• Nadja Eriksson

5 steps to partner with your pms

Updated: Jul 24, 2019

Have you ever wondered why you’re feeling extra cranky and moody during a specific time of the month? If you’re following ebb and flow of your menstrual cycle, you know that these times of inner and outer turbulence are often due to Premenstrual Symptom, or PMS. Many women experience indigestion, mood-swings, frustration, anger and irritation, sluggishness, lack of patience, or simply a lot of sadness and crying.

This is one of the reasons why women are called hysterical and shamed for being “emotionally unstable.” Out of ignorance and lack of understanding, we’re called “drama queens” or “bitchy”. We often internalise this criticism and blame ourselves, believing that something is indeed wrong with us.

But these strong emotions can also become our allies, reminding us of the wisdom of our feminine cycles. Dark feelings carry a hidden gem inside, all we need to do is pay attention. Instead of ignoring and suffering from our symptoms, we can partner with them and turn them into allies.

The symptoms that come on strong during PMS are often issues we've ignored or brushed under the carpet during the rest of the month. PMS is like a magnifying glass, holding the spotlight on what wants to be seen and expressed.

So here are six practical steps you can start implementing today to ease your way through your monthly cycle, for your own sanity and the health of your relationships:

Schedule it. When we schedule something, we make it more real, meaning you are consciously aware of it and can deal with it in a more empowered way. I recommend you download an app to track your cycle, such as Clue. It will tell you when to expect your next period and PMS week. Schedule it in your Google or pocket calendar, too. Remind yourself to start slowing down during this phase and don’t schedule any challenging projects or conversations during that time.

Communicate. Tell your partner, co-workers or friends that if you’re a bit out of it, it’s because you’re having PMS. My man loves it when I inform him, because it empowers him to not take my frustration or sadness personally. On the contrary, he just wants to support me, and when I tell him what’s up, I help him to help me.

Up your self-care. Now is a good time to start tuning down the intensity of your workouts and activities. Leave some space in your calendar, and prioritise a massage, acupuncture session or a bubble bath over of a night out partying. Let yourself sleep in or nap when you’re tired. Listen to the signals of your body and give her what she is asking for as much as possible.

Pay attention. Check in with yourself on a regular basis. Take some deep breaths, feel your body, and shift your focus inwards. Become really present and ask yourself: “What am I experiencing right now? What am I really feeling? Can I allow that?” Presence is a form of power. Slow down and wait for the answer to come. Allowing ourselves to compassionately be with whatever arises is the best form of self-care.

Get curious. What is the anger or irritability trying to tell you? Are there any boundaries that have been violated? What triggers you? Write about it in your journal. What wisdom can you glean from inquiring into the underlying emotions? Ask your Big She to guide you from within. But wait with taking action until you feel more aligned and emotionally stable after your period is over. It will be much easier to communicate without those emotional triggers.

(If you don’t have a distinct menstrual cycle due to an IUD or for any other reason, you can stay on track by counting the days. Even though you may not be menstruating, you still have hormonal shifts going on. Using Clue or any other period tracker app, track your data for a couple of months and you’ll get a sense of where you’re at in your cycle.)

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© Nadja Eriksson 2012-2020