PMS-Survival Plan

Dear ladies,

Know that you are not alone when suddenly you want to rip someone’s head of, kick in a door, scream at your hubbie or are in puddles when you see a dead bird on the street, when all you wanna do is lie in bed, feel sorry for yourself or binge on all things sugar….and feel like a bloated hippo afterward.

Every month, a week before the Flo hits us, we become bitchy, bawling beasts: doctors call it simply: PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome), but with us and our significant others it is also known as:

Pretty Much Screwed
Potentially More Scary
Pouting, Moaning & Sleepy
Period Men Suffer
Poor Me Syndrom

On a more serious note, there’s also a more severe version of PMS called PMDD: Pre Menstrual Dysphoric Disorder*, where PMS really starts to interfere with your work, home or health. Sort of: PMS on steroids.
Symptoms include:

  • markedly depressed mood, feelings of hopelessness, or self-deprecating thoughts
  • marked anxiety, tension, feelings of being “keyed up” or “on edge”
  • marked affective lability (e.g., feeling suddenly sad or tearful or increased sensitivity to rejection)
  • persistent and marked anger or irritability or increased interpersonal conflicts
  • decreased interest in usual activities (e.g., blogging, household, friends, hobbies)
  • subjective sense of difficulty in concentrating
  • lethargy, easy fatigability, or marked lack of energy
  • marked change in appetite, overeating, or specific food cravings (sugar)
  • hypersomnia or insomnia
  • a subjective sense of being overwhelmed or out of control
  • other physical symptoms, such as breast tenderness or swelling, headaches, joint or muscle pain, a sensation of bloating,” weight gain*

Even though with ‘regular PMS’ you have somewhat milder symptoms than the ones above: This ‘ain’t no fun’!

But there is hope, my sister!

After having been completely harrassed by the PMS-monster for the umptieth time, I decided it was time for action! (do you also hear ‘Eye of the Tiger’ playing or is that just my imagination?)

I turned the internet upside down and read a lot of stories from women with the same experiences as me.
Here are my suggestions for you! Take what you like and leave the rest.

  • STOP – take a breath
  • Pray for help / meditate
  • Awareness Acceptance and Surrender!
  • Try and enjoy a moment for yourself
  • Track your pms-symptoms on a pms-tracker online and put a reminder on the estimated first day of your pms.
  • Take it easy on the sugar and flour, ESPECIALLY CHOCOLATE
  • Dress nicely even if you don’t feel like it.
  • Only one cup of coffee a day, if you’re a regular coffee-gourmet like me
  • Take candle-lit baths, loads of them: with organic or natural products or with essential oils like lavender to soothe and calm, or citrussy stuff like orange, red mandarin, grapefruit or bergamot to lift your mood**
  • Stick to your daily routines even more now. You need structure to keep you sane. You can find wonderful, empowering and heartwarming tips from Flylady on the internet. ‘Fly’ stands for Finally Loving Yourself.
  • Talk to other women to vent your emotions and don’t throw it all on your significant other / hubbie or journal.
  • Place your expectations of yourself way lower for this period of time.
  • Get some fresh air AND MOVE (dog-walking is awesome).
  • Don’t handle difficult stuff: just postpone it if possible and put a reminder for your post period days to make an important decision or change.
  • Play! Be creative: draw self-encouraging images or texts on paper, do origami for beginners, sew something easy and fun, read calming, inspiring books or websites.
  • Stick to a healthy diet: lots of veggies, fruit, protein, complex carbs, and good fats (with healthy omegas*).
  • Cuddle dog or bunnies, any animal is fine als long as it is soft and cuddly. (I mean, don’t try this with your goldfish).
  • Listen to upbeat or calming music (no depressing stuff please.)
  • Watch funny movies. Here’s a list.

Let me know what works for you!

Leave a comment below, on Twitter or on Facebook.

Don’t forget:

And this is for the men:

Dear men/ significant others,

  • Awareness Acceptance Surrender!
  • Set a reminder for when the Party begins (awareness).
  • Accept your wife/partner fully (acceptance).
  • Surrender to the fact that she is human and female and that it has a lot of upsides and unfortunately one downside but that it is the way it is (surrender).
  • Be supportive
  • Be sweet but don’t try to fix your quirky pms-princess; keep setting boundaries.
  • Stay out of her way when she is cranky.
  • Hide your chocolate stash extremely well!!!!
  • Don’t talk about finances, difficult decisions or changes, wait until IT has passed.
  • Say ‘I love you’ a little bit more often and ‘I am proud of you’.
  • Use humour.
  • Draw little sheep for her on paper or sticky notes (pms sheep).
  • Give her a little present now and then

Thanks for being there for her: you are a ray of light to her and remember that this grumpy wild cat will return to her fluffy cuddly kitty-self after this is over.
You can do this!

* I am NOT a doctor, so please see your g.p. for any medical advice/treatment on pms/pmdd, this blog article is only written from a layman’s perspective, a fellow pms-sufferer.
** Be careful with essential oils if you’re pregnant, always consult a doctor first

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