What is PMS?
Your natural hormones have a lot to answer for when it comes to the ups and downs you experience week to week. How you feel during your period is quite different to how you feel one week later. How you feel when you’re premenstrual is very different again.
Progesterone is a hormone that rises in your premenstrual phase. It helps prepare the womb for a possible pregnancy. It can also make you feel anxious, irritable and depressed or give you mood swings. These are typical PMS symptoms.
One other thing that can be attributed to a rise in progesterone is a lack of focus. You might find you feel a bit foggy-headed before your period. A lack of focus might mean you’re finding tasks more difficult. This in itself can make you feel stressed.
Extra anxiety and stress caused by a lack of focus only adds to the general anxiety and stress you might notice when you’re premenstrual. Knowing how you’re likely to feel during PMS week can help you optimise your time and efforts to work in sync with your cycle.
Here are some of my favourite ways to de-stress before your period.
Essential oils for PMS Relief
Opinions on essential oils are a bit of a mixed bag. There are people that swear by them for their healing properties, and there are people who say it’s a load of old nonsense. Research on the effectiveness of essential oils is limited, but studies indicate that they may be beneficial for stress and anxiety relief.
You can buy special aromatherapy blends design to help with PMS symptoms. They can help with premenstrual pain, as well as helping to balance your mood. This roll-on blend from Floatin Feather is a lovely mix of Bergamot, Clary Sage, Marjoram, Geranium and Palmarosa.
If you feel like you’ve got too much on your plate already, say no to new commitments. You don’t have to come up with excuses, a simple “no, I can’t do that right now” is sufficient. If you’re struggling with stress, reschedule plans that you don’t feel like facing at the moment.
It’s okay to want some alone time when you’re premenstrual. A soak in the tub to relax is a great idea. Put on some relaxing music and shut the world out for a little while.
Submerging yourself in water helps to calm the nervous system which can reduce stress and improve your mood. A warm bath can also help with increasing your serotonin levels which are linked with happiness and wellbeing.
This pampering gift set comes from Cheshire’s Finest Soap and is an absolute steal at only £12.50. It contains a bath bomb, bath salts, a bar of soap, a soap bag, a tea light in a holder and a cup of tea! The perfect treat to yourself when you’re feeling stressed.
Meditation For Stress & Anxiety
There are a bunch of meditation apps out there and you can also listen to guided meditations for anxiety on Youtube. I am currently using Balance app www.balanceapp.com which has a range of meditation practises with different goals. You can use them to de-stress, gain focus or wind down.
Taking the easy route when you’re stressed does not make you lazy. You don’t have to push yourself to give 110% all of the time. Work smarter not harder.
Setting some boundaries and not allowing yourself to be interrupted will help. This os beneficial whether you’re trying to work or whether you’re trying to relax. Switch your phone to “Do Not Disturb” or aeroplane mode. Nobody wants to be answering texts while they’re trying to enjoy a hot bath.
This is called cycle syncing. Essentially, it means working with your hormonal ups and downs to best optimise your time, energy and efforts. If you’re not sure when your ovulation phase is, take my free menstrual masterclass to find out.