Brian-A-Jackson/Shutterstock Change an irritable attitude by clearing your calendar
Feeling like you could snap at anyone at a moment’s notice is a classic symptom of PMS. “In my practice, this is the most common symptom women report,” says gynecologist Barb Depree, MD, of Lakeshore Health Partners in Zeeland, Michigan. “Charting your period and preparing for the PMS days can be a lifesaver,” she says. That means don’t overschedule yourself (here’s how to say no to annoying requests), even consider postponing important decisions until later in the week. Not only will you avoid potential conflict, but the self-nurturing will boost your mood.
nd3000/Shutterstock Reduce PMS discomfort with exercise
“Exercise will help every single PMS symptom,” says Dr. Depree, particularly cardio. In one 2013 study, young women who did 60 minutes of aerobic exercise three times per week for two months experienced fewer PMS symptoms across the board. As a PMS treatment, exercise may help balance estrogen and progesterone and decrease hormone-like substances linked to pain and PMS cramps. Dr. Depree recommends her patients step it up a bit more and exercise 45 minutes five days a week during the week leading up to their period. That should include higher intensity bouts to raise your heart rate, if possible. And, of course, exercising consistently during the rest of the month will help buffer symptoms too, she says. (These gym hacks will make your sweat session less of a chore.)