Mistake #1: Wearing the Wrong Size Bra
Pinching, poking and spine problems? Many women set themselves up for this misery before they've even gotten dressed -- turns, a majority of us don't wear a correctly fitted bra.
The result can be spillage (out the front and over the back straps) and even back pain. "Most women go from a training bra to saying they're a standard size -- 34B for example -- without ever having been properly fitted," says Tod Hallman, fashion stylist for Hollywood stars like Regina King and Julie Benz. If you've grown up uncomfortable in your undergarments, you don't even realize how good life could be if you slipped on the right size.
"If you don't have the right size, the fit of your clothing won't be as clean or as beautiful ... everything in fashion starts underneath." Solve this by going for a professional fitting at a lingerie store at least once.
Mistake #2: Cutting Back on Calories when PMS-ing
You're retaining water and feel like a whale thanks to hormones so your natural instincts are to starve yourself, which makes you even crankier! Wrong tactic. "Many women actually have slightly increased calorie needs when they are premenstrual and should add an extra healthy snack to their daily food intake to help satisfy their appetite and prevent late night binging," says Alyse Levine, RD. Notice we said "healthy" snack...that means a piece of string cheese and a peach, not a gallon of Ben & Jerry's Chunky Monkey.
Mistake #3: Forgetting Self Defense Moves
Do you know what you would do if you were attacked? Or if a date got rough with you? Most women THINK they know how they'd protect themselves (i.e. kicking or biting perhaps?) but when faced with a real-life adrenaline-laced situation all those thoughts can go out the window.
"A woman needs to remember to use her natural weapons; for example, a palm heel strike to the nose or chin of an attacker, a knee kick to the groin, an elbow to the ribs, or an elbow to the jaw," says Sensei Munah Holland, Senior Instructor at Tiger Schulmann's Mixed Martial Arts.
"You can also put those expensive high-heeled shoes to good use by stomping the top of your attacker's foot with them," she recommends. The most important thing, however, is to frequently remind yourself of these moves so that if you find yourself in a threatening situation you can react with confidence.
Mistake #4: Getting Upset about a Sexual Oops ... While Still in Bed
Probably no subject is trickier to discuss than sex, and most women still don't effectively communicate what they need in bed. Even stickier, however, is what to do when he can't um...perform.. Instead of crying, thinking it's you or saying "poor baby" (which will only further emasculate him at a vulnerable moment), Dr. Joel Block, PhD, a sex therapist in Long Island, NY, suggests flipping the focus. "At the time of the mishap, I suggest that the woman encourage her guy to put his attention on her -- touch, lick, whatever -- rather than thinking about his under-performance," says Dr. Block. "This way he can feel useful, and in all likelihood, if he's in the moment...the other thing will work itself out."
Mistake #5: Not Learning About Finance
When it comes to money matters, many women defer to their male counterparts for advice instead of learning all they can themselves. "Women need to stop believing that investing is too hard or too complicated," says Sandra Claflin-Chalton, PhD, professor of Economics at the University of Wisconsin--Stout.
"My experience has been that once women learn the basics they have excellent instincts and are much better at finance than most men." In fact, Claflin-Chalton says that if women save/invest just $10/day, they could be financially independent in 25 years. To start investing, check out sites like www.Sharebuilder.com, where you can invest even small amounts in stocks and mutual funds. Or consider creating a women's investment club.