How to Deal with PMS Mindfully
For a few days a month, I turn into a raging, emotional lunatic. Much like an unassuming librarian transforming into a blood-thirsty werewolf on a full moon, I become unrecognizable: sobbing, shoving hash browns into my mouth by the handful, and emotional in response to the most well-intended of statements. My initial reaction is to withdraw, rather than communicate my feelings, and I must admit that I tend toward the hyperbolic when my hormones are in a state of frantic upheaval.
So what's a girl to do, aside from sinking into her shell, sobbing, and starting fights with her boyfriend? Here are a few tips:
1.Recognize that you have turned into a complete lunatic.
It's amazing how quickly I forget that I become an emotional wreck when I'm premenopausal, and yet, it serves me greatly when I simply remember, Ah yes! I think I'm going to get my period soon! That's why I'm exhausted and moody. It's not whatever reason I've invented that I'm currently telling myself. Whatever I do, I'm not going to let these crazy thoughts lead me to do or say something that I'll regret.
2.Be willing to detach from your thoughts.
We cling to thoughts that make us sad. I need to lose weight. He'll never like me. I'll never get a better job. We repeat them over and over again, not because they have any validity, but because we use them to beat ourselves up. In order to feel better, we must create the tiniest bit of space between our thoughts and our belief that they are absolutely, unequivocally true. Here's what we might tell ourself to detach: Right now, part of me wants to feel melancholy, and so part of me is clinging to this thought that I'll never get a better job. Is that 100 percent true? No! I'm willing to release this thought. I'm willing to let it go.
3.State your feelings and needs clearly, using "I" statements.
Rather than pushing away loved ones, we can become aware when we are withdrawing or being moody and communicate directly, saying something like, I am feeling exceptionally exhausted and emotional today. I just need some space and time to detach from this thought that's making me sad (insert thought here). The part of me that loves myself knows it's not true, but there's another voice, my inner-critic, and she's having a grand ol' time. I'm sorry if I'm being weird. I just need to rest and find my peace.
4.Relax and eat something delicious. Don't do too much.
The world teaches us that the busier we are, the better we are, and that relaxing is for lazy folk. There are certain times of the month when our bodies need more rest than usual. Rather than fighting the natural rhythms of our bodies, we can choose to embrace their message to rest, eat a delicious meal, and practice self-care.
Lastly, it would serve us to remind ourselves that the moodiness, exhaustion, and tears will pass. Every month, they come and they go; it's part of womanhood. Rather than resist the effects our menstrual cycle can wreak, we can minimize our emotionalism by becoming present to our insanity and communicating our needs in a direct and loving way. PMS always sucks, but if we are mindful, it sucks a little less.