It’s that uninvited guest again who arrives unfailingly each month. Even at my age, I still get caught off guard. I soon realise after my unjustified volcanic reaction, that it must be that time again. I then consult my handy electronic data collecting friend and my suspicions are confirmed. Phew, I’m not such a b* !
Like many women, I get terrible mood swings, relentlessly tearful, my petite mammary glands hurt even at the slightest touch and I lash out at anything and anybody, with my nearest and dearest being my worst victims. It’s a vicious circle. But once I identify the culprit, I lie low and initiate my usual plan of attack. Surely everybody is different and my survival pathway might not match yours. But if one seems worthy of a try, why not give it a go?
Know the enemy
I use a Period Tracker App to track my cycle. I must say, it has never let me down. If you record all the fields correctly, you could easily identify recurring patterns. Data never lies. Evidently, the Period Tracker does not lessen the symptoms, but it helps to assure us that ‘all is normal’. I say that because at one stage I seriously thought that I had Bipolar when suffering from my low moods caused by PMS.
Once I know I’m on the warpath, I use any excuse to distract myself. I go for a walk, shopping, do some cleaning or just about anything to take the mind off the horrible moods. I find that staying busy leaves less time for self pity.
I know for a fact that when I’m physically active, I get less pain down the line when the floods come gushing. The secret lies to the effects of dopamine and endorphins released during excercise, which are natural pain killers. As to the moods, it also helps a lot when I exercise. I can’t imagine myself pulling a long face during Zumba!
Put your records on
As sang by the lovely Corrine Bailey Ray (love her!) I always use music to change my mood. So go ahead, create a playlist for those days when you need it. And don’t forget to refresh it, keep it cheerful.
It has such calming effects. Did you know there is tea which helps with moods? ‘Gute Laune Tee’. I used to buy in Germany but in France I get by with my Kusmi varieties, which seem to do the trick. I have no idea if this is just placebo or there is some truth to it. On the contrary, the worst you could do is to open up a bottle of Chardonnay! It’ll only give you a momentary lift and drop you off so low below the sea level. Not worth it, been there! So yes, tea please ¥
I accept (even though I hate to be reminded) that I am a bit vulnerable because of these hormonal changes. And so I avoid unnecessary confrontations as I know that my emotions will get the better of me.
It’s my prerogative. I love chocolates but like any treats, moderation is the key. Surely you’ll find lots of articles citing that chocolates help to boost mood, lower stress, relieve pain etc. But I’m still convinced that exercise is the biggest player in relieving PMS. That said though, I won’t say no to Lindt Dark chocolate with orange, given that it is so appropriate at this time.
Just before I go, I urge you to share the Period App with your girlfriends please. I recently went to see my female gynecologist who thought that the App was the biggest miracle of our times and yet, she had not known of its existence until I showed it to her. This is a female gynaecologist! So don’t assume please. There are plenty of people out there who could use it, either for family planning or just understanding our beautiful and complex female bodies. As for me, it has really helped me to understand my body and in turn, helped me to live in harmony with others.
What works for you? Care to share? I wish you a great survival journey.