*I am not affiliated with the links in this post*
My period is pretty irregular. I bleed for about 3-5 days in a row about every 27 to 46 days. I usually get really bad cramps on the first day of my period. The first day is usually the worse for me. Sometimes I’ve been in so much pain that it made me vomit. I take ibuprofen to help ease some of the pain. I tend to get headaches while on my period as well which makes me more aggravated and sensitive. I also tend to have lower energy and sometimes over eat during this time of the month. The couple weeks before my period can sometimes cause more mental health challenges. I tend to feel more emotional and get upset much quicker than normal.
PMS and PMDD
Periods can affect your mental health. Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is categorized by the emotional and sometimes physical symptoms one may experience before starting their period. For example, you may become more sensitive and experience bloating or breast and pelvic pain. Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) is a more advanced version of PMS and presents with changes in behaviors along with the emotional and physical symptoms. For example, mood swings, hopelessness, fatigue and social dysfunction. If you believe you have PMDD, please discuss it with your doctor or therapist.
How to Deal with Periods
PMS and PMDD are real and can be difficult to deal with. The first thing that is important is tracking your period. You can use tracking apps like Clue and MyDays (these links are for android Play Store users but they are also available for iPhone users) to do this on your phones. This will allow you to know when your period is due and you can keep track of your mood and flow levels. It can track your ovulation if you are trying to get pregnant or avoid getting pregnant. They can also allow you to plan ahead and be prepared with tampons or pads.
The next thing is to understand and figure out your body and coordinate your plans with it. If you know you have painful cramps on the first day of your period, don’t schedule a big meeting for that day. You will just have a terrible time and it might show.
Exercise and Sleep Hygiene
Try exercising and getting a good nights sleep as well. Exercise can lessen painful cramps and increase your motivation. Getting 7 to 8 hours of sleep can also help you destress and help your body prepare for its period.
Another thing is to take care of yourself. If you know that you have symptoms before or during your period, do something to take care of you and to destress. For example, take a nice hot bath or go for a long walk. You could also try to eat healthier during your period to help your symptoms. Like drinking less caffeine and eating less processed food. But I know that can be difficult when you’re having intense cravings for sweets. However, give it a try.
Having a mental health disorder can make being on your period a 100 times harder. PMS and PMDD are real and can challenge those of us with these conditions. You should try tracking your period with an app, planing around your period, and try self-care techniques during that time of the month.
*Images Courtesy of Pixabay