Updated: Jun 28
Pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS) can seriously affect your mental and emotional health if not taken care of. Here are a few natural ways you can balance your PMS every day.
Poor eating and lifestyle habits directly contribute to how painful premenstrual symptoms can be. Plus, modern diets are filled with processed foods, sugars, caffeine, etc. and most of the time our daily diets are lacking in essential vitamins and minerals (especially now that we are all stuck at home). Balancing your body and hormones is a full time job—it’s not enough to only monitor your diet and lifestyle the week before your period. This will ensure less cramps, and decreased emotional outbursts. Our cycles won't pause just because the world did. Women, like nature, keep on going. So don't forget to continue to live in a way that supports your hormones and keeps your cycle balanced and healthy.
Avoid processed foods. Emotional and physical symptoms of PMS are much worse in women who regularly consume processed foods. So although it may take a bit longer to take the time to cook a home cooked meal, the effort is well worth it. Studies have found that western diets, specifically those with increased processed food consumption, result in more cases of PMS. So as difficult as it may feel to put down the potato chips when you are craving something salty, or keep yourself from finishing the chocolate bar when you are craving something sweet, try to reach for a healthier alternative, like nuts or fruits. Stay hydrated. Staying hydrated seems obvious, but for some reason many of us forget how important drinking enough water a day is. The week before menstruation and the week of menstruation we are more likely to become dehydrated, so keep a water bottle next to you and keep taking sips. Sleep at least eight hours every night. Everyone should be getting at least eight hours of sleep a night. With today's situation, it can be easy to feel like your daily schedule is out of control. So try making an effort to get into bed at a reasonable hour so you can soak up some ZZZ’s and recharge before your morning begins. A great way to do this is to stay away from any electronic devices or screens at least two hours before bedtime. Don't forget to exercise. Just because you can't go to the gym, does not mean you can't workout. Regular exercise is proved to reduce both physical and emotional symptoms of PMS. So try going for a walk or a run, or checking out what online offerings your local yoga studio or gym has put together. Find healthy ways to manage your stress. Stress wreaks havoc on our hormones and makes PMS symptoms even worse. Taking a bath, finding time for a yoga sequence, or simply meditation should be an integral part of balancing your cycle so you can reduce the nasty emotional side effects of PMS. Remember self-care is not selfish, but taking out your anger on someone else is. Limit your alcohol intake. I know this one may not be popular, but alcohol intake is directly connected to how painful PMS symptoms may be. Scientists concluded this is because alcohol is directly related to hormones in the body that control mood, like serotonin. Increased alcohol consumption leads to increased and worsened symptoms of PMS. So as difficult as it may be, try to limit your evening glass of wine to a couple times a week rather than every night. Alcohol can also affect the quality of our sleep, so if stress is creeping up and depression is kicking in, it may be worth trying to stay away from your nightcap for a week or two. Best teas for PMS. It may be worth replacing your coffee with a cup of green tea leading up to the week you experience PMS—researchers have found that caffeine consumption increases PMS symptoms by a whopping 30%. The good news is the effects were markedly worse in women who had 4 or more cups of coffee or tea a day. If you can weather the storm, taking a break from caffeine may be helpful. Try out ginger, chamomile, or raspberry leaf tea for decreased instances of cramps and other negative symptoms of PMS. Take it as it comes. Remember PMS, menstruation, and ovulation are just parts of a cycle. Everything waxes and wanes like the moon. (By the way check out the full moon tonight!). Practice self-care and just remember your body is affected by what you put into it, so treat it with respect and love.
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