If you are a woman with PMDD, self-care is vital. It can take you from suffering through two weeks of every month to thriving.
While none of these suggestions should be taken as medical advice, they are all things that have helped me become a PMDD thriver! Read through, print this if you want to, and add any of your own suggestions to the comments below.
Self-Care for Women with PMDD
Track your symptoms
If you aren’t already, you should definitely start tracking your symptoms. Tracking my symptoms has been life-changing (Dramatic? Yes. Exaggeration? No.). It helps me get a grasp on what’s happening, as well as feel a little more in control of my month. I currently use two apps to track my symptoms, MyFlo and Clue, though I used to just write down everything I was experiencing in a notebook. Once the new Me v PMDD app comes out, I’m hoping to just use it.
Talk about it with your family and friends
You are not alone. As hard or scary as it may seem, share what you’re going through with your family and close friends. From experience, I can tell you they want to understand and support you. My relationships have greatly improved since telling my closest family members and friends that I have PMDD and can’t function for half the month. Knowing I have people that I can call when high tide is threatening to knock me down gives me hope and the strength to make it through another month. Another bonus? Now I have people encouraging me to make time for self-care… I’m not on this journey alone.
Say “no” when you need to
One of the best things you can do to take care of yourself every month is say “no” when you need to. Before committing to anything extra, look at your tracker and see where you’ll be in your month. If it’s during your luteal phase, you might want to consider saying “no.” Be proactive in your self-care before high tide comes so you’re not adding to the overwhelm you’ll already be feeling.
Drink lots of water
If you need any more convincing of why you should be drinking plenty of water, read this.
Find a fitness routine that works for you
It doesn’t have to be intense or the newest workout trend. The key to sticking with a fitness routine for wellness is finding a few things you enjoy doing and rotating through them. Personally, I have found that I enjoy rowing, running, lifting weights, and yoga. Even on my most unmotivated days, I can at least convince myself to do ten pushups or a few weighted squats. Read more about the benefits of working out here.
There are many benefits to stretching. Personally, I just love the feel of being loose and limber after a good few minutes of stretching my tense areas. There are a handful of yoga poses/stretches that I do regularly when high tide is quickly approaching, including downward-facing dog, legs-up-the-wall, and reclining bound angle pose. Here’s a list of a few more that are supposed to be helpful for us PMDD-ladies.
Take a detox bath
I didn’t love baths until I learned about detox baths. Now, they are my go-to relaxation technique after a challenging PMDD day. Fill the tub with hot water, add epsom salts, baking soda, and your favorite essential oils… heavenly!
Be intentional about what you eat
Fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, and meats. This is my new go-to PMDD diet and so far, I think it’s been helpful. A doctor recently recommended that I try eating only things that can be washed without losing their consistency (so, nothing processed). It’s been a challenge, especially not eating bread, but if it helps with PMDD symptoms, it’s worth it!
Use essential oils
You can use them for almost everything. We’ve been able to clear out many of the toxins in our home by switching to essential oils where we can. We use them topically, in a diffuser, and in various ways throughout our home. Download my list of my favorite oils for the home and how we use them here. My personal favorite brand is Plant Therapy, and you can buy from them using my affiliate link.
Have less. Do less. Commit less… if you can, of course. We’re in a seasoning of minimizing and it has been wonderful for my PMDD. I have less to clean, less to organize, less to do, and less to mentally prepare for. May I challenge you to do the same?
Keep a journal
I struggle to do this consistently, but when I do, my mind feels much more at ease. Getting your thoughts out on paper allows you to release them in a helpful way. My favorite part of keeping a regular journal is reading through it to remind myself of how far I’ve come.
Pray & get in the Bible
My faith has, hands-down, been the single-most crucial “thing” in getting through my PMDD symptoms every month. Without my faith, I’m not sure how I would have made it through some very, very dark moments. If you’d like to talk more about who Jesus is and how He has worked in my life, PLEASE send me a message! I’d love to share my story with you & offer you personal encouragement. 🙂