Surprised WomanThroughout your life, a lot of misguided family members, friends, advertising execs and writers for TV and film will try to convince you that your Week 1, which starts on the first day of your period, is the worst week ever. Truth? Unless you’ve got abnormal cramping and bleeding (for instance, from dysmenorrhea or endometriosis), your Week 1 is totally awesome!

That’s because a few hours after your period starts, estrogen starts to rise. And that’s a good thing since it means an end to premenstrual moodiness, irritability and other annoying PMS symptoms. (Yay!) What’s more, the higher this hormone climbs over this week, the better things get for you: Your mood lifts, your memory and brains skills sharpen, you’re more eloquent as you speak, you shed water weight, you’re more confident and, once you get halfway through this week, you’re more energetic.

So, why does your period week get such a bum rap? Blame goes to painful cramps, which can sour your mood, plus fatigue that comes from a combination of still-low hormones and the loss of energizing iron during menstrual bleeding. Luckily, once you relieve the cramps (say, with a pain pill, heat patch and/or chamomile tea) and restore your pep (for instance, by eating iron-rich foods, such as beans and spinach, taking an iron supplement or sneaking in a nap), you’ll be able to enjoy all the benefits that come with glorious Week 1!