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The days before your period can sometimes be very hard to get through. In addition to physical symptoms like cramps and water retention, many women find themselves sad or depressed. This sadness can be addressed in a number of ways, ranging from diet or sleep adjustments to increased physical activity or alternative methods like yoga. There’s no need to suffer, and learning how to get rid of PMS depression can improve your health in other areas as well.
A well-balanced diet rich in complex carbohydrates can help counteract some of the symptoms of depression. Be sure to eat lots of whole grain foods in the days leading up to your period, supplemented with plenty of whole fruits and vegetables. High-fiber foods can help with the water retention issue, which will in turn give you more energy and improve your mood.
Much has been said about supplemental vitamins. Some believe that supplements are the best way to ensure the proper intake of essential nutrients, while others say the emphasis should be on getting vitamins naturally, through the food you eat. While it is true that the ideal diet may provide every vitamin and mineral you need, in exactly the right amounts, this is probably unrealistic. Some minerals, like calcium, can be reliably obtained from dozens of different foods, but taking a daily multivitamin will guarantee that you’re getting the minimum effective dose of things like calcium, vitamins B and E, and magnesium, all of which have been shown to reduce the symptoms of PMS.
One of the most effective remedies for depression, whether caused by PMS or something else, is exercise. Even 30 minutes of moderately strenuous activity three days a week can have a profoundly beneficial effect on your mental state. Some good choices include running, swimming, cycling, or playing a sport. Activities you can do with other people will give you a social boost, too, which can further improve your mood.
Millions of people go through their lives getting less sleep than they need. Whether the result of a hectic, fast-paced modern lifestyle or an over-reliance on chemical stimulants and depressants like caffeine or alcohol, sleep deprivation can cause a whole host of health problems, including depression. Make an effort to get at least seven hours of sleep each night; taking a warm bath, keeping your bedroom comfortable and non-stressful, and sticking to a routine every night can make it easier to fall asleep and help you sleep more soundly.
For people trying to take a more proactive approach to treating depression, there are a number of alternative medical therapies that have shown promise. Yoga is a time-honored means of stilling the mind while engaging the body. This can tackle two PMS problems at once, relieving physical tension and promoting a calmer, less anxious mental state. Meditation by itself can have similar effects.
Other suggestions include acupuncture or acupressure, and massage. Each of these has been shown in clinical trials to reduce the severity of depression symptoms, and each can also improve the body’s physiological response to PMS.
There are many factors that can cause depression, and PMS is only one of them. If you notice yourself becoming depressed during other times of the month, away from your period, or if you make some of the changes suggested above and don’t see any results, it might be necessary to consult a doctor. Your depression may be the result of something else entirely, and a doctor will be able to provide a concrete diagnosis. In the meantime, being a bit more knowledgeable about how to get rid of PMS depression means you will be equipped to face it the next time it happens to you.
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