I love being a woman, but there are some days when I love it a lot more than others. Like many women in the world, I struggle with PMS symptoms monthly. When I worked a full-time job, at least 3 days out of the month I was guaranteed to be more moody, less patient, and more likely to be absent due to menstrual cramps and fatigue. During that time, I also suffered from fibroids so my menstrual cycle caused a complete disruption in my schedule. I was often in so much pain that I couldn’t walk, talk, or even think straight. Although switching to an all organic diet relieved me of the fibroids I suffered from for years, I still struggle with the mood swings, fatigue, and pains associated with “that time of the month”. As an entrepreneur, I no longer have to call into work and get approval for being out when I don’t feel up to going, but I still have to make sure that my obligations are met and the work gets done. Whether an employee or an entrepreneur, it is important to be disciplined and maintain self-control in the professional world, even when your hormones make you want to lose control.
Admittedly, PMS has gotten the best of me many times in my life. Not realizing that I was experiencing symptoms up to a week prior to me having physical proof that I had started my menses, I would be very short of patience and quick to lose my temper. Small things that wouldn’t usually bother me got on my “last nerve”. I was more sensitive to what people said to me and would either cry or get angry quickly. My hormones and emotions had complete control of me without me realizing it and it definitely affected my relationships and my ability to make the best possible decisions. As an Empowerment Coach and a woman who aims to improve myself and the quality of my life daily, it was necessary that I find ways to gain control over a monthly experience that is out of my control. And yes, I do know that there are forms of birth control that completely eliminate having to experience a period, but as a happily married woman who is open to conceiving a child when the time is right, birth control is not an option for me. Here are things that I do to cope with my monthly visits from Aunt Flow:
- I have a general idea of when my PMS symptoms should be starting that way I am not blind sided by mood swings and avoid acting out on those around me. I know that all women don’t have regular cycles, but I can count on mine like clockwork. I make notes in my calendar to let me know when to look out for irrational thoughts and emotions that may cause irrational behaviors. I know that during this time I should think a little more before I speak and react because what I’m bothered by or getting upset about might not be as big a deal as I feel that it is in that moment. I also take more time to be alone and self-reflect. As women, many of us wear multiple hats, go seemingly non-stop, and do a lot from working to taking care of our families. I used to feel like having a period was a punishment, but I now look at it as much-needed time ordained by God to rest and refresh.
- I exercise regularly. Regular cardio has helped greatly with the intensity of my cramps. I went from having days of pretty intense cramps, which indicated that Aunt Flow was near, to having her sneak up on me when I wasn’t paying attention. Some studies show that exercise relieves menstrual cramps because it increases blood circulation, which helps cramps to disappear. If you didn’t know, your menstrual cramps may also be worse when you’re stressed and exercise is well-known to reduce stress due to the endorphins that are produced when performing the action.
- I eat healthy. It is a known fact that certain foods positively or negatively affect your mood as well as increase or decrease your energy levels. As I mentioned earlier, removing foods that have GMO from my diet and only eating organic relieved me of fibroids. I’ve also noticed that since changing my diet, I am less moody and likely to act out due to increased estrogen levels during my menstrual cycle. I went from having 3-4 days of extreme fatigue to 1 day of feeling really tired. Your body is like a science experiment. Everything that you put into it will have a positive or negative affect on how well it operates. If you want it to operate at 100%, take good care of it.
- I prepare for the worst. I know when Aunt Flow is coming and that she might want to disrupt my schedule and take up all my time so I try to complete all work that has a deadline before she arrives. I automate things that can be automated like emails and social media posts and I try to avoid scheduling any meetings during that time. Although I do what I have to do, I try to avoid doing anything when I don’t feel my best because I know that I’m likely not to give it my best. After all, I am human and “mind over matter” doesn’t always work as well as I’d like it to. So, instead of my business coming to a screeching hault or me having to cancel a meeting or miss a deadline, I plan around what I know is inevitably coming every month.
In life, we may feel like we have no control over certain situations, but we always have some control in every situation. It can be as simple as choosing to focus on the positives instead of the negatives or choosing to find a solution instead of complaining about the problem. As an Empowerment Coach, I am an expert at helping women gain control over situations that seem to be out of their control. I help women to find solutions to their problems so that they can continue to move forward and win in life. If you feel like you have lost control in any area of your life, whether it be personally or professionally, I have 3 options to assist you with regaining control and taking back your life. You can: