Now that we have taken the time to discuss the impact of Saturn return throughout our 20's and early 30's, it's time to shed light on what could possibly occur as your hormones and menstrual period alternates. A lot of us women are suffering with premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) which, according to WomensHealth.gov, is "a health problem that is similar to premenstrual syndrome (PMS) but is more serious. PMDD causes severe irritability, depression, or anxiety in the week or two before your period starts. Symptoms usually go away two to three days after your period starts."
Trust, I know from my own personal experience that these times can be challenging. The pain and tears that you feel go far beyond getting emotional while you're watching a drama series on Netflix. During the PMDD phase, you may feel like you're the only one but keep in mind that you aren't alone. Here are a few natural ways to alleviate PMDD and improve your symptoms.
1. Prepare for Your Period
Experiencing anxiety and crying hysterically just days before your period can be very tough. The last thing that you want to do in the midst of anxiety is rush and get prepared for your period once it arrives. The best way to stay in control of PMDD is to think ahead and be prepared. The first step would be to make your life easier by using a period tracker or downloading a period app that best suits you.
For example, the Flo App not only tracks your period, it explains your bodily functions before, during, and after your period. There are also surveys and articles that you can utilize to help you better understand your menstrual cycle. The anxiety and depression that you may feel before your period can catch you by surprise, so be proactive and go shopping to grab all of your pads, tampons, snacks, and aspirin before your cycle begins.
2. Eating Healthy Foods
During your menstrual cycle, a major way to combat PMDD is to eat healthy food before and during your cycle. Try not to let your cravings get the best of you. Avoid salty foods, spicy foods, red meat, coffee, sugar, and alcohol. Focus on high energy foods such as fruit, green vegetables, chicken, fish, beans, and nuts. If you would like something sweet to eat, treat yourself to dark chocolate or your favorite yogurt. PMDD can be exhausting and draining, so you want to watch your intake of unhealthy foods. Boost your energy with healthy foods and so that you can feel better about yourself.
3. Focus on Breathing
When PMDD hits you, things can get real. At times you can feel the frustration and anxiety approaching and at other times, it comes and goes sporadically. Whenever the tears start rolling uncontrollably, stop everything, have a seat, and focus on breathing. By focusing on breathing, you will lower your anxiety, release toxins, and calm your mind. Don't rush the process. Allow yourself to breathe and remember that it's not you, it's your emotions running through you.
4. Nature Meditation Music
You can fight through PMDD through music. Relax and calm your mind overnight or during your weekend by sleeping to meditation music. Nature sounds or sleep meditation helps to reduce stress, fall asleep faster, and sleep more deeply. Take your dreams to another place and ease your mind.
5. Spend More Time With Loved Ones
PMDD causes high mood swings, sadness, and feelings of hopelessness. It is very easy to get overwhelmed with your emotions and feel that you aren't deserving of love and support. You may feel as though you would rather be alone but in actuality, this is the time that you need to surround yourself by loved ones. Plan an outing or set aside time to spend with your family and friends. Try to be around the people that bring you joy and laughter. It is hard in the beginning but as time progresses, you won't regret it.
6. Talk About It
The hardest thing to do as you're going through PMDD is to discuss it, especially at a time when you don't fully understand your irritability. In order to open up about PMDD with others, you must first own it and be shameless. I'll never forget when I first started sharing my symptoms with my friends and feeling so embarrassed about it. Later, I came to find out they were also experiencing PMDD and had never discussed it.
Educate yourself and educate others about PMDD. People will get a chance to know you better and learn how to assist you with navigating through your anxiety. The people around you deserve to know, especially if you have a significant other or have a roommate. It's not easy but you can get through it together as a unit.
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