Premenstrual symptoms(PMS)can range a two-week period predating a woman’s menstruation cycle every month. Premenstrual symptoms can include, but are not limited to, cramps, breast pain, excess fatigue, erratic mood changes, and an increase in digestive ailments.
The changes in hormones heavily impacts the symptoms a woman can experience leading up to, and during, the menstruation period. While it is normal to experience these different changes due to hormone fluctuation, one can better prepare and support their body with small, but impactful additions to one’s daily life.
The Menstrual Cycle and How Cycle Syncing Can Help One Better Align Their Daily Life to Their Cycle
Cycle syncing is a great way to better attune one’s daily lifestyle with one’s menstrual cycle. In accordance with the fluctuation of hormones a woman’s body experiences throughout the month, one might experience unstable energy levels. Cycle syncing refers to the process of identifying the times throughout your menstrual cycle in which you feel more or less energetic, and in turn adjust your activities accordingly.
This will allow for more peace throughout the month and can help one to avoid stress or discomfort due to premenstrual symptoms interfering with one’s daily life.
The menstrual cycle is made up of four different parts: the menstrual phase, the follicular phase, the ovulation phase, and the luteal phase.
- The menstrual phase refers to the time in which a woman’s uterus sheds causing bleeding. It can last up to 7 days. Due to the lack of estrogen during this time, many women experience a decline in energy during the menstrual phase.
- The follicular phase is where a woman’s body prepares an ovarian follicle to be released later on. Estrogen levels start to rise during this time, and in turn, energy levels also begin to rise again. This time period usually spans a five day period.
- Next is the ovulation phase, which is when the body releases an egg. Our estrogen levels are at their highest point during this part of the cycle.
- Lastly comes the luteal phase. This phase is when the leftover sac produces progesterone to aid the process in which the egg is reaching the uterus.
The amount of time that each phase takes up will depend completely on the person. Taking note throughout the month of your energy levels, your mood, and any other symptoms you might be experiencing is the best way to find any pattern that might exist throughout your menstrual cycle. Once you have, you will be able to successfully make changes to your daily life accordingly.
The Link Between The Menstrual Cycle and Mental Health
We already know that the menstrual cycle can have an impact on someone’s mood. Low levels of estrogen, which is experienced most at the time before and during menstruation, can impact the chemicals that are released in the brain such as serotonin.
However, this connection works both ways. If you are experiencing high levels of stress, this can cause massive changes to your menstrual cycle. Stress or any form of emotional distress can cause a period to stop or become shorter. It can also make premenstrual symptoms more intense.
Due to this connection, it is important to make sure you are taking care of your mental health every single day. Implement daily activities into your routine that will help to keep stress at bay. This looks different for everyone but some general activities that can help to relieve stress include:
- taking a bath
- unplugging from the internet
Due to the painful premenstrual symptoms that can sometimes accompany the menstrual cycle, one can start to feel overwhelmed and frustrated. The better you come to understand your own menstrual cycle, the easier it will be to accommodate any frustrations that might start to arise. For example, if you are someone who knows they tend to become more irritable during a certain part of your menstrual cycle, you can find ways to avoid conflict during this time.
Making small changes to one’s daily routine in accordance with these symptoms can have a massive impact on the quality of life. There are also many at-home remedies to certain premenstrual symptoms.
How to Alleviate Premenstrual Symptoms When They Do Occur
While premenstrual symptoms are not completely avoidable, it does not mean we should simply live with them when they do occur. Ailments like digestive issues, headaches, and cramps can become less disruptive with certain at-home remedies such as:
- A heating pad: A heating pad is a great way to alleviate any cramps or stomach pains one might be experiencing. It will relax the muscles in the area making way for the cramps to dissipate. This can also be helpful for those who experience lower back pain.
- Get a massage: A massage can help to alleviate any muscle aches and cramps, and can be a great way to naturally release any tension/stress that your body might be holding. An abdominal massage can be especially helpful for those who experience constipation during the menstrual cycle.
- Take a supplement for bloating: A vitamin for bloating that contains gut health enzymes and probiotics will help to support your digestive process throughout your menstrual cycle. These ingredients are the pillars to creating a strong digestive system and gut.
- Increase your intake of anti-inflammatory foods: Spinach, walnuts, salmon, and cherries are all anti-inflammatory foods that can help to alleviate menstrual cramps through dietary changes. Since you are already having three meals a day, why not amend them to become helpful in combating premenstrual symptoms?
- Use a cold compress for a headache: A headache can truly overpower one’s senses making it hard to focus on anything. A cold compress can help to constrict the blood vessels in the area making it harder for the pain to be registered by the brain. The cooling effect can also feel welcoming to the distressed area.
- Herbal tea: There are a variety of different herbal teas out there, all known for their health-remedial powers. Find a tea that works for you and your specific needs.