While it's totally possible that in the days before your period, you feel balanced, energized and totally in control, many of us struggle to communicate well with our closest people when frustrated.
We are here to explain what happens biologically in the days before menstruation, and to give some pointed behavioral ways to "fight fair" and (hint hint: do some serious self care) in order to keep the peace without denying the truth of your feelings.
Could it be true that your people are WAY more annoying right before your period? How much of that is "you" or "them"? And how much of it is your brilliant body allowing you to see things in a different, and possibly important light?
Well, it's kind of both.
Hormonally speaking, a lot is changing in the days before your bleed. Estrogen, the hormone that gives us energy, wobbles up and down in the days leading up to your bleed and then finally drops off just as you begin your period. Progesterone, the other primary hormone of the Late Luteal phase calms us down. Progesterone increases after ovulation and then steadily declines until menstruation begins.
So imagine your "feel good" energy hormone is fluctuating like one of those rollercoasters your 7th grade cousin makes you ride at their birthday, and your calming hormone is on a steady decline. The Late Luteal phase is a recipe for challenge, especially if you're not aware of what's happening hormonally.
What can be done?
From a body-wellness standpoint, there's actually quite a lot you can do to stay balanced.
1. Keep your blood sugar stable. Imagine you're already on the hormonal rollercoaster, and then by not eating well, you start riding a second rollercoaster , the blood sugar ride, at the exact same time!!! Make sure to eat every 3-4 hours and go for nourishing foods that keep you full and that blood sugar stable (think proteins, fats, and complex carbs like salmon, eggs, nuts, sweet potatoes, and tahini).
2. Get enough Magnesium. Magnesium calms your nervous system and will help keep mood stable no matter what. That's why we put half of your daily recommended value of Magnesium into all our Ova Moon supplements!
3. Keep moving your body regularly. As we all know by now, exercise makes endorphins which makes us happy. While it's not advisable to do intensive cardio or strength training in the couple of days before menstruation, getting out for a 30 minute walk to move and get fresh air can do wonders for your mental health. Take a hatha yoga class, or play 3-5 of your favorite songs and JUST DANCE!
HOW TO FIGHT FAIR:
Do you feel like you perceive what is not working well more acutely in the days before and during your bleed? This is a gift. How do we honor our insights without letting our feelings take hold beyond our capacity to manage and communicate with compassion?
1. If the urge to RAGE takes hold, DO IT....just not AT the person who has triggered you.
Yep! We want you to feel all of those feels. Anger and rage have important information for us, and they are healthy to feel fully. With that said, deep down while you may want to bite your person's head off in the moment, deep down you probably don't want to burn the relationship to the ground. So take a deep breath, walk away, and go find someone else not involved. This could be a good friend, therapist, or designated buddy where you both decide to support one another specifically during this time of month. You can even put 10 minutes on a timer and let it rip. When the timer goes off, you can switch and the other person can have a turn.
2. If you do not have the opportunity to find someone else to support you and find yourself in the heat of the moment with a loved one, try to share with them, " I know I am going to get my period soon and this could be impacting my response". This acknowledgement can help create a bit of space within the hard moment. This is not a confession of weakness, but a vulnerable share of self awareness. It does not negate the validity of your response, but offers insight into what may be going on for you.
3. If you end up getting upset and things get super hard and you recognize afterwards that you may have had a stronger reaction than you would have liked, it's advisable to apologize for your part and take responsibility afterwards. Share your struggle to navigate emotional challenges in this time without shame. So much of why we can get into these situations is because we live in a society that never stops working and expecting constant productivity. Imagine if we lived in a society where every woman and menstruating person could take 5 days a month to rest and reflect without the pressures of all we are expected to do?!
It is entirely possible to have a great week leading up to your bleed by honoring what the Late Luteal phase asks of us. If you can, try to slow down and prioritize self care to mitigate overwhelm. You've got this!
Ariel + Dana
Ova Moon Co-founders