PMS (or premenstrual syndrome) varies from person to person, but nobody looks forward to it. From world-shaking abdominal pain to inopportune breakouts, the symptoms tend to veer more toward the stuff of nightmares than of sweet dreams. But PMS doesn’t have to knock you out of commission. Here are some tips to deal with the cramps, hormone swings, and other unpleasant side effects of having a uterus.
Cramps are no fun. Fortunately, you can ease the pain with heat! Investing in a heating pad is a surefire way to make sure that relief is always on hand. You can also treat your symptoms with a warm bath or a heat patch if you’re on the go.
Tracking your cycle on an app like Clue or Period Tracker is a great way to predict what’s coming. When you’re aware that you’re PMSing, it can throw gnarly mood swings into perspective.
Eating a balanced diet filled with vitamins and minerals can lessen your most painful symptoms. Vitamin E may help reduce discomfort associated with tender breasts, so eat a big spinach and kale salad!
Regular exercise also has PMS-relieving benefits. Aim to get your heart pumping several times a week to help ease the mental and physical stress on your body during that time of the month.
Treat yourself nicely--you deserve it, and your body will thank you. Whether it’s journaling, yoga, or just treating yourself to a sheet mask and bubble bath, staying in tune with yourself is key to managing raging hormones and painful PMS woes.
5. Check in with your doctor
PMS is bad, but it shouldn’t incapacitate you. If you find your symptoms are getting in the way of you living your life, make an appointment with your doctor. These symptoms may include uncontrollable mood swings or joint and muscle pain. In this case, you may have PMDD, a severe form of PMS which your doctor can treat.
Just remember that you are not alone. It is estimated that the majority of people with uteruses experience PMS, so you’re probably within spitting distance of someone who totally gets how you feel. And no matter what, don’t forget: your menstrual cycle is nothing to be ashamed of!
Cover Image: Catherina Horan/@fragileperson
Alyson Zetta Williams