I’m hesitant to write this because I hate the sexist stereotypes that accompany PMS—that women are at the mercy of their hormones and go crazy when their cycles take over, or, worse, sync up, and can’t act rationally or be in charge of their moods, emotions, or actions. That we should basically be chained to a pole and locked in a shed until the Devil has left our body. I mean, it’s absurd. Like get the fuck out of here. That said, PMS is real, and it does have an effect on the mind and body (by definition—it’s called science look it up). So, while still refusing to comply with the bullshit patriarchal narrative that women are weak, powerless, and all experience PMS in the same debilitating way, I’d like to provide some tips that I’ve found helpful in managing the effects PMS can have on hormone levels and consequently mood and energy (physical and mental).
Don’t fight the tears
Embrace them. You may have the urge to spontaneously burst into tears, and you won’t necessarily understand why, so just let it flow. When it comes to all things menstruation, you just gotta let it flow. Plus, crying is fantastic—a good cry is the ultimate way to feel better. I don’t know how, it must be physiological, but man, crying it out is such an effective way to purge the bullshit. So we’re gaming the system here—using the shitty PMS side effects to our advantage. Because we’re CLEVER, AUTONOMOUS BEINGS WHO AREN’T RULED BY THEIR ENDOCRINE SYSTEMS.
Accept the bloating
It’s unavoidable. Resign yourself to stretch pants for the week so you won’t have the constant reminder of a constricting denim waistband. Like, we get it, jeans, WE DON’T FIT IN YOU AT THIS TIME. GET OFF OUR BACKS. OR, OUR STOMACHS. WHATEVER, IT’S A FIGURE OF SPEECH, YOU KNOW WHAT WE MEANT. #don’tactlikeyoudon’ttalktoyourpantstoo
Cut yourself some slack
If you’re like me, you’ll feel sick and your mood will be negatively affected, so when you feel extra unwell or flustered or impatient, and then get even more upset or annoyed with yourself for feeling that way, take a breath and remember that you feel that way for a reason—it’s much easier to give yourself a break when you’re coming from a compassionate and understanding perspective. Or, you can always scream at the first person you see and/or throw a couple punches. I find that helps too.
Use it as an excuse
Hey, if there’s something positive to be gained from this not-so-positive-overall thing we have to put up with each month, we will take it and
walk as slow as possible run with it. We hate doing anything anyways, so if we have what we feel like is a more legitimate excuse to not do something than just our general lethargy and apathy, we’ll use it like ketchup—all day every day (especially if eggs are involved. Which they are, kind of, here. HEY-O self-props for the ovary-related pun!). Sorry, looks like we won’t be able to make it out to that birthday party on Friday night anymore, or brunch, or your niece’s bat mitzvah, or that family friend’s funeral—we’re just not feeling very well. #ifnotfeelingwellmeansnothavingtosocialize,we’llhappilytakeaterminalillness #wevolunteerastribute #wedon’tknowwhatallthepeoplewithZikaarecomplainingabout #they’vegotitmade #pleasenoticetheotherpregnancy/femalereproductivesystem-relatedtie-inviatheZikareference #I’mabortingit
With every round of PMS comes the sigh of relief you get to breathe knowing you’re not pregnant. Unless you’re trying to get pregnant, in which case, sucks for you! But for the rest of us who realize we’d make terrible parents, plus the planet really doesn’t need more people rn (thank you, Duggars), it’s time to celebrate. I suggest throwing yourself a party every month. You can get customized red M&Ms that say “PMS” on them, and balloons that say “It’s Not a Boy!” and “It’s Not a Girl!” and, most importantly, a cake. I’d recommend red velvet.