Our world has been turned upside down. All of our plans have been canceled. Most of us have been sitting at home for over a month. We can’t see our loved ones and all celebrations, birthdays, graduations, etc. are no more. 

But there is one sure thing that most women are able to rely on during this time of uncertainty, and that is getting our period. Apparently, even a global pandemic and unimaginable levels of worldwide crisis are not enough for our monthly cycle to give us a break. We are on “pause,” but our ovaries obviously haven’t read the memo.

There’s actually a lot more you need to think about while getting your period during a pandemic. Are people stockpiling sanitary napkins like toilet paper? Will my PMS be even worse than usual? Will I take out my frustration on my loved ones who have nowhere to hide? 

It is completely normal for your body to start behaving differently this month. Stress and disruption to your normal routines can affect your hormone levels and have a significant impact on your period. It is possible that your PMS will be worse, your periods may be heavier, lighter, or disappear altogether (stress can do that). All of the above is completely normal.

Social distancing may make your anxiety or mood swings worse, while you are not distracted by a fast-changing world around you and your usual support systems are no longer available.

Here are some of the things you can do to make it a bit easier:

  • Track your symptoms. This is a great way to spot patterns and to figure out what makes you feel better.
  • If you can’t get to the pharmacy right away and your cramps are really bothering you, try alternative methods – a warm bath, a hot water bottle, or trying certain yoga positions. 
  • Do your best to practice meditation and mindfulness. There are plenty of mindfulness techniques that can help you manage anxiety and bad moods. Try to set aside five minutes every day to focus on your mental wellbeing. 
  • It has been proven time and again that light exercise can help relieve PMS. Even though it is not easy, you have to try your best to stay active. It is guaranteed to ease your PMS symptoms, improve your mental state overall and help if you have trouble falling or staying asleep. There are tons of online classes you can do if going outside is not an option.
  • No matter how tempting it may be, try to stay away from alcohol, which can actually make you feel more depressed. 
  • It has been proven that foods rich in omega-3s have similar effects to antidepressants. These fatty acids can be found in grilled salmon, tuna, sardines, fortified eggs, chia seeds, and walnuts.
  • Lethargy brought on by PMS and boredom can be alleviated by the consumption of lean beef, turkey, and chicken. These meats are rich in Vitamin B12, which can increase your energy level, and their protein can help you keep a clear mind.
  • Fiber is your pre-menstrual friend. High fiber vegetables such as broccoli, brussels sprouts, and artichokes can help alleviate bloating because they also have a high water content. This water helps keep things running smoothly so that you do not experience a buildup of puffiness and gas.
  • Drink lots of water! Being dehydrated can make you feel tired and sluggish.
  • The trips to the fridge or the snack drawer increase when you are bored or anxious. Do your best to stay full by eating high protein, high fat foods like eggs and lean meats such as turkey or chicken.

Fighting PMS symptoms is not easy in the best of times. During a pandemic it can really push you to your limits. With the right foods and the right strategies, you can reduce the number and severity of symptoms you have, and feel better all month long.

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