMS every month, so guys it behooves you to read more into it. Ladies, obviously it’s beneficial to understand the inner workings of your body.
If everyone is on the same page, it makes for a more harmonious and pleasant co-existence. Imagine if when someone asked you to commit to something, you looked at your calendar and said no ahead of time, because you would be in the heat of week four. It would save you from that guilty feeling of having to cancel on someone at the last minute, because let’s just be honest: You’ve done it. And PMS was most likely the culprit.
Point of all this:
Be informed and know thyself, Sis. And then share what you know with those you love, so you can keep the love between you. Ha.