At the very tender age of 40 I can thankfully say that I have no freakin clue as to the kind of havoc PMS can cause in a woman’s life. Well I do, but I don’t if you know what I mean. That time of the month is really a non-event in my life but so many of you have a completely different story to mine. In the interest of understanding what throws you over the edge and turns you into a crazed lunatic, this post if for you, the woman who has to face the dreaded monster called PMS.
How long should it last?
PMS should start consistently a week to two weeks before your period and stop a day or two after menstruation starts. Which basically means that on average you have a week of calm and peace in your life. Like WTF?? But that’s life and we got to find ways to roll with the punches.
The most common emotional PMS symptoms
- Food Cravings
Ways to cope with PMS
Exercise. As much as you didn’t want to hear this, physical activity can lift moods and improve depression. Exercise may help counteract some of the hormone changes that may trigger severe PMS. No one is expecting you to run a marathon. Try taking a walk, running, cycling, swimming or even yoga.
Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and sweets. Another thing you didn’t really want to hear. I mean what the hell are you going to be left with. I’m not entirely sure that this is the answer to your problem, but avoiding caffeine, alcohol and sweets (sugar) can make a considerable difference.
Small, frequent meals. Eating small meals throughout the day rather than two or three big meals may also help ease PMS symptoms. Try to eat six small meals a day to keep your blood sugar levels steady.
Calcium supplements. It’s been said that getting plenty of calcium can help ease mood changes related to severe PMS. Chat to your GP to get a supplement that can help your body cope better during your menstrual cycle.
Stress management. Stress can make severe PMS symptoms worse, so finding ways to give stress the slip can help treat PMS. Try relaxation techniques such as meditation, deep breathing and yoga.
Chart your symptoms. Chart your symptoms for several months to be sure that you are experiencing PMS and not another conditions. Debilitating PMS is a reality which includes both physical and emotional symptoms. It is therefore best to consult your doctor on ways to cope.
Holistic approach. Massage and acupuncture have been known to help some women cope better.
Advice from women in the know
“I found that by tracking my dates, I know when PMS is setting in. So I take an ibuprofen for cramps and headaches. I also up my yoga and meditation sessions to assist with the mood swings. It really does help a lot. Definitely don’t allow yourself to get hungry. Eat clean but regularly and your body will adjust within 2 days” – Cheyenne Pillay, woman behind the The Princess Warrior Blog
“I found that I often preempted my PMS situation. Like I would say, “next week I will be PMSing so sorry for anyone who has to deal with me.” I tried changing my way of thinking and found that I don’t always have severe PMS. So for me it’s mind over matter and about speaking positivity into my life. Honestly some days are better than others when it comes to PMS” – Anonymous
“My bloated tummy bothers me the most. So I try to drink extra water and add lemon. They say that lemon cuts through the gas. For my sweet cravings I eat an apple with peanut butter or banana sandwich with peanut butter.” – Athena Ramasamy
“I don’t cope, I just take it out on my boyfriend. He’s definitely a keeper because he’s super understanding about it.. It normally a day before my flow starts then I’m miserable AF and just hungry. But my mom always says that it in my mind and I shouldn’t use this as an excuse for being bitchy.” – Dominique Skuce
“I know when PMS is on its way. I get bloated, bad cramps, moodiness, and I’m overly emotional, more than I normally am. I have found that a hot water bottle is my best friend, also pain killers help a lot when the cramps get worse. I also find that if I don’t stress as much, then the cramps aren’t as bad as they would be when I do stress. Take time for yourself! If you are allowed to take a few days of personal time, then DO IT! It really does help! Get dressed in comfy pjs, lay in bed and just relax. It really makes all the difference!” – Victoria De Cost, the woman behind blog Unveiling Victoria
“Ugh, I dont cope, I just become a miserable moody asshole for a few days, and my sweet sweet husband tolerates me and gives me all the love.” – Ali, mommy behind Compassion Kid Blog
“Ok so for mood swings, tender breasts and cramps, primrose oil capsules and for cramps nurofen period pain pills plus hot water bottle. I’ve also heard of cold or warm cabbage leaves for tender breasts, so not just for milk boobies but for pms boobies too. stay away from caffeine and rather drink herbal teas…. and dark chocolate.” – Marlaine Witbooi
The bottom line is be kind to yourself. We have periods, pap smears, mammograms, babies, gender bias — let’s help ourselves. Really.” – Huffpost Australia