Dreaded PMS symptoms can happen to the best of us. In fact, over 90% of women experience some form of premenstrual symptoms in their lifetime. Bloating, body aches, sore breasts, headaches… sound familiar? Let’s not forget about acne, mood swings, fatigue and anxiety.
As widespread as our experience is, PMS is not an inherent, normal state. Hormone imbalance, namely estrogen dominance, lies at the root of PMS. It can be difficult to embrace your cycle while experiencing such a spectrum of uncomfortable and frustrating symptoms, but it doesn’t have to be that way.
Below are five practices to help you through the aches and emotions that can accompany some particularly rough cycles. Think of it as your PMS survival kit – a resource to help you take the edge off as you work towards becoming symptom-free. We’ve partnered with HUM Nutrition to make sure you’re not only surviving through it, but living in flow and feeling well every day of the month!
Dong Quai and Chaste Berry are two excellent natural herbs known to support female hormone health and alleviate PMS symptoms. Dong Quai balances estrogen levels and replenishes blood flow to help relax uterine tissue – the ultimate in natural relief for period cramps! – while Chaste Berry has earned its notorious nickname “the women’s herb” over centuries of treating hormone-related symptoms. Taken together, these herbal remedies combat PMS before symptoms like cravings, cramps and irritability take hold.
You’ll find a healthy dose of both in HUM Nutrition’s Moody Bird, our monthly ally against the hormonal chaos associated with that time of the month. And it’s not just us! In a 12-week study, 92% reported reduced PMS after incorporating these potent natural herbs.
Munching on a mix of nutrient-dense foods can solve many chronic symptoms and alleviate inflammation to make your period much more pleasant. This means cutting out dairy, sugar, gluten and processed foods. Instead, be sure to add in lots of leafy greens and foods that are rich in magnesium like avocado, almonds and pumpkin seeds. Plenty of fiber will also help avoid constipation and move excess estrogen through your system. Even better news? You can reach for a piece of high-quality dark chocolate ( 80%+ cocoa) without the guilt!
Nothing beats heat for relaxing tense muscles and soothing menstrual cramps. Make it a routine to enlist a heating pad or hot water bottle as your BFF during PMS! Rest it on your belly while you’re driving, sitting at work, or in bed reading. To really improve circulation and reduce pain from cramps, you may even want to try making a castor oil pack to place underneath.
Light movement helps to circulate blood flow while releasing beta-endorphins for pain relief. An easy swim, fresh-air walk or gentle yoga flow can help lower the heightened stress and anxiety levels common with PMS. Don’t overdo it–just a few yoga poses for cramp relief can help do the trick and put you in a better state of mind.
There’s no better time to prioritize self-care than the PMS present. Let yourself slow down and indulge in the healthy habits that bring bliss and comfort. Grab your journal and let the emotions flow out of you stream-of-consciousness style, spend a little longer in the bathtub or enjoy an extra large cup of herbal tea. Your future self will thank you!