A photo of Cherrelle Slaney, period and menstrual cycle educator.

7 Simple Ways To Cope With Premenstrual Anxiety

One of the number one problems I hear about from my followers is how they get stress and anxiety before their period. I’ll bet you feel the same way. It’s a common problem for those of us who are suffering with PMS.

What is PMS?

PMS stands for Pre-Menstrual Syndrome. PMS is the abbreviation used to categorise common symptoms experienced by menstruators in the luteal (AKA premenstrual) phase. These symptoms usually show up a week or two before your period starts, and they tend to disappear after your period.

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.

PMS Relief

You can balance your stress and anxiety by taking time to relax. If you understand how you usually feel when you’re premenstrual you can plan ahead and carve out some “me-time”. A little self-care can go a long way.

Here are some of my favourite ways to de-stress before your period.

Essential oils for PMS Relief

A PMS roll-on essential oil blend with linen bag and decorative dried orange slices.
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.

Healthy Boundaries

When you’re PMS-ing you might get stressed out more easily than usual. Set some healthy boundaries around what you are and aren’t willing to accept in your life right now. Speaking to the people in your life to let them know how you’re feeling can be really beneficial.

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.

PMS Pampering

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

Meditation has become more and more popular recently. Although you might think meditation is only for buddhist monks, meditation is simply about clearing your mind and calming your body. You don’t have to sit for hours, just a few minutes of silent practise every day can be really beneficial.

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.

Take Shortcuts

Taking the easy route when your focus is lacking can help to take off some of the stress. You might not have the concentration for cooking a 12 course meal at the end of a long day at work. Taking some shortcuts is fine.

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.

Remove Distractions

If you’re trying to be productive and struggling with a lack of focus, it makes sense to remove distractions. Having loud music on or trying to have conversations while you’re busy can lead to you making mistakes. This will only increase your stress levels further.

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.

Plan Ahead

If you know you’re more likely to be stressed out during your premenstrual phase, you can plan ahead. Get high intensity work done earlier in your cycle when you’re less likely to get stressed about it. Your ovulation phase is ideal for this.

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.
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