Things that are really hard to do when you’re on your period

Welcome to the very last installment of the  HelloGiggles PMS Diaries, where I’ve talked all about the most insane things done, eaten, or cried about while in the throes of my period, from days before it starts, to the day it arrives (P-day), all the way to the end.

Every month, I’ve been documenting the best and the worst of my PMS calamities and I’ve offered a little expert insight into why our bodies do what they do, need what they need, and what we can do about it. In the spirit of goodbyes, I’ve compiled a list of all the things I have to say goodbye to while I’m in the throes of PMS and my period.

Things that are really hard to do when you’re on your period.

Appropriate Emotional Reactions

You know what I mean. That impulse to cry all the tears at commercials, greeting cards, that first bite of a waffle with syrup. I’m an emotional wreck during my period week, and I know I’m not alone. Shape magazine even called the week before our periods, “hot mess week,” citing rising progesterone levels for the weepiness.

This week has been filled with a lot of tears. I had to hold them back at work when I accidentally backed into the light pole in the parking lot, and I actually broke down at the beauty of Gaga’s new single.

Skinny Jeans

Because I bloat. So much. For the week leading up to P-Day, I’m like 10 pounds of sausage stuffed into a 5 pound casing. Those skinny jeans, those leather pants, and that cute pencil skirt are all out. Instead of fighting that top button, I rely heavily on maxi dresses, leggings and lots of horizontal relaxing.

Oh, and cheese grits. Lots and lots of cheese grits. They don’t help the bloat, (in fact, they probably make it worse) but, man, do they feel good going down. Gastroenterologist, Patricia Raymond, M.D. told Redbook, that we’re probably, “retaining fluids — especially right before that time of the month — or have excess gas because of something you ate, or you could be constipated,” which are symptoms associated with our periods.

Going Braless

It’s not because of any sort of social pressures or beauty standards, it’s just that my boobs get so sore in the days leading up to my period. Just the sheer friction of the shirt can be incredibly uncomfortable for me, and going braless just isn’t an option. However, rocking my favorite sports everyday during this week is the only option.

This kind of breast tenderness is called “cyclic pain,” according to Women’s Health.  The cyclic pain is directly caused by the spike in estrogen that happens on the first day of your period, and sometimes during ovulation as well. The good news, according to Taraneh Shirazian, M.D and professor of obstetrics, is that it doesn’t last forever, and there are ways to manage it, like taking birth control pills.

White Pants

I just don’t have the kind of luck that would allow me to wear white pants on my period. Why would I tempt fate in this way? I’ve ruined enough perfectly good undies over the years to learn my lesson about white pants. If you’re braver than me, and do wear white pants, and something unforeseeable happens, there are ways to handle the stains. Rinse the stain under cold water as soon as you can, says Teen Vogue, and definitely invest in some “oxygenated bleaches and enzymatic cleansers.’

Basic Coping Skills

I’ve talked a lot about how tired I get the week of my period. PMS is like a barbiturate for me. Drowsy eyes, cranky moods, and just all general problems adulting. Thank goodness I have the kind of schedule that allows for an afternoon nap, because I’m not sure how I would function that week without one.

Without this daily rest, I would have zero coping skills and would just be an all around mess. Getting my period every month is hard work, and like a lot of smart, creative women, sometimes I just can’t deal on my own. Thanks goodness there’s a lot of good advice out there. Everyday Health offers a lot of smart tips that I really like the sound of – namely getting a massage and eating more nuts (and a lot of other much  more practical advice, as well).

Thanks for sticking with me as I document my crazy period stuff, and I’ve loved hearing about yours over these months. You can still tweet or snap (@srose) me all your period probz!