Written by Svetlana Nartey
Some of us dread it, others are relieved, some of us want more sex, most of us are “err no thanks!” The natural contraceptive, that is your period, may not be best suited to you. But believe it or not, our research says that almost one-third women have an increased feeling of libido during their time of the month * from a survey group of sixty women.
Of course, that still leaves a majority of sixty-three per cent that fall into the “No Sex Please I’m On My Period” brigade! So, putting sex drive to one side, you are likely left with the overwhelming negativity of emotions that most women experience on their period. Mood-swings are the common grouping given to these negative feelings yet what exactly are these moods? Feeling sad/ like crying is how sixty-three per cent of women feel during their cycle, in addition to feelings of increased sensitivity, irritability, and a general sense of being overwhelmed.
Since we can’t do much to prevent periods and suppress these emotions, what we can do is find ways to manage them. Kindly divulged by some women’s personal experience and combined with further recommendations by us, we have come up with FIVE useful ways of dealing with your emotions during your period.
Have no shame when in period pain! sixty per cent of women described eating snacks as their favorite way to cope with saddened emotion. Chocolate proved particularly popular, but for those who lack a sweet tooth, feel free to just indulge in whatever makes you happy during this tough time bearing in mind that too much sugar carries its own set of emotional rollercoasters!
I guess this is a bit counterintuitive after just encouraging you to gorge to your heart’s satisfaction, but exercise has been proven to help a lot of cramps and moods! Whilst eating gives you that temporary serotonin boost, many find exercise a helpful tool for dealing with emotions such as stress and feeling overwhelmed. Some women described ‘light yoga’ as their go-to for destressing, while for others going to the gym helps take their mind off of period problems. So whether stretching or cardio, if your period’s got you down maybe give exercise a go?
After eating, the second most popular coping mechanism is actually just being immobile. This is both to relax from feelings of fatigue (an emotion that many women also experience during their period) but mostly while watching your favorite comfort show and light-hearted comedy. Watching comforting things whilst gaining plenty of rest is never an unproductive use of your time when one is emotionally exhausted. And periods can be emotionally exhausting.
Cooped up in bed might be your dream for some, it can only intensify feelings of depression and loneliness. Twenty-three per cent of women described surrounding themselves with people and friends as being a good distraction from the surge of negative emotions that they encounter on their period. Socializing also allows you to offload emotion and process how you really feel. Weirdly enough some women’s periods sync up with their female friends, so sharing your experience may reveal that you are in fact not alone at all, and that they are feeling the very same things you are!
Sharing with others might not be your thing though, but it doesn’t mean that you should internalize. Instead, why don’t you write things down! Writing per se encourages retrospection; processing emotion that you might otherwise ignore or let build-up in your brain without ever addressing. Although only 7% of women outline journaling as a way of dealing with period-related emotion, it might just be one of the most useful and accessible tools! Journals don’t have to be a boring ruled notebook either. Bullet journals, kraft journals, journals with funky or vintage exteriors are all versatile ways of expressing emotion. Whatever your method, physicalizing how you feel in any form allows you to be that little bit less overwhelmed; you have outlined what you are dealing with and can now address it.
So, whether it's eating, exercising, relaxing, socializing or journaling there is always a way for you to deal with how you feel. Don’t let your emotions consume you and on a practical note, if you use pads or tampons, please, never flush your period products down the drain!. FabLittleBag – here to help – always!