Relaxation techniques for PMDD

Relaxation techniques for PMDD

For those of us living with PMDD, we all understand ‘hell week’. PMDD hell week may sound extreme, but if you suffer from PMDD or know someone that does, you will know that it is a fair interpretation.

For about one week a month, our mood can change, and we can turn into a completely different person. Mood, personality, reactions, sleep, and outlook on life all change drastically. It can leave us with extreme thoughts and in some cases suicide.

One of the key things that are talked about with PMDD is planning around your PMDD hell week. Experience has taught us that planning is not a cure, however, it can help in some areas.

We have put together some ideas for ‘mindful relaxation’. During PMDD hell week it’s really difficult to unwind, switch off and sleep properly. PMDD insomnia is extremely common and of course, makes us feel much worse than we do already.

Mindful relaxation really helped me, mainly because I had to think about it, and it became part of my routine much more than just in PMDD hell week. You can do this at any time of the day, but personally, I found it more effective at bedtime with PMDD insomnia. However, if I felt a PMDD panic attack coming on I would also go through this same routine. Natural hormone supplements like hapihormones can help with a variety of issues and as a transdermal vitamin patch, you get all the goodness straight into your bloodstream. But this technique is a winner for switching off.

PMDD relaxation technique

Start in a comfortable position, laid down or in a relaxed seated position. Close your eyes and take deep breaths in through your nose and breathe out through your mouth. Imagine when you are breathing out that you are breathing out/letting go of any tension you are holding. Really focus on pushing that breath right out with force and your mouth wide open, you will make a noise and the noisier the better! It does take time to feel comfortable doing this and to really let go.

This YouTube video is great to give you step-by-step instructions!

After five minutes, relax your mouth and concentrate on the top of your head, imagine your head and scalp loosening up, really focus on each layer of your scalp is slowly relaxing. Follow this down through your temples, eyes, cheeks, and jaw. Raise your eyes and let go, it’s a quick way to feel if any tension there. We carry a lot of tension in our jaw, so when you get to this area, move your jaw around, wriggle it side to side, and drop your mouth open, you may be surprised at how much you are clenching your jaw!

Then slowly carry this feeling down your body, imagine everything gradually unpeeling… relaxing…Drop your shoulders, you may have to really think about mindfully pushing each shoulder down. It is common for us PMDD warriors to carry a lot of tension in our shoulders and often walk around with our shoulders raised. Imagine your shoulders dropping and your neck elongating. Next relax your arms, hands, and fingers. Again, give your hands and fingers a wriggle, clench them then let go, and move your fingers around to ensure nothing feels tight. Follow with chest, tummy, buttocks, and pelvic area. Once you get to your legs, move them gently, if you are laid down, bring your knees together with your feet firmly down. Then let your knees fall gently to the side and bring the soles of your feet together – as per the image below.


Stay in this position for as long as you feel comfortable or have time to do. You can do 60 seconds or 5 minutes, totally up to you.

Then lastly, when your legs and feet and back in position, think about your feet relaxing, wriggle your toes, gently shake your feet, and imagine shaking away any tension.

Your whole body should now feel relaxed, imagine your body was a tight coil and now it’s all come apart and everything feels loose and at ease. Move your head gently, side to side, and enjoy the moment.

If you are doing this at bedtime, you may not get to the end! Hopefully, you have fallen asleep by the time you have reached your feet! If not just lay and enjoy the feeling of a fully relaxing body.

There might seem like there is a lot of information here, but you can do this in just a few minutes, you can take as long or as short as you want.

If you want something that is really quick, that you can do in the office or standing then try this:

Standing with feet apart, imagine you are barefoot on the grass. Raise your chin slightly, relax your jaw and let your mouth slightly open, wriggle your jaw. Then let your shoulders drop right down, and again push down if needed.

This can be done anywhere and is discreet, it’s a great diversion if you feel like you have a PMDD panic attack coming on.

For more information on PMDD and our own stories take a look at

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