My breasts started aching yesterday, and I immediately sped up on work ahead of the week. Once a month, my breasts get heavy and painful, so painful that even hugging someone hurts. I used to think it was weird that till I found out that many women actually experience this. And it’s just one of the symptoms of PMS. I imagine that before calendars and period apps were a thing, this probably helped many women to ‘tell time’.
Pre-Menstrual Syndrome (PMS) describes the symptoms one may have in the days leading to one’s menstrual period. Another annoying PMS symptom I experience is moodiness that leads to crying. At some point in the next few days, I’ll catch myself crying hard over something that’s inconsequential but, at that moment, seems like a huge deal. Last month, it was because people were late for a meeting we’d set. Ladies, I tire!
So, my PMS starts with the breast ache, then graduates to the other symptoms, including fatigue that I cannot explain. One time, I slept for most of two days in a row. But PMS is different for everyone. I don’t know how it is for you, or what helps you with yours, but I wanted to share how I navigate mine.
I try to do as much work ahead of time as possible, so that my schedule is as light as possible in the PMS week. It helps that I run my own business, so I can move things around as necessary. Some months though, I can’t do that because clients have surprise needs. But, I’ve found that, the less I have to do in that window, the better for me. So, even if you can’t do this, try to eliminate stress factors.
Even if you cannot sleep for most of two days in a row like I did, try to make the best of your nights. Get at least 7 hours of good sleep—this should be standard throughout the month, really—so that you can feel refreshed during the day and get an easier handle on whatever PMS symptoms you have.
I had to add ‘right’ because my body craves a lot of food in the PMS window, and when I don’t watch what I eat, period bloat follows. Jeez, that’s two weeks of my body not being mine, if I’m not careful (and I’m not even counting random ovulation pain). I’ve cut out sugar, caffeine, and alcohol from my overall diet, and I feel better for it. I’m still trying to get to the eating more veggies part.
Pop Pills if Need Be
Don’t make that decision on your own, even when it’s just supplements. I know some people have really terrible PMS symptoms—like migraines or throwing up often—so if you’re one, see your doctor for medical advice, and use meds to help if need be.
Don’t be Surprised
I keep telling myself this, but it’s a lie. Every month, I’m still caught unawares by something—it’s usually the random tears in sometimes embarrassing places. Have you ever cried because the restaurant got your food order wrong? No? Ok. Maybe this should have said, “Don’t feel alone” because you’re not. Once I realised that PMS is a real thing that happens to many women monthly, it helped me to be less weirded out by it.
So, what’s your PMS like, and how do you PMS in Peace, if there’s such a thing?