Ah, the PMS or the Premenstrual syndrome.
That dreadful time before your actual period starts.
Most women suffer from PMS almost every month. And no matter how much healthy you are, there seems to be no escape from this. There is no getting used to it either.
Even after all these years, it still hits me hard. I feel majority of its symptoms — irritability, mood swings, depression and sometimes even anger and resentment for every thing and everyone around me.
The reason behind why PMS occurs is mainly bcoz of dip in the estrogen and progesterone hormones which affect the serotonin “feel good” levels. But knowing this reason does not help at all, as it’s happening inside our bodies. We feel helpless. Irritable. Angry. Depressed.
If you do a quick search on the internet about managing the PMS symptoms and mood swings, most pages would advice to exercise, avoid caffeine, have calcium supplements etc. You can try all of that, but those are generalizations.
You have to find something specifically for you. Coz you know your body better than anyone else.
When i am in that irritable, angry phase, i shut myself down. I don’t want to go out of my room, so i don’t. Even if i talk about how or what is bothering me, it only seems to amplify.
Sometimes, i write my feelings of irritation and anger down in my journal and i have also torn those same pages in anger. I cannot seem to escape it. I start harbouring resentment for some people. And it’s like gasping for water when you’re drowning, you cannot magically escape it, even though you know it’s just a phase.
However, i’ve come to notice a pattern. All these depressing thoughts and resentment are always toward something that i ignore to face during the rest of the month. Up until 3 years back, the depression and resentment was for something else. It used to repeat month after month and every single time i would cry it out. At that time, it was more of depression, less of anger.
Since last year or two, it’s more of anger and less of depression. I can’t cry it out like i used to. I realized that i can deal with sadness better than i can deal with anger or resentment. And this too repeats every month with the PMS. I like my periods more than this. At least there are no emotions during the actual period except the physical pain and cramps.
I call it The Purge now. In a way, month after month, the PMS helps me to see and purge all the negative emotions and thoughts i’ve had (but ignored) during the rest of the month. Have you noticed how it does feel better once you purge out your negative emotions?
But that doesn’t mean i like my PMS. I dread the PMS. Every single time. I hate being irritable and angry, and i can’t seem to shake it off.
But i have found a few things that help me. These may or may not be the same things that help you. You have to find things unique to you. Notice the pattern. Or when PMS is over, note down what worked for you and how you managed it. You will start noticing a pattern.
This is no. 1 on my list. Lol. Every time i have eaten a pizza during my PMS, it has eased the symptoms. And i eat it whole day. For lunch, dinner and next day breakfast. I order it for 3 people and then eat it thrice a day. I am not ashamed of it, nor do i feel guilty at all. It is more than a comfort food for me during the PMS.
Find one food item that works for you. Pizza, chocolate, ice cream. Anything that works for you. Eat it guilt-free and with pleasure. 😉
Another thing that works for me is sleep. I sleep, a lot. Like 10-12 hours and then nap again. But after that, i feel much much better.
Take naps as much as you can. Or sleep for 8-10 hours. Wake up without an alarm. Take a day off.
Writing and tearing pages.
Sometimes i just write random words, sometimes all the things making me angry. Sometimes i scratch the pages with my pen so hard it tears them. Sometimes i literally tear up the pages.
Anger is negative, but still essentially an energy. We have to direct that energy somehow to some activity. For me, writing and tearing works. For you maybe dancing would work, or maybe exercise. Find out your own activity that helps to release the energy.
I have a playlist of all kinds of angry songs, mostly rock and postrock ones. And during this PMS phase, listening to that kind of music, makes me feel like they understand. I have a sad and melancholy playlist too. It all depends on my mood which one i listen to. Sometimes, a playlist of worship songs helps me more. No, i am not Christian, but i like listening to these songs bcoz they always speak to me about how it’s okay, about grace being always present and about love and forgiveness. Sometimes, that’s all we need to hear — that it’s okay. It’s going to be okay.
Water. Or Tea.
Water has really helped to balance the moods a few times, but i mostly forget to drink enough water during PMS. Lol. Water also helps during the actual periods to reduce the cramps.
Usually i have one cup of tea almost every day. Or black coffee. But during PMS, i can have upto 2-3 mugs of tea. They say not to have caffeine, but i’d have even more mood swings if i didn’t have one mug of tea or coffee.
My motto during the PMS is simple. If you crave it, have it. Lol.
And lastly, this too is one of my favourite after pizza but i kept it for last.
Binge watching a series.
What else would go with pizza-eating? Lol. I recently realized that binge watching a series for many hours, made me a little bit more depressive. So i had stopped it. But somehow, during the PMS, i cannot seem to read a book or do anything else. Binge watching a crime series actually makes me feel a little bit better.
So just relax and don’t be too hard on yourself.
All you have to find out to manage PMS is one food item, one activity that releases energy and mix n match it. And if you need to shut yourself from the world, do it.
We cannot escape it, but we can learn to be prepared.
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