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PMS: How to deal with your physical and emotional symptoms

Pass me the chocolate, I’m on my period.” Sound familiar? How about “everything and everyone are literally the worst today,” or “my cramps are killing me!”? We’ve all said and felt these at least once during our period, and while your period can be dreadful and make you feel ~cranky~, just remember that menstruating is a natural occurrence and there are ways to combat and relieve your PMS symptoms.

What is PMS?

PMS stands for premenstrual syndrome – a group of symptoms linked to your menstrual cycle. Usually occurring 1 to 2 weeks before your period, you may experience:

  • lower back pain
  • abdominal pain
  • headaches
  • nausea
  • anxiety 
  • change in appetite

So what exactly should you do during these tough times?

First things first: understand what your body is doing and why. There are many reasons why your jeans don’t button up during your period, and you can thank hormones estrogen and progesterone for that. These hormones are very up and down, which can cause fluid retention and swelling, making you feel really bloated. A rise in estrogen levels = bloated x100.

While there’s no real cure for bloating, you can help reduce it by avoiding certain foods and liquids. Sorry to break it to ya, but salt, sugar, alcohol, and caffeine gotta go. Your body is already acting in ways it doesn’t normally act, so why consume things that will make you feel worse? Drink lots of water, LOTS OF IT, and eat clean foods such as bananas, leafy greens, whole grains, and yogurt! (Check out our article "How to ease PMS with nutrition.")

We understand that getting out of bed is the last thing many of you want to do when you experience PMS symptoms. Although staying in and sleeping all day sounds heavenly when you’re on your period (and always if we’re being honest), you have to get out there! You can help these PMS symptoms go away by:

  • exercising regularly
  • getting 8 hours of sleep
  • massaging yourself (a.k.a. masturbate)
  • practicing yoga
  • you know, self-care ;)

We've got more awesome PMS / self-care tips here!

Aside from the physical pain us menstruating humans experience, we also go on an emotional rollercoaster. Who can blame us? Our hormonal levels are fluctuating and we feel discomfort. If you’re like me, a light headache is enough to put you in a bad mood. Oh and not to mention that feeling you get when you want to cry because you saw a cute puppy on your Instagram feed. Or is that just me…? Regardless, the way to overcome your negative emotions during your period is the EXACT same way you overcome your physical pain. 

So, remember these simple tips: Drink water, get at least 8 hours of sleep, eat healthy fruits and veggies, exercise, don’t eat or drink the bad stuff (alcohol, caffeine, sugar), and lastly, live yo’ life!

Tell us how you overcome your period nightmares in the comments below!

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