By Karin Krisher
OK. Most of us ladies will complain about PMS. If we don’t complain about it, it isn’t because it doesn’t suck.
It’s because we have massive amounts of self-control and we know there’s nothing we can really do about this hand we’ve been dealt in the gender department.
Or is there?
If you’re one of the lucky ones, no need to read on – unless you want to help out your less fortunate female friends (which you do).
If you, like at least one third of us, experience the aching, cramping, bloating, irritability and overall emotional instability of PMS every dang month, keep reading.
Here’s how to deal with PMS like you mean it.
It’s a must have. Not because you’re moody and craving sugar, but because you’re moody and craving serotonin. Contents of chocolate can boost its production in the gut (and the brain).
It also has some caffeine-like properties of support for mental energy, which come from Theobromine.
But don’t just dive into a bag of chocolate chips at 2AM as I may or may not have a tendency to do.
Instead, opt for real cocoa. You can make a delicious hot chocolate mix that soothes the soul and your mind using almond or regular milk (or water, of course). Try one of these healthy recipes from Mother Nature Network.
Yeah, I know. Nothing sounds less appealing when you’re marathoning Netflix and crying every four minutes. But trust me, exercise can help.
If you’ve ever gotten a runner’s high, you know that endorphins are real things that make you feel real good. Get some by powering through a quick cardio or lifting sesh. It can ease cramps and bloating and make you feel a little less like Eeyore is hanging out on your couch.
I view chocolate and nutrition separately because even though both are about what you put into your body, chocolate is always its own thing.
The other nutrients you consume during PMS can really help to elevate your mood. And it’s not just about what, but also, when.
Eating small meals frequently helps keep your blood sugar stable.
Because blood sugar swings can cause severe mood swings and irritability (“hangry,” anyone?), focusing on stability can be necessary for those of us who are liable to scratch “Surrender Dorothy” in our loud neighbor’s front door.
Avoiding alcohol and sugary treats just before your period can also help to set you up for relative success in the anger-mitigation department.
Another helpful nutrient suggestion: supplements containing Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), or those that support its production, are ideal for use to support pre-menstrual wellness.*
GLA produces beneficial prostaglandins, which regulate the menstrual cycle. It supports women with symptoms of low mood states and, yes, that awful breast tenderness.*
Sources of GLA include Black Currant Seed Oil, Borage Seed Oil and other Omega-6 containing supplements.
Calcium and magnesium supplements also support positive mood states and energy levels during PMS.*
Or whatever works for you to ease stress in the rest of your life, PMS aside.
If you can ease stress during the rest of the month, you have a better shot of weathering the very real storm that takes over your bod during your actual period.
Meditation, relaxation breathing, individual or group therapy, bubble baths, cooking, hanging with friends, walking your dog—whatever it is that makes you feel good and stress-free, do it.
This advice is quite applicable to all aspects of happiness, not just PMS happiness, so it’s a good practice for even the men in our lives to adopt.
What are your tried and true tips?
Do you have specialized ways of easing the emotional symptoms of PMS? Share your tips with us!