PMS or premenstrual syndrome refers to the physical and emotional symptoms a woman feels one to two weeks before the start of her period. The symptoms include pesky zits, tender breasts, backache, abdominal cramps, headache/migraine, irritability, mood swings, feeling of tiredness, bloating, intense hunger and cravings to name a few.
Symptoms may vary to every woman. Some may experience one symptom only; others may have two or more. Some may experience varying symptoms every month. Some may not actually experience PMS at all (and I envy you gals because you are so lucky! Hehe!) Every month is a struggle, and I can attest that it is not an easy fight. It never gets easy as you age, believe me.
I had my menarch (first menstruation) at a very early age (very early that I’m scared I might be menopausal even before I hit my golden year. Hahaha!), and as far as I can remember, I am still experiencing the same symptoms I had before. But what’s worse? Those symptoms are becoming more difficult to deal with, plus other symptoms are starting to manifest as well.
Let me give you a preview of what it is like during my cycle.
Day 1 to Day 4 – Aunt Flo (menstruation) is in town. Some may not like it when Aunt Flo visits, but I feel better whenever my period is there (except when the flow is light because for some reason I get dysmenorrhea or menstrual cramps when Aunt Flo is not on her usual heavy flow.) I feel better because I know I can break-free from all the PMS shiz I’ve been experiencing for a couple of days already. I swear, it is like magic! When my period comes, all the nasty experiences I’ve been dealing with suddenly disappear.
Day 5 to Day 14 – I guess this is my most sane phase. No mood swings, no intense craving for specific food, no OA reactions. I am most lovable during these days. Hahaha!
Day 15 – Day 28 – This is the most dreaded phase of the boyfriend because this is when the monster in me starts to go out. Hahaha! If he’s lucky, he has to deal with the monster me in just a week or just a few days, which means my sane phase is longer.
So what really happens to me during this period?
- Appearance of hormonal acne. Sometimes they come in twos or in threes, and they are really painful and cyst-like. They love growing on my forehead. 🙈
- Tender breasts. Simple going up and down the stairs make them painful. When you’re inside a car and you have to pass a hump or a slight depression on the road, they are painful. They just feel so sore and swollen. 😭
- Mood swings. One moment I am super happy, but after a minute or two, I am either emotional, super annoyed or very distressed. I can be bitchy and grumpy too, and I sincerely apologize if I do turn out to be one during this phase. Please remember it is the hormones at play. I am super nice when I’m not hormotional. 😂
- Emotional. I can cry over cute puppy videos. I will drown myself with Adele, Sam Smith, The Script songs as if I’m going through a break-up even though I am certainly not. I would feel so depressed for no reason. And when it’s raining, I would definitely blame it on the rain. Hahaha!
- Intense food craving and bloating. Craving won’t go away unless it is satisfied. And I usually crave for salty food, which leads me to a very bloated feeling. (And I would rant to my boyfriend that I feel so fat, even though I obviously lack fat.)
- Intense hunger. And although I am able to satisfy my craving, after a few minutes, I’ll feel super hungry again. And that hungry feeling is like I’m going to pass out if I’ll not stuff my face with food. My stomach feels like a bottomless pit!
- Migraine. I’m glad this doesn’t happen to me as frequently as it attacked me before. But yeah, no one likes this throbbing pain on the head. Plus there are occasions when my migraine leads to vertigo. 👎
Then back to Day 1 again.
I’m still struggling up to this day in dealing with PMS. But over the course of time, I somehow learned some techniques in being more in control of my feelings. Below are some of the helpful ways I’ve been doing to beat PMS.
- I am now using a period tracker app. With this, I am more able to track when my PMS would most probably attack me, and I can be more prepared in dealing with it.
tellwarn my closest circle that Aunt Flo will be coming to town, so they can be prepared as well. Hahaha! Or they would just not take my bitchy self too seriously. ✌
- I try to squeeze in exercise, because I noticed when I exercise, I feel less bloated, and the tenderness I feel becomes much tolerable. Also, I am more able to control my mood swings. My endorphins must be doing a great job!
- As much as possible, I avoid stress and lack of sleep. They absolutely make my mad hormones crazier!
- Whenever I feel off the hook, I constantly remind myself that it is just a phase, and I need to be more patient in calming myself so I would not lash out at anyone.
- Just focus on happy thoughts. It’s hard because everything around you seems to be so irritating and annoying, but it will save you. Believe me. 🙂
And that’s it for me. I know I still become a monster once in a while, but at least that monster is much in control and calmer than before. 🙂