How to Cope When You Have PMS Anxiety Symptoms

It’s Sunday afternoon. I’ve just cried at a couple breaking up in the romcom I’ve just watched, whilst simultaneously giving a savage side-eye to my partner because he brought the wrong orange juice home from the shop. I’ve also just inhaled a takeaway pizza and I could eat the same again right now to be quite honest with you. Yesterday, I got unnaturally angry because I couldn’t get my eyeliner right the first time and I spent last night staring at the ceiling, unable to sleep as I was feeling anxious about…nothing I could put my finger on.

WHAT is going on? The following day, I head to the bathroom in the morning to see the familiar sight of the start of my period. Oh. That’s what it was: PMS.

PMS or Premenstrual Syndrome, by definition, is the same for the symptoms women can experience in the days leading up to their period. Of course, it’s not all drama and doughnuts. Some months can be worse than others and some women don’t have any symptoms at all (lucky them!). However, most women (over 90%) will experience PMS anxiety symptoms at some point or another.

 

Researchers think that PMS happens in the days after ovulation because estrogen and progesterone levels begin falling dramatically if you are not pregnant.

 

Common symptoms are as follows:

 

  • Feeling upset, anxious or irritable
  • Bloating or tummy pain
  • Breast tenderness
  • Headaches
  • Spotty skin or greasy hair
  • Changes in appetite and sex drive

 

A whole heap of fun, right? It’s taken a while for me (around 180 periods in fact!) to really get my head around the whole business and start taking the proverbial bull by the horns in terms of my menstrual wellness. Here’s how I cope with my PMS.

 

1.Track everything

I really struggle with anxiety, but around my period, it gets super bad. I never understood this until I downloaded Flo. Since June 2017, I have tracked every cycle, every symptom and change in my body, giving me a much deeper understanding of what stage my body is at and why I feel a certain way. It sounds like a lot of effort but once you get into it, you’ll realise that the wealth of knowledge you have about yourself is absolutely invaluable.

 

2.Regular exercise

Trust me, when you have cramps and feel annoyed, there’s nothing I’d rather do less than get up and exercise. BUT. It is so worth doing and you’ll feel so much better after doing it. You don’t need to take an intense HIIT class, simply swimming or doing some morning stretches can do a world of wonder for both your physical and mental state.

*Click here to see The ‘Trickiest’ Relationship between Period & Mental Health.

 

3.Don’t drink alcohol

Remember that anxiety and irritability? Yeah, alcohol and PMS is a cocktail for disaster. We commonly reach for the wine in times of emotional instability, and there are arguments for alcohol being a muscle relaxant and therefore relieving physical pains. However, alcohol can really exacerbate symptoms during PMS – linked with a 45% increase in the risk of PMS, and that heavy drinking – or consuming more than one alcoholic drink a day – was linked to a 79% increase in the risk of PMS.

 

You’d think that having periods from a young-ish age, we’d be used to the symptoms and experience by now – but somehow it always takes me by surprise! By listening to your body, you can make PMS easier to navigate and feel all the more better for it.

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