Yours Hormonally, Clemmie
I’m pretty lucky when it comes to my period. My cycle varies a little from month to month, but on average it’s around 30-31 days. I don’t struggle too much when it comes to mad hormone fluctuations or cramping. If I have a complaint about my cycle it’s one I’m sure many people can relate to.
During ovulation – the mid-cycle peak in oestrogen which makes us our confident, world-conquering, high-libido-having best selves – I feel super energetic and like I could conquer anything. Then, as our BFF oestrogen starts to drip away, progesterone comes out to play. If you’re not familiar with the menstrual cycle, progesterone is also known as the sedating hormone. It’s also my sworn enemy. Every month like clockwork, at around day 15 or 16, my mood suddenly drops. The only way I can describe it is just feeling very ‘meh’, but it happens so abruptly that it takes the wind out of me, every time. Despite the fact that I’m a grown-ass adult who’s been getting periods for years now, it never fails to come as a surprise when the same thing happens again a month later.
I try and fail to acknowledge that this is because of hormones, and get confused why I’ve gone from such a high to feeling so rubbish. I feel taken aback by the sudden shift in mood – the absence of energy, the lack of motivation or excitement that came so easily to me just a few days before.
It’s a double-edged sword knowing my mood can be low or erratic because of my hormones. I feel better knowing the cause (it can reduce that anxiety-inducing feeling that something is genuinely wrong to remind myself that there’s not necessarily an external cause) but annoyed by it at the same time. It’s frustrating knowing that my fluctuating hormones can make me feel that way and sometimes I just want to be able to pin the blame on something else.
I also suffer quite badly with hormonal acne during my period and get deep, under the surface, cystic spots and that don’t help with my week three moodiness. It’s a vicious cycle in that I’m already feeling down and then the bad skin comes along and makes me feel even worse.
When I was in my late teens I used to snack on chocolate and sweet treats – I was all for a hot water bottle and a bar of Cadbury to make me feel better. But this obviously didn’t help with my already bad acne so in the last three or four years I’ve tried to stop automatically turning to chocolate for comfort during the lows in my cycle and focusing on taking care of myself in a more long-term way… But sometimes alter-ego period Clemmie craves a pack of choccy buttons, and I’m only human!
Yours hormonally, Clemmie
OHNE Marketing Associate
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