It’s all in the planning

It’s been a few months since I last created a blog post; the main reason is that I needed to spend some time on my own battle with PMS.

As I have frequently stated on this site, I have constantly improved on my own symptoms with a lot of hard work and commitment to the journey.

But I am human, and sometimes I don’t have a “Happy Month”, in fact, I have a completely miserable one, luckily it’s not that often, but it does happen!

So I wanted to spend some time finding out what are the real differences between a good and bad month, in areas such as: my daily routines, eating habits, fitness and communication.

With this insight, I then hope to be able to reduce my symptom further and to be able to share these findings with everyone who reads this blog.

So what did I notice?

Good Month

Awareness:  On a good month, I am always fully aware of where I am in my cycle

Fitness: I have a regular fitness routine, adapting at the PMS stage to incorporate activities that will still be achievable with a reduction in my energy

Eating Habits: A good diet with fresh food, water, only two cups of coffee a day and the odd treat*
*everyone needs a treat

Lifestyle: Fully enjoying work and life, knowingly reducing the pace when approaching PMS stage and being kind to myself for doing so.

Communication: Proactive PMS updates e.g. Adding a star to my Calendar, highlighting the estimated start day of my PMS phase and an openness with my loved ones.

Bad Month

Ignorance: No awareness of where I am in my cycle, my mind is busy thinking of future tasks/events that I need to do

Fitness: 2 weeks of regular exercise and then 2 weeks of procrastination and nothingness!

Eating Habits: A good diet for two weeks and then a gradual increase of too much caffeine and undeserved treats 😦

Lifestyle: Trying to keep the pace of life at a constant level for the whole month and when unable to meet my own expectations, adding more tasks on to my to-do list

Communication: “It’s not PMS, I’m fine… “

As you have read, there is a big difference between a good and bad month and the list clearly highlights that there are many elements to focus on if you wish to reduce your symptoms, not just one.

But the biggest piece of advice that I could give, is that it all starts with awareness and being mindful of the present moment and where you are in your cycle.

If you get lost in your work, children, tasks, and to-do lists, then you will never be able to spot the signs that you are about to move into your PMS phase, instead your eureka moment will come in the middle of an argument or at the end of the month, when you would have wasted two weeks of being down, unmotivated and unhappy.

So don’t let PMS win, become aware, make those needed lifestyle changes and have the Happy Month that you deserve.

HappyMonth Plan

Adapt your Fitness Plan to your Menstrual Cycle

 

PMS Fitness

If you are a fitness fan like me….then you will be very familiar with how PMS can make you feel when you are trying to exercise!
I tend to describe this feeling as “training in toffee”, where every movement feels like your whole body is stuck in a river of toffee, making any form of exercise exhausting and not that enjoyable!

The main reason for this sensation is the Hormone “Estrogen”, which tends to increase during the last two weeks of your Menstrual cycle and this rapid rise in the Hormone can make you feel sluggish, tired and lethargic… meaning you may feel more motivated to sit in front of the sofa rather than to attempt any kind of sit-up!

But there is a workaround!!…………….I suggest adapting your fitness plan to your Menstrual cycle, which will allow you to keep fit and energised throughout the whole month rather than just for the first two weeks.

Regular exercise has been proven in a number of studies to reduce stress levels, as when we exercise our Happy Hormone “Serotonin” increases and this Hormone controls areas such as our mood, social behavior and temperature regulation, which are all areas that need a positive boost during the last few days of our Menstrual cycle…

So by sticking to your fitness plan or even starting a new one, you can combat the emotional imbalances PMS causes and start a real energised step to reducing your PMS symptoms!

Below is an example of how you can plan your exercise for the whole month, picking high energy sports at the start and moving to more low impact options towards the end of the month:


Example Fitness Plan

Days 1-14 of a typical 28 day cycle
(Classed as the Follicular Phase of the Menstrual Cycle)
Plan to take part in exercises that include anything that is fast paced or intensive such as running, sprinting, interval/circuit training, martial arts or Zumba.

Days 15-28
(Classed as the Luteal Phase)
Plan to take part in exercises that include anything that is low impact for example yoga, a slow jog, swimming, cycling or dancing round your living room!


By adapting your fitness plan to your monthly cycle as suggested above, you will notice a reduction in your PMS symptoms, mainly because of all that Happy Hormone being produced…..but remember:

PMS requires ABM (Action Before Motivation)

So if you are suffering with PMS, really push yourself to start exercising! I guarantee, if you do and even if it’s just dancing around your living room, you will feel so much better and very glad that you did it!

Happy Training 🙂

PMS requires ABM (Action before Motivation)

Over the last few blog posts I have mentioned a number of different techniques that can be easily incorporated into your month that could truly make a difference to the way you feel…

As I know all to well, it is sometimes very difficult to find the motivation to change, even if the change will benefit you and the change is relatively simple to implement….

Typically if your mood is low, motivation for change will only follow action, so this month take action!! and motivation will naturally follow.

Action = Motivation = Change

Action = Motivation = Change