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Cycle Health

PMS symptoms: How to find relief

PMS affects everyone differently and sometimes it can be hard to figure out how to get the right relief for you.

We all experience PMS a little differently. Although on average, premenstrual syndrome (PMS) usually makes an appearance 7 to 10 days before the first day of your period. To find relief from your symptoms, here is what to expect and what you can do about it.

What to expect

There are a number of physical, mental and emotional symptoms associated with PMS, and each of them can be experienced differently or sometimes, not at all. Some of the main symptoms include:

Physical Symptoms

  • Bloating
  • Cramps in lower abdomen
  • Breast tenderness
  • Headaches
  • Muscle aches
  • Pimples
  • Constipation or diarrhea

Mental & Emotional symptoms

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Increased sensitivity
  • Sudden changes in mood
  • Antisocial tendencies ie. wanting to be left alone
  • Insomnia

Treat yourself!

Finding relief from PMS symptoms is all about practising good self-care techniques. There are tons of healthy habits that you can practice to lessen the severity of your symptoms and help you feel happier and healthier overall!


Not only does exercise produce mood-boosting endorphins immediately post-exercise; with a consistent routine, working out can reduce the severity of symptoms, offer pain relief and promote lighter or shorter periods. You also don’t have to be a super athlete to reap the benefits of exercise. Doing short high-intensity workouts like those offered in Seven a few times a week can make a huge difference.

Eat a well balanced diet

Vitamins and minerals found in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean protein can provide relief from symptoms too. One example is the anti-inflammatory power of omega-3 fatty acids found in olive oil and cold water fish like salmon, herring, sardines. Fill your plate with tons of vitamin-rich foods and lots of fiber and you’ll notice less symptoms like bloating and constipation.

Also, try to avoid things that tend to make symptoms worse, such as:

  • Smoking
  • Stress
  • Lack of sleep
  • Too much salt
  • Alcohol

Stay hydrated

Drinking plenty of water and avoiding too much salt can help with symptoms like bloating, irritability and even insomnia. To make drinking tons of water easier and more fun, you can add water to your diet by eating food with high water content like strawberries and cantaloupe.

Do things that help you relax

Seems simple enough, but many of us can agree that much of the time we forget to do things for ourselves. So take some time to make a list of what helps you relax like reading, listening to music, having dinner with friends, or taking a calming bath, and then schedule a little time for yourself everyday.

When you should contact your doctor

While many symptoms of PMS are normal, in some rare cases PMS symptoms can be severe enough to interfere with your daily life. In these cases, you should always contact your doctor for help. Some signs to look out for:

  • Significantly low mood (depression)
  • Very sudden mood changes (feelings of rejection)
  • Persistently angry or irritable
  • Extreme difficulty concentration
  • Very bad sleep and insomnia

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