Category Archives for Lifestyle

5 Natural Remedies for PMS Relief and PMS Anxiety

 

Learning how to manage PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome) Emotions is not something many women want to ever have to address in their lifetime.  It is, however, an issue that should not be ignored.  During my teen years, I would hear other girls complaining about their PMS symptoms. 

It sounded more like they complained about their experience month after month, so I started attributing all women’s similar complaints to some form of PMS anger.  PMS is one of the most common forms of hormonal imbalance for women of childbearing age, resulting in both psychological and physical period symptoms.


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The average woman experiences 450 periods in her lifetime.  That’s triple the number of our ancestors, and they lived much shorter lives and were most of the time pregnant and nursing more than today. 

Since more than 75 percent of women today deal with PMS symptoms during menstruation, it’s clear that a lot of women are experiencing the uncomfortable side effects of this natural biological process.  In fact, 30 to 40 percent of women reporting PMS symptoms say PMS impairs their daily activities, leaving many of them looking for natural remedies for PMS and cramps.

PMS symptoms may start a week or two before your period and may be mild to severe.  If you have dysmenorrhea then you experience painful menstruation, typically involving abdominal cramps (one of the most unpleasant period symptoms).

Hormone balance is the primary factor that will determine the PMS symptoms that someone experiences.

Some Causes of PMS Symptoms

  • Hormonal changes and imbalances
  • Chemical changes in the brain
  • Poor diet
  • Low vitamin and mineral levels
  • Stress
  • Emotional problems
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Thyroid problems
  • Environmental toxins
  • Consuming alcohol and caffeine, which may alter mood and energy level
  • Eating too many salty foods, which can cause fluid retention and bloat
  • Obesity
  • Lack of exercise

Every woman faces PMS in her life. During the early days of the menstrual cycle, and especially just before 2-3 days of her menses, she faces mood swings, becomes irritated at times and feel anxious too. Due to all such symptoms, her daily lifestyle becomes disruptive.

Women, you can manage your PMS symptoms without sacrificing your routine. But How?

Some Causes of PMS Anxiety

Studies have shown that before a woman’s period, a stress hormone known as cortisol tends to increase. In many ways, anxiety is a form of long-term stress, and stress is known to make anxiety symptoms worse.  So, before your period, when cortisol levels shoot up, anxiety symptoms would be expected to shoot up with them.

It’s likely that women suffering from this type of PMS anxiety have lower levels of anxiety throughout the month that are simply exacerbated by cortisol, rather than PMS causing anxiety itself.

Similarly, any chronic stress is believed to make PMS symptoms worse. Since anxiety and stress sensations are a part of PMS symptoms if you’re suffering from severe stress before your PMS symptoms occur, that stress will increase your PMS symptoms, which in turn will increase your stress symptoms and so on.

Hormones play a direct role in the way your body produces and responds to the neurotransmitters that control stress and anxiety, so it’s likely that when these hormones have lost their balance, anxiety, and stress are the result.

Ways to Manage PMS Anxiety 

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1. Exercise

Exercise is a crucial part of healthy living and an important part of dealing with anxiety caused by PMS. Several studies have linked aerobic workouts with controlling anxiety symptoms.

It can reduce the stress level of your life so eventually reduces the PMS symptoms.  Make sure you exercise daily at least for 30 minutes; this way you will not only get rid of emotional and physical PMS symptoms but you will stay fit too.   

Choose any workout routine that can move you and is fun.  If not proper exercise, go for a 20-minute walk.  One activity involves simply letting out all your emotions on paper, since bottling them up can be harmful to your ability to fight anxiety.

2. Herbal Remedies

Herbal remedies can take time in showing the results but then the results will be everlasting. Some are:

3. Dietary Changes 

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It’s important to eat foods that will help you with the PMS symptoms if you want to get alleviate the discomfort.   Dietary changes include adding Calcium, Vitamin E, Magnesium and Tryptophan into your diet, and possibly abstaining from caffeine.

Heavy salt intake can cause more bloating, caffeine can excite your anxiety or irritability, alcohol may increase your depression symptoms, and excess of sugar can upset your blood sugar and temper.

Increase the intake of fruits and green vegetables one week prior to your periods. Moreover, it is not just about what to eat; what matters is what to eat and how to eat. Eat at regular intervals of time to avoid increasing blood sugar level!

Women who experience PMS symptoms typically are not getting enough calcium, B vitamins (especially B6),  vitamins K,  and vitamin E, among other nutrients from their diets.  For instance, magnesium deficiency also plays a role. 

When you don’t consume an ample daily supply of these essential nutrients, your body demands urgent attention by intensifying your PMS symptoms.  We must not overlook our vitamin D intake, which most Americans are deficient in. 

I first learned about the effectiveness of vitamin D for PMS from Dr. Mercola and immediately started making it a part of my diet;  Not only for myself,  but for my family too!  The more you are informed, the more you can make effective changes to your health.

Here are the best foods to consume to obtain vital nutrients and decrease PMS symptoms:

Plant Foods

Studies have shown that women with plant-based diets high in vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, and herbs have fewer symptoms of PMS.  These foods include avocados, green leafy vegetables, which possess a diuretic effect and are also a great source of calcium and magnesium, as well as vitamin Kwhich helps get rid of period cramps.

Eating a half or full avocado daily can naturally balance hormones because of its nutritional profile is rich in healthy fat, fiber, magnesium, potassium and vitamin B6. An avocado sliced up in a salad full of dark, leafy greens plus feta cheese is the ultimate PMS food combo because it provides a potent dose of PMS symptom-fighting nutrients in one healthy meal.

Calcium-Rich Foods

So far, calcium is among the most science-backed nutrients when it comes to effective dietary treatments for PMS.   Some good choices include raw milk, cooked kale, broccoli, sardines, and yogurt. The benefits of consuming kefir can also help reduce menstrual cramps and related symptoms.

High-Fiber Foods

PMS can cause GI problems, which is why we should get at least 30 grams of fiber daily. Fiber also helps to maintain proper hormone balance by binding to estrogen and carrying it out of the body. When you’re looking at the best PMS foods, eating foods rich in fiber should be considered.

Flaxseed products can help promote healthy estrogen metabolism, which is a key component of managing PMS symptoms.  Along with that is Wheat Germ, which is rich in E and B vitamins.  Other vitamin E-rich foods include almonds, sunflower seeds, and spinach.

Wild-Caught Fish

We eat Salmon at least twice a week.  So I can truly vouch for this suggestion because Salmon has many health benefits.  Once I learned that the Omega-3 rich foods helped with PMS symptoms, I was on it!

Plus my kids love Salmon, so I quickly taught them how to cook it without my assistance.  (Kudos there)!  Foods high in omega-3 Fats like wild-caught salmon, sardines, and anchovies help reduce pain and inflammation that make PMS symptoms worse.

4. Essential Oils- The Best Essential Oils for PMS

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In my experience, I’ve found the best essential oils that really gave me relief in my lower back and my abdomen.   I simply mixed these oils with my favorite carrier oil-Almond Oil and massaged the mix over my aching lower back and abdomen and found relief this way.  It actually helped!

These oils have some amazing medicinal properties in them.  They’re a staple in my home.  Whenever my kids get sick, the first thing they say to me is, “Mom, I need an essential oil for this or that.”  It makes me happy that they know the value of the oils and their benefits.

One essential oil is Clary Sage e.o.  it naturally balances hormones, which can help reduce symptoms.  I like to mix Chamomile, lavender, and Cypress essential oils with a carrier oil (like almond oil) and then rub on the lower abdomen. 

 Cypress e.o. improves circulation and can help you get rid of cramps.  I also like to apply a warm compress to my abdomen for 2 to 5 minutes.  To reduce tension, stress, and cramping, you can mix ylang-ylang e.o.  along with lavender e.o. in a carrier oil like almond oil and apply to the back of the neck and lower abdomen.

5.Plan Ahead

I learned that if you prepare for your period every month, you can avoid suffering from any undue pains before they conquer your body and turn you into the beast no one wants to see in you.

I prepare ahead by taking Evening Primrose Oil 7 days before my period is expected to start.  This method gets the herbs circulating in my body and really helps me to avoid the irritating emotional roller coaster mood-changing effects.  It really works! 

I learned this technique from a gynecologist when I was suffering from PMS pains consistently one year.  That year was so irritating to me that I decided to go talk with my OBGYN to discuss what I could do to stop the madness.  It was driving me insane.

Not having anything on-hand to remedy your pain can make it difficult for you to get through this change every month.  Don’t dread this time of the month, instead, check your stock and make sure you have what you need to bring you comfort. 

I like to take inventory of my supplies after my period ends each month.  This way, I’m not scrambling to find something when the discomfort appears unexpectedly.   You always want to be prepared to apply these remedies.  

I don’t know if this is what everyone else does, but if you haven’t tried this technique, give it a try and see how effective it can be for you.  Follow-through is crucial though, so if you want the pain relief, stay committed to these remedies and each month, you will notice your PMS symptoms lessen.

Chart Your Symptoms

At last, I would highly recommend charting your symptoms.  Although PMS is actual, you should first chart your symptoms to be sure that you are actually experiencing PMS and not another situation like depression. 

Charting my symptoms has worked because, in my experience, I have compared one month to another to see what remedy was most effective and which one gave me no results.  Then I made adjustments along the way. 

As with all things, don’t try any new supplements or diet programs before speaking with your doctor first.

What natural remedies do you use to get through PMS symptoms?  Are they effective?

https://www.womenshealth.gov/menstrual-cycle/premenstrual-syndrome#b

https://www.womenshealthnetwork.com/pms-and-menstruation/pms-symptoms.aspx

https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/03/14/can-vitamin-d3-ease-menstrual-cramps.aspx

https://www.womenshealthnetwork.com/pms-and-menstruation/pms-symptoms.aspx

https://nutritionfacts.org/2014/04/17/treating-menstrual-pain-with-diet/

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5 Memorable Ways to Create a Happy Father’s Day

By Theresa Harding

At this time of year, we always look for the perfect gifts for father and ways to wish the fathers in the family a Happy Father’s Day.  We already know that Father’s Day is a day set aside purposely to recognize and appreciate all fathers.  We want to celebrate all father figures for their role in the family.

Usually, the Dads are treated well by their families as a sign of appreciation. If you need ideas on how to celebrate this day, keep reading.  The following are memorable ways to celebrate this special day with a great father’s day gift.

Surprise Him

Is the father in your life up as a surprise for their Father’s Day gift?  Surprise him with something he loves. Before the day starts, grab some tickets for a live game at the stadium, depending on the sport he loves. Preferably, ensure his favorite team is in action that day and surprise him with a ticket to a live match and accompany him to the event.

Outdoor Activities Make Great Gifts for Father

As another gift for father, engage in an outdoor activity with him. Organize a picnic for the whole family and ensure he is attending. During the picnic, you can go bike riding together as well besides camping in the woods. Moreover, during the picnic or camping, you can go hunting in the woods and barbeque. Hiking in the woods can flavor the whole outdoor activity and create best memories for the day.

Dancing

For the fathers who are fun loving and love parties, arrange for a simple dance session with family members in the house. Once he is out of work, ensure he freshens up before dropping his favorite jam. Alert the mother to join him on the floor to dance with him as you watch and create a video of the two dancing.

Take A Road Trip

A road trip during this day can make great memories for a Happy Father’s Day.  Drive along with your Dad and family to a distant location out of town. Along the way take family photos together, make stopovers and buy gifts for him. At the end of the trip, grab drinks and have an outdoor dinner together as everyone shares with him how special he is to the family.

Do Something He Enjoys Doing

Kickstart something he has been looking forward to doing. If your father had a certain plan to start something like a project, surprise him by assisting him in starting it off. For example, you could provide funds for him to start or acquire some hardware for the project.

This will melt his heart.  Whatever you decide, make it the best Happy Father’s Day memory he will cherish in the years after.  So if you are struggling to find the perfect father’s day gift idea, consider the above gifts for Father and make the best of it.

How do you create a Happy Father’s day?

 References

Family, A. (2015). Father’s Day. Public Law714, 480-3737.

Goddard, C. (2016). World fareNursery World2016(Sup19), 12-14.

Soldato, A. (2016). Father’s Figure: The Mother of Father’s Day: Spokane’s Sonora Smart Dodd. NWLawyer70, 15.

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5 Memorable Mother’s Day Ideas

By Theresa Harding

Take a Trip

When you hear the words, Happy Mother’s Day, you usually think of a backyard get-together, right? How about you switch it up this year and plan a trip somewhere she won’t forget!

Mother’s Day comes right along with the full wake of spring, and I’m sure you’re all anxious to catch some sunlight after a long, harsh winter. Taking a hike, I think, would be the perfect way to get into the summertime vibe we yearn for throughout the seasons, a great gift for Mom.

If she isn’t into the whole strapped-up boot, tree- branch cane scene, set up something more relaxing like a camping trip. Now you’ll want to do some research on this one and make sure its somewhere she’ll be comfortable in. You will be there for quite some time after all. Don’t forget the bug spray!

 Dining Out

Over the years, I personally have enjoyed the much-enjoyed Mother’s Day Brunch with my immediate family.  Lately, I’ve been most picky about where I choose to dine out because of the food choices at some restaurants.  You can find some restaurants that do serve some healthy choices on the menu, however. 

Now, this is something very common amongst us Mother’s Day celebrators. In fact, about 54.3% of celebrants say they’ll be going out for brunch or dinner for a happy mother’s day outing, according to the National Retail Federation. Instead of taking her out to the usual spots Dads, might I suggest a trip down memory lane?

By that, I mean take her back to the restaurant you two first laid eyes on each other for a Mother’s Day brunch or maybe the town where you proposed.  If you aren’t in the husband or boyfriend category, another great gift for Mom is to go somewhere she used to take you when you were younger. Remember, it doesn’t have to be fancy. Just somewhere familiar that’ll put a smile on her face.

Breakfast in Bed

Breakfast in bed was the popular option in our household when I was a kid.  I remember cooking what I’d seen as my mother’s favorite breakfast foods. 

The toast might’ve been a little on the darker side, and the eggs might’ve been cooked a little too long, but in my eyes, my meal beat any Mother’s Day brunch without a doubt!  She always ate it too.  (well, I stood there until she finished all of it.) But it was the thought that count, right?

Mother’s Day doesn’t have to be expensive… actually, let me rephrase that: A happy Mother’s Day doesn’t have to be CRAZY expensive! Maybe you already have a pricey Mother’s day gift in mind for your one and only.

To help save money and balance out your spending, what better way to start Mother’s Day than a delicious breakfast in bed recipe? It’s pretty light on the wallet too. Here is a link to some delicious breakfast in bed recipes:

 

 Relaxation

Who says a Mother’s Day gift has to be monetary?

Guys let’s face it, being a mother is hard work. The way I see it, being a mother is pretty much a full-time job and it’s not like she can call in sick or put in her 2 weeks. So to show your appreciation for all the hard work she puts in, spend the day finding ways to lighten her load so she can relax for the day.

Or, if you’re a mother reading this, you can make a list for your family of what you want to be done around the house or whatever tasks you can think of so that you can just sit back and enjoy the holiday. I mean, it is Mother’s Day!

 Creative Activities

It’s no secret that being a mother can be as stressful as cooking rice with no water. Make Mother’s Day not only a day she can relax but also a day she can relieve some unnecessary tension. Look for activities that help relieve stress and/or have proven to be therapeutic.  You don’t need to focus on an expensive Mother’s Day gift.  Here are some of my suggestions:

 All of these are held at different Mother’s Day events. Do some research and find something in your area. Happy Mother’s Day!

What is your idea of deciding on great Mother’s Day gifts for mom?

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The Top 5 Love Languages to Re-energize Your Friendships

By Theresa Harding          This post contains affiliate links.  

As a child, I’ve always had a “best” friend Whom I always found to be my favorite person to spend time with.  I didn’t understand the meaning of true friendship and love, so we both carried on our friendship based on a response we received from one another.

Even as an adult, we feel like we “outgrow” a person because we really don’t know their love language.  That’s challenging because we expect the other person to accept what we give them while getting it all wrong.  If you experience this then fear not!  The Top 5 Love Languages can re-energize your friendships!

Did you know that you can grow and nurture meaningful relationships and love with your close friends using the 5 love languages? Yes, the 5 words of affirmation, quality time, acts of service, physical touch, and gifts- are not only resigned for lovers but also for platonic relationships.

Showing a great friendship and love, and choosing to learn how your friends’ best experience love will take your friendships to a more meaningful place and improve relationships.  So, how well do you understand your close friends? Can knowing your close friends’ love languages help you be a better friend to them?

When we choose to learn our friends’ preferred modes of affection, we are better placed to create strong friendships, feel more connected to them, and offer them better support.  Read on to discover how you can reinforce your friendships using the 5 love languages just because you care about your friends.

Words Of Affirmation

If you have studied your friend and discover they love praise, then they are the type of person who actually likes hearing words of love. Compliment them a lot, praise them and thank them as often as necessary. Avoid harsh words when passing criticism to them as it hits them very strong. You have to choose to be consciously aware of your words when you are around them.  This will help improve relationships over time.

Quality Time

This type of friend thrives on spending time with you and getting your undivided attention. They are not needy; they just connect better when they spend physical time with their friends. They are the best to take along for shopping or brunch.

They thrive around company and not necessarily a crowd unless you confuse the two; they connect one on one. They value your friendship and love and feel most valued when you listen to them and they love listening to you too.

Acts Of Service

This friend appreciates the small (or big) gestures you show them. When you offer to help them with their project, help them fix their garage door or room makeover, this builds a strong friendship with them.

Physical Touch

This friend doesn’t want you to be all weird about it, seeing you can touch your friends for only so long. A simple hug, shake hands while talking, hand on the shoulder, or just sitting next to this friend is okay with them. Still, remember personal space is important.

Gift Giving

They are quite straightforward, they love receiving gifts, thank you notes, even a candy bar. They don’t mind a Porsche if you can afford it, but you get the drift. They respond better to your friendship when you gift them. So the next time you spot something that reminds you of them, go ahead and pick it up to surprise them with it.

It takes time to get used to, and commit to using available opportunities to learn your friends and improve relationships. The more you commit to consciously learn your friends, the easier it will get and the more you can build a strong friendship.

You can learn more about the 5 love languages in more detail in Gary Chapman’s book “The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts.

What is your love language, and does your friend know this?

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