Is it just us or are you feeling the strain RN, too? Whether you’re coming off hormonal contraception or not, it’s time we talked about a biggie for everyone who menstruates...
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is the name given to that all too familiar whirlwind of physical and emotional symptoms that can appear in the 2 weeks leading up to your period. Luckily, they usually improve once your period starts and tend to have disappeared by the end. The exact cause is not known, but it’s likely to be linked to changes in the levels of your hormones and body chemicals. Most people who have periods experience some kind of PMS, we’re all different and as a result, symptoms can vary from month to month, too.
The common symptoms include:
- Mood swings
- Feeling depressed
- Food cravings
- Lethargy/ tiredness
- Emotional/ teary
- Tender breasts
Please seek medical help if your PMS is affecting your ability to go about your day to day business. About 3% of people have symptoms severe enough to do so, and an even smaller number suffer from an even more intense form called premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD).
There are many ways to help manage stress, and balance your hormones whilst seeking your Hormone Harmony, so do whatever works for you! Self-care is an essential part of your overall wellbeing, and we’ve asked Team HANX to share their best stress-busting tips for you to try. Ready? Let’s do this together! ☺
Meditate. This doesn’t need to be complex, take five minutes every morning to tune in to your breath, your body, and your thoughts. Use Calm or a similar app to help guide you if this is new to you. Taking deep breaths is healthy for your lungs, and can help relax your mind, bringing you back into the here and now. Or wherever you’d like to be mentally: we’re thinking a sun-soaked patio in Santorini, tbh...
Write down the things you’re grateful for. Each day, write down the five things you’re grateful for and then set an intention for the next day. By physically noting them down, it’s easier to take stock of the things in your life that you appreciate, and own what you do each day. Little victories count, too! Make a note of how you’re feeling, monitor this, and track your progress. It’s important to acknowledge the positive effects going hormone-free is hopefully having on your body, mood, and life.
Spa. Treat yourself to a DIY spa day and take time to give yourself a little self-care: essential in reducing stress. Whether this is a mani-pedi, deep conditioning treatment or hair mask (hands up if you’re growing out a lockdown fringe), TONIC15 face mask from your Hormone Harmony Kit or even a hand massage, whatever helps you unwind, is an important part of self-care.
Play. Whilst we’d usually suggest going out dancing and, seeing your friends, lockdown means we’re all having to get creative when it comes to finding joy these days. Go for that government-approved walk in the sunshine, dig out that epic pageturner you started reading at book club and eventually forgot about, and say YES to your third Zoom quiz this week… (or not). Whatever it is that you enjoy, make sure you do something fun and for you, every day, as laughter is essential for managing stress and staying healthy.
Have sex. You knew this was coming… Are we that predictable? Yes and we’ll say it again: orgasms are good for you, so make sure you’re getting at least once a week. With a partner or ridin’ solo (shout out Masturbation May), it all counts. ☺
If your PMS is becoming unmanageable, there are medications and even surgical options to treat this, so it’s important to see your medical professional to discuss these in more detail if you’re struggling to cope.
Got any burning questions about PMS and stress? Wanna share how you manage those ‘I just can’t’ moments? Head over to the HANX Life forum to share and discuss with our A+ community now!