How can I feel the way I feel before my period all the time?
January 27, 2014 8:15 AM   Subscribe

Like most women, I experience some mood variations throughout my cycle. Right before my period actually starts, I feel a burst of energy which makes me feel more creative and productive.

Every month I'm thrilled that I've turned over a new leaf and am now able to keep the house clean/journal every day/do things without putting them off...and then my period starts and it all goes away again. I'd like to feel like this more often--has anyone had the same experience/figured out how to keep productivity going when hormones are back to normal? Any idea how to keep up with the habits that I establish during this week, or how to take advantage of this productive time?

Also would like to know that I'm not alone in this experience--I know that my mother only felt driven to sew twice in her life, when she was pregnant, so I may have that in common with her at least.
posted by chaiminda to Health & Fitness (17 answers total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
Hmmm. Have you talked to your doctor about this? She may have some insight on whether there is a vitamin supplement which could help you with this.

Thinking of this only because the fact that this seems to be tied into your period cycle indicates that maybe there's some kinda....iron thing going on? Maybe? I have only the fuzziest knowledge of the connection between hormones and vitamin levels, but for some reason that was what popped into my head as plausible.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:20 AM on January 27, 2014

> Also would like to know that I'm not alone in this experience

You are not alone in this experience, although it lasts only a day for me and mostly takes the form of housecleaning.
posted by The corpse in the library at 8:27 AM on January 27, 2014 [7 favorites]

Nthing that you're not alone, and that it would be terrific to feel like that ALL the time. Not just two or three days a month. I dunno, perhaps our bodies aren't meant to handle that amount of awesome on a regular basis.
posted by Lycaon_pictus at 8:42 AM on January 27, 2014 [8 favorites]

The respected scientific journal known as Marie Claire tells me it's due to a spike in estrogen and testosterone.

I know there's hormonal birth control that provides a consistent amount of hormones, so that could level you out. Otherwise you could try to track your period on a calendar and schedule dusting in those places that no one ever ever sees or cares about, which is what I do. I am boring, though. Heh.
posted by Lardmitten at 8:49 AM on January 27, 2014 [2 favorites]

Even though I have PMDD, I also experience this phenomenon. And it's great. I wish I knew how to make it last, but YES, it's a real thing for me, too.
posted by Coatlicue at 8:50 AM on January 27, 2014 [2 favorites]

Yep, not alone - I semi-jokingly call this "premenstrual hypomania". I don't think that steady-state birth control (ala Seasonnale, or just skipping the inactive pills) will reproduce this phenomenon, alas - it's not how they work. You may want to look into the (utterly-silly, non-scientifically-proven, totally-anecdotal) "Orgasmic Diet" that was floating around a few years back... it posits that free testosterone can be raised by taking lots of fish oil and making a few other lifestyle changes, and it sounds as though that MAY be a factor at play here.
posted by julthumbscrew at 9:11 AM on January 27, 2014

Ovulation doesn't typically happen right before your period, Mr. Yuck.

Just another note to say yeah, this happens to me too, and I'm sure it's to do with the change in hormones right before your period (rapid decrease in estradiol) because it doesn't happen when I'm on a monophasic pill.
posted by gaspode at 9:12 AM on January 27, 2014

You're definitely not alone. I don't know how to make it last all month but I do find it lasts a little longer if I've been exercising regularly during the preceding month. If I get sleep deprived, the whole superwoman thing evaporates and I feel something closer to stereotypical PMT symptoms.

(Mr Yuck, the timing is later than ovulation. And please don't attempt to track your employees' periods, even for laughs. There's a real risk that confirmation bias will lead you to make unfair and untrue assumptions about the capabilities of your female staff. Don't be that guy).
posted by embrangled at 9:26 AM on January 27, 2014 [6 favorites]

Have you tried B vitamins? They make a huge difference on brain performance, especially during PMS-time. You can get a liquid B and iron concoction at health food stores that tastes terrible but works wonders. Maybe constantly using a B supplement would make a difference for you.
posted by Miss T.Horn at 9:26 AM on January 27, 2014 [3 favorites]

Yes, I experience this too. And agree with embrangled above that its duration and strength depend somewhat on if I'm practicing healthy habits during the previous weeks -- if I'm eating right, exercising, sleeping, I notice a gradual and longer-lasting "high." If I'm eating crap and generally treating my body poorly, it'll just be a couple days of "whooo, the thought of washing dishes doesn't make me quake with dread, time to tackle the kitchen!" and then back to normal.
posted by rogerrogerwhatsyourrvectorvicto at 10:08 AM on January 27, 2014 [2 favorites]

Any idea how to keep up with the habits that I establish during this week?

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posted by editorgrrl at 10:22 AM on January 27, 2014 [1 favorite]

You're not "high" only lasts a day, usually. Unfortunately. Because I used to get a ton of work done and it felt good. Hard to explain, but it didn't feel like work when I eagerly breezed through a huge stack of payables (when I had an office job) or came up with and complete three new articles (for my current job as a trivia writer) before lunch. The other feeling I get every month a few days after my period ends is one of....I dunno, romantic euphoria? Not exactly horny, but I have long, sensuous dreams during that time and I'm usually making time with one of my TV or movie star crushes.
posted by Oriole Adams at 10:36 AM on January 27, 2014

You might find the zine 'adventures in menstruating' interesting.. or perhaps there's a contribution ...coming on, pardon the pun ;)
posted by tanktop at 11:51 AM on January 27, 2014

Yes, me too. I blame it on Non-Existent Fetus because I am also very very hungry that day, so I say Non-Existent Fetus has me eating and nesting.

I hope that extremely scientific explanation was helpful for you. ;)
posted by gerstle at 3:44 PM on January 27, 2014 [1 favorite]

Same thing only it's right after my period...lasts for about 2 days and boom, I'm tired, unmotivated again....
posted by irish01 at 5:57 PM on January 27, 2014

Oh! Just wanted to add: one thing that has worked for me is to use my extra energy to lay the groundwork for keeping good habits later in the month. For example, if I want to eat healthily all month but find myself eating junk during hormonal slumps, I might use the peak of energy to cook proper meals and freeze them. The next week when I'm feeling crappy, I don't need to put any willpower into eating well because I already have a freezer full of healthy food. Similarly, I have a lot of writing to do, I'll use the peak to do research and make plans and schedules and outlines of what I need to write, and then the comparatively less motivated me can just plod along and follow superwoman me's instructions. I read a post on one of those (usually ghastly) productivity blogs years ago that called this "changing the landscape". It doesn't seem to be online anymore, but the central idea was that willpower is finite, so we should use it not to plod through routine work but to transform our environment to make positive habits easier for the lazy version of ourselves. I'm not sure how evidence-based that idea is, but it's something I've found helpful in practice.
posted by embrangled at 8:26 PM on January 27, 2014 [8 favorites]

This TED talk explains the four phases of the monthly cycle and how they affect your body and mood. Miss T.Horn's B-vitamin suggestion was right on, because apparently during the phase right before your period, your body is releasing extra B-vitamins and that's probably why you feel the way you do.
posted by désoeuvrée at 7:54 AM on January 30, 2014 [1 favorite]

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