Do you feel mentally distressed - vulnerable, angry, gripped with anxiety and fear about things in life, feel depressed, moody, feel irritable, socially withdrawn when your period is approaching or during your period?
Physical discomforts can add to the above mental distress. You feel bloated, experience a headache, have back pain, tender breasts, sluggish with no motivation to do anything, crave sugary or unhealthy foods
Don’t you feel sometimes PMS takes away the best of you?
All the above symptoms are because hormones in your body are increasing and decreasing right before and during your period. Hormones have a huge effect on your mental health.
This comes as a part of being a woman and on her period every month. During this phase of the month, conscious self-care is important.
Here is how you can take care of our mental well-being through the days of PMS and periods. You can:
Understand the root cause
Track your cycle
1. Understand the root cause of mental anxiety
During PMS, the quantity of hormone Progesterone suddenly drops in the body before your period starts. With this, the serotonin, happy hormones in the body go down. This is the reason why you feel low and depressed and go through mood swings.
Why does serotonin reduce? Because in our evolution the body wants to conserve energy for menstruation, happy hormones will lead to we jumping around, hence the body’s instinct reaction is to reduce serotonin
Indulge in a little self-pampering and bring closer attention to what the body is feeling. While you are feeling mood swings, your sense of smell has gone up! Notice the changes in your mood and know that hormones are playing a part (than blaming others around you ;))
Do some deep breathing and meditation to ride the emotional rollercoaster before and during periods.
2. Track your cycle
The mood swings and same set of symptoms occur at the same time every month. You might have gone through months and years of having your period. Yet all these symptoms catch you off guard every month. You realize it was PMS time way after the phase passes.
Hence, It is important to keep track and stay ahead of period symptoms. Here is how you can avoid that tantrum or letting your mood take away the best of you right before your period or during your period.
Download an application to track your period. There are many period calendar tracking applications available on Google Play or App Store.
These apps usually ask you questions about your period flow, number of days, mood, energy levels. They collect the information from you over months to predict your time of period and how you will feel around your PMS time of the month.
Many apps also send a reminder of your PMS time. This way you know that one of the reasons for feeling low or having no energy is because your period is fast approaching.
You can also plan your work schedule or events around those days when you know you will not feel good or well. It is one way of becoming aware of yourself and your mood swings. This can help you deal with your emotions.
3. Nourish yourself
Eat healthy and hydrate.
During your period there is less estrogen hormone in the body. Estrogen is required to make a hormone called serotonin. Less estrogen = less serotonin.
Less serotonin = cravings for sugary snacks and chocolates.
I know this is the time when you crave the most for a sugary snack or bar of chocolate. Try out dark chocolate. It has been found to help the body make more Serotonin, a happy hormone to boost your mood.
Have more natural sugars like oranges, berries, bananas if you have sweet cravings.
Having low calcium usually worsens cramps and mood. Ensure you have low fat calcium rich foods like tofu, broccoli, salmon, nuts to ease those cramps. Drink lots of water to stay hydrated.
Want a solution to those period blues? Checkout &Me’s period care kit. The period drinks and period chocolate will improve mood, give much-needed energy, satisfy your sweet cravings and provide relief from pain during periods. Wow!
It is important to exercise. I am sure this is the last thing any woman in pain and discomfort would want to do. You do not have to do anything strenuous like hit the gym and run on a treadmill.
A light/ gentler form of exercise like yoga or stretching can help soothe the uterus muscles and thigh muscles to relieve cramps and reduce stress. Exercise makes the body make more happy hormones and is a mood booster.