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Issue 30 / Understanding PMS To Manage Healthier Relationships

Understanding PMS To Manage Healthier Relationships

Dec 24, 2015

    Let's face it, PMS can be a pain. Here are some tips on how to manage your symptoms so you won't be the dreaded one once a month. 

    Did you know that 75 per cent of women suffer from symptoms of premenstrual syndrome, like mood swings, irritability, depression, anxiety, headaches and sleep disturbances threatening core relationships, their work life and wellness? Twenty per cent have severe symptoms that need medical treatment and eight per cent have extreme symptoms diagnosed as premenstrual dysphoric disorder.

    I had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Rajnee Jolly, a female South Asian family physician practicing psychotherapy in Oakville, Ontario, Canada to better understand PMS and how, as women, we can better accept our natural cycles and better manage our core relationships. Dr. Jolly was more than happy to tie these two concepts together and added that the dynamic of being a South Asian woman only really comes into play when women try to speak up for themselves in a predominantly patriarchal culture. However, current generations are much more open minded with male partners looking for more direct instruction to understand what their female counterparts need in order to be happier in the relationship.

    That being said, Dr. Jolly stated that all women need to understand their PMS symptoms more and take action on the following suggestions to improve their own wellness and success of their relationships.

    1. Take Care of Yourself First

    Self care is so important and Dr. Jolly finds that she has to state this as the most important for all women as there is a natural tendency to put yourself last. Mothers tend to do this the most. The basic necessities such as sleep, a healthy diet and regular exercise can drastically reduce PMS symptoms and it balances your hormones. More whole foods and less processed foods is the way to go with respect to your diet. Sugar, caffeine and alcohol, all contribute to worsening PMS. It is also true that dairy consumption can worsen hormonal imbalances because of all the hormones in milk. Pay attention to what your body needs and make the changes necessary to balance your hormones.

    2. Mark Your Calendar and Manage Your To-Dos

    The week before your period is when you will be PMSing so mark this in your calendar and let your partner and family know as well. You can use some cute stickers that indicate when you will be PMSing so your family knows when to lighten up on you. It is also good for you to plan your weeks so you do not do a lot during your PMS week. You do not want to have many deadlines, a party and renovations all happening that week. Set yourself up for success so you do not crumble when your body needs a break. The list of to-dos will have to wait and everyone’s requests will need to take a pause while your body goes through its natural cycle. Personally I have put messages in my own phone to remind myself to take it easy that week when it comes to managing my own expectations.

    3. Be Mindful and Take this Time for Contemplation

    There are many traditions and cultures that allow women to be by themselves during their cycles which allows for true contemplation. Mindfulness meditation will allow you to relieve your constant thinking and de-stress and centre yourself. Contemplation rather than conflict and resolution is what is more important. This is not the time to deal with any relational issues however taking time to think about them and write your feelings down will help once your have completed your cycle. This is the time for you to be quiet and introspective. It’s kind of like getting to know yourself which is something we all need to do more of.

    It's time for some introspection.
    Photo Credit: www.artofliving.org

    4. Provide Your Partner with Some Clear Words and Actions

    Usually partners are at a loss because they cannot completely understand what PMS feels like and how it affects your moods. Marking your PMS week on a calendar helps but what do you want your partner to do when you feel overwhelmed, stress or simply insecure during that week? List statements such as “Honey it will all be ok, I promise” that make you feel good so he has some language when he knows you need comfort. Note some actions that you need done such as a “hug” or “a foot massage” that will help you get through the week. Your partner wants you to be happy so give him the tools to help you when you are going through PMS.

    5. Adopt the Loving Kind Queen in Her Kingdom Analogy

    This was such a good analogy that Dr. Jolly encourages her women clients to adopt in their thinking. Women get overwhelmed with external requests and have a tendency to say “yes” to almost everything. However if we start seeing ourselves as warm and loving queens of our kingdom and village, we will innately start respectfully declining many requests for our time and attention that take away from caring for ourselves, our partners and children. Our royal family and kingdom needs taking care of before accepting the multiple requests that come from the village. This was such a good suggestion to shift some thinking around how women can prioritize themselves and those closest to them to ensure healthier relationships and achieve greater happiness and fulfillment in their lives.

    Main Photo Image Credit: http://i1.tribune.com.pk/

      Yvonne Sinniah

      Yvonne Sinniah

        Author

        Yvonne Sinniah is a Relations Advisor focusing on helping individuals achieve success in personal and professional environments.  She is on a mission to meet a need in today’s society where developing and sustaining meaningful relationships while on a journey to fulfill career and life ...

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