We are strong and independent women, but once a month, some of us understand how difficult it can be to have Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) and how bad it can make us feel.
From experience, I’ve learnt that supportive and understanding friends and family can make this time easier for us. It’s just a question of making our loved ones aware of what we go through for that short period. What can others do to help us during this turbulent time?
If you have a woman in your life that suffers from severe PMS and would like to be of more support, here are some suggestions you may want to try out:
Be sensitive – When there are clear signs and symptoms of PMS, give your lady the patience and understanding she deserves during this time. Many of the other women I encounter often realise they have PMS within those few days preceding their monthly menstruation, and many even try to make adjustments on their own to deal with it. So, try to be aware of the emotions she may be going through.
Be professional – If you are her colleague, remember that it would be unprofessional to mention something as personal and private as her PMS in relation to her contribution to the workplace. Under no circumstances should you undermine her communication skills or ideas by brushing them off as mere symptoms of her PMS. Our biology in no way lessens our capability in executing our jobs.
Track her cycle and symptoms – Her cycle is a very personal piece of information, but perhaps you may want to observe its timing for future reference, thus giving you a long-term solution to put into play. Start tracking her cycle or discuss it with her beforehand and plan ahead, so you can provide her with some peace of mind once the PMS hell breaks loose. Notice her symptoms and behaviour each month, as this will provide you with some insight. Common signs include mood swings, irritability, fatigue, depression and other emotional changes. She may also experience some acne breakouts which might make her feel insecure. Headaches and body aches, abdominal cramping, as well as sore breasts are also very common and uncomfortable symptoms.
Listen – Listen to her woes while she has PMS. There could be things that only seem to bother her during this phase. A lot of thoughts and feelings she keeps suppressed also tend to be brought to light, so listen up. Paying attention during this time is a chance to find out what makes her feel better when she’s facing these hormonal days. For example, if you see that she’s sleeping more and it seems to be helping, try to create a quiet environment for her so that she’s not disturbed.
Adapt – Once you’ve determined when her PMS phase is, you might want to plan a few things such as a monthly take-out. Remember that menstruation can be quite painful due to cramps and backache, so perhaps she’d appreciate not having to cook after a hard day’s work in such discomfort. Also check with her if she’d be alright with you offering some comfort in the form of chocolate. Sometimes, buying chocolate for the PMS sufferer can come across the wrong way and might be offensive. She might negatively associate eating gobs of chocolate with menstrual cycle relief.
I hope these tips and suggestions can be used to help women who suffer from PMS. And remember ladies, when things get rough, this too shall pass!