Managing Stress And PMS
Last updated: June 2022
Which came first, the chicken or the egg?
Does PMS cause us to be more emotional? Or does emotional stress increase PMS symptoms?
The answer could probably be debated, but simply speaking as a fellow endo sister, I think the answer is “all of the above.”
The hormonal shift in our cycle can make us more vulnerable to emotional swings, and the emotional stress in our daily life and environment can increase PMS symptoms.
The bottom line is managing emotional stress is essential for our well-being while living with endometriosis. There are a few approaches you can take to managing emotional stress.
Don’t wait to go to counseling
If you have something weighing on your mind or are going through a tough season in life, find a professional counselor that can support you.
I experienced the value of counseling for the first time when my mom passed away the same summer that I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Honestly, I likely wouldn't have gone to therapy had it not been for my mom's passing, but I realized how helpful it was in managing a chronic illness as well.
I remember thinking, why did I not welcome this kind of support earlier in life? You don’t need a catastrophic event to happen to warrant going to therapy.
Therapy can provide you with the tools to navigate challenges in relationships, work, and, yes, to live with a chronic illness like endometriosis.
Change your environment to soothe you
Is your environment contributing to your stress?
I know firsthand how affected I am by my environment. If there is clutter around, I feel more anxious and stressed.
Because I know this about myself, I try not to bring too many things into the home because, ultimately, this means more that I need to clean and organize. If this resonates with you, perhaps you will start welcoming in more of a minimalist environment.
I have yet to go through the official Marie Kondo cleaning method, but it's something I want to do.
You can also do things to enhance your environment that supports your emotional health.
They can include:
- Have pictures of your favorite memories around the house.
- Diffusing your favorite essential oil. Floral oils are calming, citrus oils are uplifting, mint oils are energizing, and tree oils are grounding. Select the emotion you’re looking to feel and essential oil in that category.
- Play your favorite music. Music can have a significant impact on your emotions. So, turn on either your favorite dance music or soothing spa sounds.
- Pick up a few house plants that help to be natural air purifiers and add a lot of beauty. Fresh flowers from the farmer's market are great options, too.
Relaxation techniques that can help with stress
Last but not least, to help manage emotional stress and minimize the effects of PMS, you can also incorporate some relaxation techniques into your routine.
Yoga, mindful breathing, meditation, journaling, time in nature, and sipping a cup of herbal tea. The options are endless.
What's most important is that you find the most relaxing technique for you.
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