How Busy Women Can Overcome PMS & Beat Fatigue
Okay, ladies, it’s time to talk hormones. Once a month, Mother Nature gifts us with the opportunity to procreate and as awesome as that is, it can also feel like a burden at times.
According to the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals, nearly all women report having experienced cramps (81 percent), moodiness (84 percent), and bloating (81 percent). Additionally, an overwhelming majority mention times when their period has simply “gotten in the way” of enjoying their daily lives.
Modern women are busy - really busy. Whether working crazy hours, or raising a family full time, the laundry list of demands we put on our bodies can be overwhelming when it comes to that time of the month. Hormones are our body’s chemical messengers, and as such, they’re responsible for controlling all sorts of bodily functions, including metabolism, mood, and so much more. During our period, our body’s natural hormone levels can fluctuate like crazy, with some women experiencing worse symptoms than others. The good news is, we have the ability to naturally align our bodies from the inside out in a way that helps fight fatigue, battle bloat, and balance hormones.
#1: Adjust your morning routine
Beverages like coffee create conditions mimicking stress situations for your endocrine system. That means your body will produce more ‘stress hormones’, like cortisol, as a response. This throws your proper hormonal balance out of whack and (ironically) contributes to feelings of fatigue.
It’s important to keep hydrating yourself with water–drinking caffeine will only amplify feelings of fatigue. Ideally, we should be drinking ample amounts of water all month long, but it’s critical to double down in the days leading up to your period.
As a bonus, staying properly hydrated before and during your period will also reduce the bloating exacerbated by caffeine intake. If the idea of skipping your morning coffee feels like a deal breaker, opt for green tea instead - this natural remedy contains polyphenols, or micronutrients, that help reduce stress, boost energy, and improve mental focus.
Eating a healthy breakfast can also play a major role. A bowl of hot oatmeal is full of healthy carbohydrates that your brain and muscles can use throughout the day for energy. Oatmeal contains natural protein, magnesium, and phosphorus, which aid in boosting your energy levels. Top your bowl with walnuts for an added bonus. They also contain phosphorus, magnesium, and omega-3 fatty acids - all of which are proven to fight fatigue and motivate your morning.
#2: Be more selective with your fat consumption
Avoid vegetable oil, peanut oil, canola oil, and margarine. The fats we ingest are the building blocks for new cells and hormones. That being said, all of the above are polyunsaturated omega-6 fats, which are unstable and break down when used in cells, causing inflammation and making you feel sluggish.
Eat the GOOD fats. Your body does need fat. When cooking, try substituting the previously mentioned oils with ghee or grass-fed butter, both of which are great fats to cook with.
Reach for the avocados! These little superfoods are packed with fifteen grams of healthy fats, primarily oleic acid. Oleic acid is considered a “heart healthy” fat and has also been shown to reduce inflammation. Avocado oil is also great for cooking because the fats are heat resistant, meaning they won’t oxidize–a quality attributed to unhealthy cooking fats.
#3: Get moving! And try to relax..
Do 5 mins of deep, abdominal breathing by laying on your left side and inhaling deeply.
Go for a brisk walk for 30 minutes, or even squeeze in a few minutes of jumping jacks in your living room. This increases your heart rate which in turn, increases blood circulation.
Spend a few minutes practicing child’s pose, wind-relieving pose, or even peacock. These yoga poses are some of the most powerful for your body’s digestion stimulation, which releases gases and helps relieve bloating.
Incorporate aromatherapy for relaxation. Bloating is more likely to appear when you are anxious, stressed, or worried. Any Vata balancing essential oil will help. Try peppermint, orange, rose, cinnamon, or basil. You can also pick up a stress-relieving or balancing essential oil mix at most health food stores.