How can I cope better at work?

The following advice is based on information from the NAPS website, and the first-hand experience of PMS sufferers interviewed in the TUC handbook, Keeping well at work:

  • Eat regularly. Start the day with a good breakfast. Avoid long spells at work without eating, especially during the luteal phase, when PMS is present. Take snacks to work to eat during the morning and afternoon. Spread your intake of energy-giving foods so that your blood sugar level doesn't fall too far at any point during the working day. These foods might include a sandwich with a low-fat filling, fruit, plain biscuits, scones, and buns.
  • If you have a long or late meeting, try to eat something beforehand. Taking 5–10 minutes away from your job in mid-shift to eat may be easier said than done, and may need permission from a supervisor.
  • Drink less caffeine, tea and cola. Substitute these with more water, herbal teas, and decaffeinated or non-carbonated drinks.
  • Telling people you work with about your symptoms is a difficult step to take, but if you don't, variations in your contribution at work can be misunderstood. Talking to people you can trust may help you to cope with work stresses on the most difficult days.
  • Inform your line manager, personnel officer or occupational health nurse. If your employer understands your needs, they are more likely to accept variations in the pace or type of work you undertake, for one or a few days each month.
Note: This content is provided as general background information and should not be taken as legal advice or financial advice for your particular situation. Make sure to get individual advice on your case from your union, a source on our free help page or an independent financial advisor before taking any action.