Once Upon a Month by Incognito

PMS Survival Strategy: Amazing Little Ritual

October 8th, 2015

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"Hey! Do you suffer from killer PMS or are you one of the lucky ones who has no symptoms whatsoever when it's that time of the month?"

The very first time I heard about premenstrual syndrome, I had this vague idea it was something related to the menstrual cycle, but as for what PMS was exactly, I had no clue. Today, I can list at least five symptoms that I systematically have a few days before "that time of the month" starts and I have developed a little ritual that seems to work to calm these nasty symptoms... the fact is, it makes those days leading up to my period much more bearable, thank you very much! 

BASICALLY, I told myself that I'm definitely not the only girl in the world suffering from PMS symptoms and that it could maybe help a lot of girls to go ahead and list the PMS symptoms and see how we can deal with them! ;)

Those darn hormonal changes (a.k.a. the main PMS symptoms)

Symptoms related to water retention:

  • weight gain – you know when you have the impression you gained 3 pounds? Don't worry about it girl, it's only temporary and you'll be fine – just avoid weighing yourself a few days before so you don't go into unnecessary shock;) ;
  • sore boobs;
  • sore legs or heavy legs – a little spritz of cold water on the calves - morning and evening - goes a long way;
  • very sweaty hands and feet – personally, my feet get particularly sweaty so I've tried everything, including, you got it it, pantiliners in my shoes;

Emotional and psychological symptoms:

  • nervous tension or stress – in my case, I'm much more sensitive than usual :(;
  • changing mood / crying fits – you know, when the empty Nutella jar makes you want to throw yourself, screaming, on the floor;
  • irritability / aggressiveness – when your boyfriend gives you a <insert any adjectiver here> look and it becomes grounds for breaking up because "What does that mean, that @#&% look you just gave me? That I'm a bit irritable?!? You're going to see what I'm like when I'm REALLY iiiiiiiirritable!!!";
  • insecurity / depression – it's okay not to feel okay, but remember that hormones are a major factor in how we feel: try to keep things in perspective by remembering how you felt a few days before;

But also (yeah, of course, as if that wasn't enough):

  • change in appetite / cravings for sweet or salty foodsThe stomach and hormones: let’s just say they get along too well;
  • headaches or migraines – given how much I consume, I could have shares in ADVIL;
  • physical pains, particularly in the kidneys, the stomach and in the pelvic area – the magic bag seems like my best friend sometimes;
  • severe fatigue accompanied by trouble sleeping – it might not be the time to binge-watch your favourite TV series;) ;
  • skin problems (acne, oily skin, increased facial hair…) – "Really? I never noticed!" - check out Zoé's 3 DIY PMS beauty specials here;
  • increased or decreased libido – Well, well, let's talk about sex during your period!

So not everyone suffers from ALL these symptoms and, of course, the intensity of the symptoms varies from one woman to another. For more details – scientific that is – on the symptoms, I invite you to take a quick look here. In all cases, if you are uncomfortable to the point of being incapable of going to school / to work, see a doctor right away – "medical" solutions exist and no one should have to endure such discomfort!

The way I deal with it (a.k.a. amzing little ritual)

To get through those few days (precisely 3 days for me) smoothly and avoid being nasty with those around me (you got it, I'm more affected by mood swings than by lower-abdomen pain), here is what I have on tap:

  • I plan really really mellow evenings at home and I go to bed on the early side: generally, I have what I refer to as a feel-good evening (bubble bath, candles and I make a little DIY scrub – that also helps with pimples), a movie night with a girlfriend (not the whole gang, just one girlfriend, sushi and a rom-com) and a "project" evening (I choose something and I focus on it –  it can be preparing lunches for the next few days, or reorganizing my bathroom – the idea is to be active and keep my mind occupied on something useful);
  • I plan good breakfasts: I don't tend to eat a lot in the morning so when 11:00 a.m. hits, even when it's not that time of the month, I want to kill someone! It's crazy how a yummy piece of banana bread topped with Nutella puts me in a good mood…;
  • I dress comfortably: believe it or not, I have mastered the art of dressing chic and comfortably – perfect for PMS!

For sure if your PMS is a pain in the kidneys, eating a big breakfast will not necessarily do the trick, but what's important is to know that it's coming and to be able to plan little ways to take care of ourselves: why not make it a habit to use a magic bag?

So, do you have killer PMS or are you one of the lucky ones? How do you deal with it?

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About the author

Gabi is the girl who never goes unnoticed. Charisma and - it must be said - her big mouth intimidate many. She’s also never been in a "real...