‘Premenstrual Syndrome’ is a nasty blend of physical, psychological, and emotional changes which break free during the second half of your menstrual cycle. If dealing with cramps alone wasn’t bad enough, this also causes us to go through insane fluxes in moods. It only really improves with the progression of menstrual bleeding. This explains all those times you’ve felt irrationally angry, or been set off like a round of ammunition over little things, only to regret it later. Paired with unexplained migraines and body aches which distract us from everything else we have to do all day, it’s very possible what you’re going through is actually just premenstrual syndrome. Other symptoms are drastic shifts in appetite, and acne, The exact cause is not clear, but many doctors believe it’s a response to the regular hormonal changes that occur during a menstrual cycle. It’s extremely common though, and affects about 90% of women at some point in their life. We can’t change the natural processes going on in our bodies, but here are few tips that might help you figure out how to manage these changes better — and less emotionally!
1. Track Your Cycle
Always keep a track of your cycle! Learn about the way your body functions, so you can be aware of the changes which take place at different points of your cycle — you might uncover a bit of a pattern. You’ll know what to expect next time. Instead of being in the dark about your sporadic mood swings (which can become exacerbated by the sudden onset of acne and bloating), you’ll feel more secure knowing these changes are only temporary, and caused by one specific thing. The week before your period begins can be a bit rough to say the least. Don’t indulge in negative thoughts or the impulse to pick fights out of irritability. Be self aware and talk yourself off the ledge during moments like these! Just take your time. There are loads of apps on the market which help you track your cycle as well! Do your research and download an easy to use one.
Healthy physical activity is critical. It’s especially crucial for women in Pakistan, because our lifestyles can tend to veer on the more sedentary than active. Exercise acts as a miracle mood booster, and releases endorphins in the body, which bring about a feeling of contentment and satisfaction. Exercising can also help alleviate any body aches you might be feeling.
3. Manage Your Stress
Life isn’t perfect. If you’ve been sitting on some negative thoughts or stress that you’ve been brushing under the carpet, it’s only going to fester and erupt during your menstrual cycle. This is when your emotions become even harder to control. Addressing whatever is stressing you out instantly rids it of any power over you. When you are anxious do yoga, talk to a friend, meditate at home, pray, or treat yourself to a soothing massage. Whatever works for you!
4. Dietary Modification
Make healthy modifications in your diet. This sounds obvious, but it can really just be that simple sometimes. Eat more frequent meals throughout the day, but make them smaller. This will give you little bursts of energy throughout the day, and keep you fuelled. Your blood sugar will stay stable as well, so you won’t feel any of those mid day lags in energy, or mood swings. Eat eggs and dark green veggies. A good rule of thumb for your diet is to keep it high in fibre, and low in sugar. Avoid too much salt as well! Try taking calcium and vitamin supplements regularly too, so that you have enough iron to compensate for the blood loss you experience during menstrual bleeding.
5. Over The Counter Medicine
If the above methods just aren’t working out for you, don’t worry! Every body is different and has their own set of needs. You can feel better by taking pain killers or muscle relaxants — especially if those body aches are making you stiff, and you already feel sick before your period has even started.