Dealing with PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome) is no walk in the park. As if the cramps and mood swings weren't enough, PMS can also cause debilitating fatigue that can make even the simplest tasks feel like a herculean effort. 

Trying to keep the pace at work when you’re suffering from fatigue and mood fluctuations is truly challenging. Studies show that PMS-related fatigue is both prevalent and widespread, and statistics shed light on how common this issue is among women:

  • According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), about 85% of menstruating women experience at least one symptom of PMS. Fatigue is one of the most common symptoms reported.
  • A study published in the Journal of Women's Health found that 75% of women reported experiencing fatigue as a PMS symptom, and 40% described it as moderate to severe.

The Fatigue Factor

One of the most common and underestimated symptoms of PMS is fatigue. During the days leading up to menstruation, hormonal changes in the body can wreak havoc on your energy levels. Progesterone, a hormone that surges during this time, can induce drowsiness and lethargy. Moreover, elevated levels of prostaglandins can lead to disrupted sleep patterns, making it harder to wake up feeling refreshed.

Hormones and Mood Swings

Besides fatigue, PMS also takes a toll on your mood. The rollercoaster of hormone fluctuations can lead to irritability, sadness, and anxiety. It's a challenging combination: you're both tired and emotionally vulnerable, which can make work seem like an insurmountable mountain to climb.

The Unmotivated Feeling

When PMS fatigue and mood swings strike, staying motivated at work can feel like an uphill battle. Tasks that you usually tackle with enthusiasm suddenly become daunting, and the desire to curl up in bed with a cozy blanket and a good book seems far more appealing.

The severity of PMS symptoms, including fatigue, can vary widely among individuals. For some women, these symptoms can be so debilitating that they interfere with daily activities, including work. So here are some ways to combat that lack of motivation when you can't afford to take a sick day:

  • Prioritize and Plan: Create a to-do list and prioritize tasks based on importance and urgency. Break down larger projects into smaller, manageable steps to make them feel less overwhelming.
  • Time Management: Use time management techniques like the Pomodoro method, which involves working for short, focused intervals followed by short breaks. This can help you stay productive despite feeling tired and unmotivated.
  • Self-Care: Don't neglect self-care during this time. Ensure you're getting enough rest, maintain a balanced diet, and engage in activities that help you relax, such as deep breathing exercises or short walks.
  • Open Communication: If possible, communicate with your supervisor or colleagues about how you're feeling. They may be able to offer support or temporarily adjust your workload to accommodate your PMS symptoms.
  • Stay Hydrated and Eat Well: Proper nutrition and hydration can have a significant impact on your energy levels. Avoid excessive caffeine or sugar, as they can lead to energy crashes.

PMS is a complex condition that affects women in various ways, with fatigue being a significant and often overlooked aspect. We totally get it – hormone fluctuations can lead to mood swings, making it difficult to stay motivated at work, but with proper planning, self-care, and open communication, it is possible to manage PMS-related fatigue and continue to excel in your professional life. 

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Written by Amanda Miah

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