Life @ U of T

PMS as a student

It’s a common experience, but it’s also a taboo: pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS) and it is important to talk about it. PMS symptoms and degree differ between girls. For myself, I become irritable and stressed. I also experience insomnia, loneliness, an increase in appetite, and less emotional stablility, all while feeling physically bloated. I’ve learned some ways to deal with PMS and here are my tips:  

1)    Track your menstruation cycle

I think it’s important to track your menstrual cycle. Everyone’s body has its own individual clock; nobody from the outside can tell you when your period is about to start. Being unprepared for menstruation can be such an unpleasant experience! Not knowing about my own body makes me anxious, so I use an app to keep track and I know when to watch out for PMS.


2)    Plan how to study based on your cycle

During the first two days of my period, I’m extremely unmotivated and I feel grumpy, drowsy, moody, and sleepy. So before it starts, I try to accomplish a lot of work and push myself, even if I’m experiencing PMS. For sure, this can be challenging at times, but I keep myself motivated during this time so I can have more rest when it starts. How do you study?

3)    Know how you relax best

As I experience insomnia and irritability, I try to keep myself relaxed. At home, I use aroma for relaxation such as stick fragrances and bath bombs. The smell of coffee and caffeinated tea are absolutely soothing to me as well. Yes, I do try to enjoy decaffeinated or non-caffeine variations so my insomnia doesn’t get exacberated. Socializing with friends and family is also always great for emotional support!

4)    Eat well

To reduce stress, try eating nutritious meals to feel more nourished and happier. Personally, I can literally eat everything I see, but I know that eating junk food and excess sugar can make my cramps excruciating. So, I try to avoid them, but I also do not beat myself up if I do end up consuming them. If there are any food items that cause extra pain or worsen your PMS, make sure to identify them.

5)    Exercise

If I have time, I love to do yoga and ballet for exercise and relaxation… and I also feel happier with more motivation to study. If you don’t feel like going to the gym, even taking walks and stretching can make a huge difference. Stretching and having a good blood flow are quite important. When the body is tense, so is the mind. Getting rid of tension may be beneficial as well!


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