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Self-Care Strategies for Managing Premenstrual Symptoms

When you have regular periods, you may notice another occurrence each month: Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS). For many women, PMS involves cravings, trouble sleeping, and mood swings. And in a lot of cases, it's possible to manage your symptoms alone. With a few self-care tips, you can keep the worst of your PMS at bay.

Track Your Symptoms

Getting familiar with your symptoms and when they occur is a good way to anticipate them and introduce self-care in a timely manner. Overall, they should begin around 4 to 10 days before your period is due to start. Try keeping a diary of your symptoms for a few months and create an average of when they begin. You may want to note both your mood and your physical symptoms.

Prioritise Sleep

During your PMS, you're more likely to experience insomnia. As such, you should prioritise sleep throughout the month to buildup your sleep bank. Stick to a regular bedtime and waking routine so that your brain knows when it's time to fall asleep and wake up again. You may also want to assess your sleep hygiene and see if there's room for improvement.

Exercise When You Can

Although you may be experiencing cramping, bloating, and fatigue, now isn't the time to abandon exercise. In fact, cardiovascular exercise is an excellent way to keep depression and tiredness at bay. When you work out, you boost the endorphins that can lower your pain and leave you feeling happier. If you're new to exercising regularly, start out with low-impact aerobic workouts and build your way up to heavier routines.

Balance Your Diet

When those cravings hit, it's tempting to munch your way through chocolate and salty snacks. However, too much sugar is likely to result in energy crashes that worsen your fatigue. As for salt, it could increase your bloating. Instead, treat yourself to small amounts of those foods but prioritise other sources of sustenance for an easier time. You can curb your sugar cravings with fruit and increase your water intake to reduce bloating. Focusing on foods high in omega-3 fatty acids can also boost your mental health.

Speak to a Professional

If you feel as though your PMS is unmanageable, speak to a medical professional. As an area of women's healthcare that can benefit from various interventions, it can have a big impact on your life. With a full assessment, your doctor can identify lifestyle changes that may help you. In some cases, they may also recommend medications and changes to your contraceptive methods.