Yes, it’s that time of the month again!
When you are quickly irritated and inexplicably sad at the same time. When you
crave carbs and also worry about your face breaking out in an angry swarm of
acne. When it feels like you are blinking away tears at the cute thing your dog
did today morning but you are also too fatigued to post it on Instagram. When
you want to dance away the night with your girlfriends, but the horrible
bloating stops you from putting on your favourite dress. Premenstrual Symptoms
can be a real pain (no pun intended!). Did you know that about 90% of women
experience premenstrual symptoms at some point in their lifetime?
These symptoms can range from mood swings and oversensitivity to appetite changes, weight gain and even diarrhoea. So, what can we do to tackle PMS from wrecking our mental and physical well-being? With a little bit of know-how and some will-power, we can easily reduce the worst effects of PMS. All it takes is simply avoiding these five bad habits:
Not sleeping enough: We know how absolutely important 8 hours of sleep is, isn’t it? Lack of sleep can interfere with our hunger, emotions, and mental clarity. Sleep deprivation increases stress levels and also interferes with healthy hormone balance. Most premenstrual symptoms can be handled with something as easy as getting enough sleep every day. So put that phone away, tuck in cosily and get some shut-eye. The accompanying sweet dreams won’t hurt either!
Increased caffeine intake: Resist the urge to reach for that second and third cup of coffee! Yes, the juggernaut of deadlines is rolling over you, but believe it or not, excessive caffeine will make matters worse. It will make you feel irritable, on the edge. Caffeine also interferes with our sleep patterns. Remember what we said about sleep in the previous point? Exchange the coffee for some soothing jasmine or chamomile tea and watch your stress gently floating away.
Salt and sugar consumption: Don’t buy that bag of chips! Put that doughnut down right now! We know it’s easier said than done, but the benefits of a little bit of self-control far outweigh the fleeting gratification of salt or sugar hit. PMS may have you craving chocolate cake and tubs of ice cream, but refined sugar will only feed the monster of mood swings. Consumption of extra table salt and processed food like instant noodles, chips, fries and even Indian fried namkeens can lead to water retention and bloating. Steer clear of these unhealthy snacks and your body will thank you for it by keeping PMS at bay.
Lack of exercise: This one’s a no-brainer! It is a scientific fact that exercise releases endorphins into the bloodstream, thus naturally improving our mood. Exercise also improves blood circulation and helps regulate hormone levels. Choose your favourite form of physical activity, be it Running, Yoga, Zumba or Pilates and make sure that you commit to a minimum of thirty minutes of exercise every day.
Too much stress: We know just how stressful work can get. Trying to balance the demands of a career and have fulfilling personal relationships can be very tough indeed. But long term, persistent stress will cause multiple health problems, including severe PMS. On the other hand, effective stress management will immediately reduce menstrual and pre-menstrual symptoms. Practice meditation and deep breathing techniques whenever stress seems to be getting the better of you. Switch off your devices and fall off the grid for half an hour every day. Chalk out some much needed ‘me-time’ from your busy schedule. Enjoy a quiet walk, or watch the sunset. Unwind and relax so that when it’s that time of the month again, you know exactly how to manage PMS without any stress.
Let your hair down ladies! Exercise, rejuvenate, and revel in your pyjamas while you wish your PMS away!