Ah the blues, I love ‘em only when Billie Holiday is singing them. But half our population experiences some version of PMS every month, and sadness is a common way. So here are some tips on how to handle the PMS blues when they arise.
1. Be kind to yourself.
This is good advice for any time of the month, but especially this time. That harsh, critical voice in your head can be at its loudest at this time. Don’t believe it! If you can’t ignore it then talk back to it. (No, that doesn’t make you crazy.) You can comfort yourself at these times, just say the same words to yourself that you would to a girlfriend who called you and was being harsh with herself. You would probably acknowledge if there was any truth in what she said but then you would also point out the positives about her.
Do the best that you can and acknowledge that on some days your best is better than others. Then be kind to yourself by treating yourself to something nice that won’t make you feel guilty afterward. Being kind to yourself doesn’t mean eating an entire chocolate cake, running up your credit card bill, or anything else that will later bring on a lot of guilt. Try going for a walk in the park, listening to great music, or meeting a friend for coffee – anything that you enjoy and feels healthy for you. These small things matter and have a big impact on lifting your mood.
2. Pay attention to what is troubling you.
PMS doesn’t come up with issues out of nowhere; it makes what you already think and feel more intense. Pay attention to what pops up and give yourself the leeway to handle it later, maybe in a few days, when you are at your best and thinking and feeling more clearly. But don’t ignore what is troubling you because it will likely be back next month kicking and screaming for attention just as loudly.
3. Acknowledge where you are.
Acknowledge that this is a temporary state and that it’ll pass. One of the problems with sadness, and especially full blown depression, is the thought that this will never change. This mood, brought on by the temporary condition of PMS, will pass with a little time and just accept that this is where you are and how you feel for now. Our emotions change every day, throughout the day. Remind yourself that you’ve survived this before, and like everything in life, “This too shall pass.”
I hope this helps you handle this time of month in a kinder and more loving way toward yourself.
If you have any other tips on how to deal with PMS please feel free to share.
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