It’s tempting to shut ourselves away when PMS strikes. Sometimes all we want to do is lie on the couch watching TV and eating pizza and ice cream and not talk to anyone.
Clearly this is not the most healthy or effective way to deal with PMS; often it makes symptoms even worse. What’s a girl to do short of opening a bottle of happy pills every time our period strikes? Here are some natural and healthy ways to beat all the symptoms of PMS.
1. Know When It’ll Strike
This takes a little effort but take the time to learn your cycle. Even if it’s just in your date book, mark the days when you begin feeling cramping, bloating or irritable. Then track when your period starts and how long it lasts. After a few months you’ll start to notice the details of your cycle and will be able to better predict when symptoms will hit.
2. Take A Day Off
Once you know around which day your PMS may be the worst, adjust your schedule to accommodate it. Many women, as they near menstruation, will leave their lives as loosely structured as possible, so they can take a day off if needed. If you’ve never done it, you should. It’s a real luxury.
3. Heating Pads
The heating pad is a woman’s best friend. The only thing better than laying around at home after having taken a day off work is doing so with a heating pad on your belly or lower back. Invest in a heating pad if you don’t have one; it’ll ease the cramping so you can skip the medications.
4. Eat Better
Eating well can have a surprisingly large impact on your body during menstruation. While we tend to crave sweets and fatty, carbohydrate-loaded foods, try to resist the impulse and just eat better foods. Indulge your sweet tooth in a healthy way. If you crave sweets, choose fruits instead. If it’s carbs you crave, go whole grain with some cream cheese.
It may be hard to imaging going to the gym when you’re feeling so depressed and bloated, but the gym may be exactly what you need. Exercise will increase endorphins, those feel-good brain chemicals. Try Pilates or yoga instead of heavy cardiovascular exercise.
Why not give herbs a try? You can find tea blends specifically made for PMS relief of many symptoms including cramping, bloating, depression, irritability and others. Common PMS-easing herbs include chaste berry, gingko, black cohosh and evening primrose.
7. Pamper Yourself
If you can take a day off, do it. Otherwise get through the day as best you can, and treat yourself to a relaxing evening. Take a hot bath, read in bed, have a cup of tea – whatever it is that you love the most. Take care of yourself.
8. Skip the Caffeine
Try going without your caffeine if you’re PMSing. It can worsen your mood swings and bloating. Try tea or even some hot chocolate instead.
9. Avoid Alcohol
While a drink or two may help you feel better, it’ll make your body feel worse. You want to stay as hydrated as possible during your period, and alcohol will only dehydrate you. If you must, try just having one glass of wine and skip the liquor or beer.
Your PMS symptoms may be painful or annoying, but they don’t have to interfere with your life. Take the time to learn about your body and its schedule and adapt your behavior to it.
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