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The little things you can do to deal with PMS

Lots of women track their menstrual cycles so they can plan ahead for their "monthly visitor." And many women come up with clever names to mark the coming of their monthly menstrual period. Our Aunt Flo or Cousin Red comes for a visit. We ride the crimson wave or the red tide.

But who names their PMS? And what would you call it anyway? The Beast? The Pest? For some women, the 2 weeks or so before menstruation can pass without notice. For others who experience premenstrual syndrome, each month is marred by cramps, headaches, depression, water retention, and any number of other psychological and physical symptoms.

You don't necessarily need to plan your life around your PMS. You also don't necessarily need to turn to pills or potions to find relief. A proactive approach and a little insight into your own PMS patterns could be enough to slay the beast or put the pest to rest.

Track your PMS pattern. The symptoms may feel random and roller-coaster-ish, but there may be a method to your body's monthly madness. Track your symptoms for a few months to see if you notice a pattern. Perhaps your monthly pre-period migraine hits on the same day of your cycle every month. Or maybe your belly bloat coincides with your office's monthly pizza lunch. Once you have your symptoms' schedule figured out you can plan ahead to avoid triggers. A calendar of symptoms can also be informative if you decide to seek your doctor's advice. Print up this monthly tracking calendar to get started.

Move all month. Cramps and bloating can put you in no mood for the gym. But when you get up and move, your body creates more mood-boosting beta-endorphins, which can ease you through the pain, depressive symptoms and stress of PMS. Plus you get to work up a sweat to flush out excess fluids (which can cause that pre-period puff) and increase the blood flow to your cramp-congested pelvic region.

Gain pre-period pressure points. If you know that your body wages a hormone battle every 28 days or so, arm yourself with relaxation and stress-reduction strategies. Try meditation to cultivate mindfulness and an awareness of how your body responds to its ebbs and flows. Or stretch and breathe through an endorphin-releasing yoga session. While it's true that one yoga or meditation session won't cure PMS, consistent practice of mind-body activities can improve your overall attitude toward stress. In addition, some women may find acupuncture to be effective in warding off bothersome PMS symptoms.

Take a soak. It seems like a cliché, but there is relief to be found in a nice, warm bath. Soak away stress, as the warm water encourages tense muscles to relax. Shake in mineral salts or a couple drops of your favourite essential oils to up the "ahhh" effect.

Cold comforts and hot helps. Calm cramps with a heating pad applied to your lower back or belly.

All material copyright MediResource Inc. 1996 – 2022. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Source:

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