We’ve all been there – those days when PMS shows up unannounced, and suddenly, life feels like a whirlwind of emotions and cravings. But fear not, because we’re about to dish out some good old-fashioned wisdom on how to handle it like a champ. Welcome to our guide on “10 Essential PMS Self-Care Tips” – a lifeline for those moments when you just need some extra TLC. No rocket science here, just practical, down-to-earth advice to help you stay on top of your game.
So grab a cup of tea, cosy up, and let’s navigate this wild ride together!
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- My First Period And The Unfamiliar Body Changes
- As Far As Periods Go……I Have Been Blessed!
- Gathering Self-Care Tips During The Years
- 1. Prioritise Nutrition
- 2. Stay Hydrated
- 3. Regular Exercise
- 4. Quality Sleep
- 5. Stress Reduction
- 6. Herbal Remedies
- 7. Supplements and Vitamins
- 8. Bring Out The Heating Pad
- 9. Hormonal Birth Control
- 10. Seek Support
- Final Thoughts
My First Period And The Unfamiliar Body Changes
The memory of my first period is firmly engraved in my mind. I was just twelve years old, and my understanding of the changes happening in my body was limited at best. My mother offered me the most basic of explanations: ‘You are bleeding, this means you are now a grown woman’, and that was pretty much it. Back then, the internet and other resources weren’t available to help me grasp the intricacies of these changes happening to me. All I knew was that once a month I would bleed and that I despised these changes with an undying passion. I know, quite dramatic, right? But that’s precisely how I felt at the time.
There’s a particular memory that always springs to mind whenever I chat about this with friends. It was my very first night trying to sleep wearing a menstrual pad, and I remember asking God, ‘Why me?’ As if I was the only female in the world going through this ordeal. The whole thing makes me laugh now, but let’s face it, it’s quite sad. I felt alone, confused and to some point afraid that I would never sleep well again (little did I know my daughter would destroy my sleep pattern 10 years later).
As Far As Periods Go……I Have Been Blessed!
As far as periods go, I’ve been quite fortunate. I’ve never had to endure excruciating period pains that can bring you to the brink of passing out. My menstrual cycles have always been regular with a moderate flow. Of course, there have been the occasional months when discomfort reared its ugly head, not to mention the notorious mood swings. That aspect of PMS has always been the reigning force in my life.
At almost forty-five, my periods have now dwindled to a mere 3-day bleed. A recent conversation with a doctor revealed that my lining is nearly non-existent. Apparently, a certain doctor may have gotten a tad carried away when performing my two D&Cs, but hey, that’s a story for another time.
Nevertheless, it goes without saying that the symptoms persist, regardless of my flow. The fatigue, achy breasts, headaches, bloating and an overall feeling of ‘Yuck’ linger. And, of course, as mentioned earlier, those uncontrollable mood swings still make their grand entrance.
Gathering Self-Care Tips During The Years
After so many years of ‘enjoying’ monthly cycles, discussions with friends and experiencing my daughter’s own journey, I’ve gathered a collection of tried and tested self-care tips. These nuggets of wisdom may or may not prove to be useful to others. When it comes to health and well-being, what works wonders for one may not have the same effect for another. And that’s fine. We’re each on our own unique path, often filled with trials and errors, seeking what best aligns with our individual needs.
10 Essential Self-Care Tips To Manage PMS Like A Pro
1. Prioritise Nutrition
While it might seem like an obvious choice, it’s surprising how often we don’t prioritize our nutrition. I can certainly admit that I haven’t always made it a top priority in the past. When that time of the month rolls around, all I crave is comfort food. I often find myself having to consciously remind myself to make smarter food choices, knowing that they’ll ultimately help me feel better in the long run.
A balanced diet can make a significant difference during PMS. Opting for whole grains, lean proteins and plenty of fruits and vegetables can help you maintain stable blood sugar levels and reduce cravings. Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids like salmon, flaxseeds, and walnuts can be a game-changer when it comes to alleviating bloating and mood swings!
A few months back I read a life-changing book called – Fast Like A Girl, by Dr Mindy Peltz. Whilst this book primarily teaches you how to ‘fast like a girl’ it also includes over 50 recipes based on two food plans – the ketobiotic and hormone feasting plans, both tailored to optimize women’s hormonal balance.
And if you want to read my full review of this book, check it out here!
If what you are lacking is inspiration, check out these nutrition books written by women, for women.
2. Stay Hydrated
Ensuring proper hydration is a critical factor in alleviating bloating and minimizing the discomfort of headaches and fatigue. Recently, I’ve been more disciplined in this regard, thanks to a little technological assistance. Setting alarms on my smartwatch to remind me to take a sip of water every 15 minutes has proven to be quite helpful.
Herbal teas like ginger or chamomile can also provide comfort and relaxation.
Keep that trusty water bottle by your side throughout the day – it’s like a motivational sidekick that’ll keep you on track!
3. Regular Exercise
A few years back, I was dedicated to working out daily. However, fast forward five years, and it’s become more of a struggle. Nevertheless, I’ve come to realize the importance of regular physical activity in managing symptoms like cramps and mood swings. Incorporating exercises like yoga, stretching, and light cardio workouts can be truly transformative, particularly on those days when fatigue hits like a freight train. The key here is to listen to your body and opt for exercises that feel comfortable and suitable for you.
Some time ago, I stumbled upon a super helpful trick to get my morning workout or stretch routine going – keeping a yoga mat in the living room. I never store it away, it sits in a tiny corner of the room always within arm’s reach.
4. Quality Sleep
Let’s face it, once you hit a certain age, getting a good night’s sleep doesn’t come as naturally. It’s especially true during your perimenopause or menopause years. So, when you’re struggling to catch those Zs, trying to motivate our readers to improve their sleep isn’t always the most helpful advice. We get it; it’s what we all want, but it’s not always the easiest thing to achieve.
However, a good night’s sleep is essential for managing PMS and there are a few tips that might help. ‘Might‘ being the imperative word here.
- Create a calming bedtime routine.
- Be mindful of avoiding caffeine and the use of electronic devices a few hours before bed.
- Ensure your sleep environment is comfortable and dark.
- Consider the soothing effects of spritzing a bit of lavender on your pillow or immersing yourself in relaxing sounds. Listening to the tranquil sounds of rainfall always manages to knock me out.
Unwind and get ready for some serious shut-eye with this expertly crafted blend of up to 19 of the purest essential oils. We’re talking English lavender, sweet basil, jasmine, chamomile, and more. It’s your ticket to ultimate relaxation before bedtime
5. Stress Reduction
When your stress levels are running high, it’s worth noting that they have the potential to worsen your PMS symptoms. Consider engaging in stress-reduction practices. Options such as mindfulness meditation, deep breathing exercises, or activities like colouring, which can be incredibly relaxing, can help reduce the impact of stress on your overall well-being during this time.
We are in love with this inspirational colouring book for adults. Inside this 50-page colouring book, you’ll discover a captivating array of patterns and designs that lead you on a path to self-discovery and inner peace. Perfect for teens and adults seeking a creative escape.
6. Herbal Remedies
In my personal experience, I’ve been consistently taking evening primrose oil for several years, and I firmly believe it has made a significant change. However, it’s crucial to understand that I didn’t simply decide to start taking them on a whim. Instead, it was a recommendation from my doctor that initially led me to incorporate this supplement into my routine.
Again, when taking any supplements, please consult a healthcare professional.
- Calcium and Vitamin D can help with mood swings and bloating.
- Magnesium may alleviate PMS-related muscle and discomfort
- Vitamin B6 can help regulate mood swings.
We’ve got a soft spot for this one. Not only is it gluten and GMO-free, but it’s also a real winner in our book!
8. Bring Out The Heating Pad
Heating pads can provide soothing relief for cramps and muscle tension. I swear by these because even though my PMS symptoms are not very bothersome, the same cannot be said about my ovulation symptoms. Right bang in the middle of the month, ovulation pain can at times feel debilitating, and that’s when the painkillers and the heating pads come out to play!
9. Hormonal Birth Control
For severe PMS, hormonal birth control methods like birth control pills or IUDs may be prescribed by a healthcare provider. Discuss your options with a medical professional.
Whilst I have never had to take any, I do know of friends and relatives who swear by them, having experienced a great improvement in quality of life after having them prescribed.
10. Seek Support
As the saying wisely goes, “It takes an army!” Don’t hesitate to lean on your network of friends and family, or even consider the invaluable support of a therapist during this time. Engaging in conversations about your experiences can provide both comfort and empowerment. Seek out your personal support “army” — those groups of women who truly comprehend, who listen without judgment, and embrace them tightly. I certainly do!
Remember that self-care is not a luxury, it’s a necessity. We hope that these 10 essential PMS self-care tips end up in your arsenal for conquering those challenging days. By taking time to prioritise your well-being, you’re not only alleviating discomfort but also embracing your inner strength. So, the next time PMS comes knocking, arm yourself with these self-care strategies. Treat yourself kindly, be patient, and don’t hesitate to try new techniques.
Every woman’s experience is unique, and these tips are here to adapt and cater to your needs. With each small act of self-love, you’re making a significant investment in your overall health and happiness.
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