Have you ever been out here, minding your own business and hustling along--- when you start to cry for no reason?
No? Oh yeah… me neither…
Girlfriend, I’m talking about some serious mood swings. Some of us are more up front about them than others, or experience them much more drastically, but MOST of us experience some sort of PMS related mood swings at some point.
What happens is this: When you’re in the second half of your cycle, you ovulate. This causes a sudden drop in estrogen and progesterone levels circulating in your system---- which in turn makes your serotonin levels dip. This chain reaction of hormone levels fluctuating like mad causes your emotions to do the same thing.
Serotonin is a neurotransmitter in the brain that helps regulate your mood, appetite, and sleep cycle, so when this is out of wack it causes all that chaos that is ~PMS~
Mood swings are actually one of the most common and severe symptoms of PMS, yet are often disregarded or ignored! As women we are told that we are ‘just more emotional than men’ which may be true for many of us--- but there is a literal chemical battle happening within us that is causing it! We are labeled ‘crazy’ when already existing struggles with anxiety or depression are exacerbated by hormonal sabotage.
First thing is first: Just because our emotions are being controlled by our hormones going haywire does not make them ‘invalid’ and does not make you crazy. This is a real experience of strong emotion! While your reactions may seem irrational, they are simply responses to an internal stimuli, rather than external.
Knowing that what is making us feel the need to punch our S.O. in the face is actually not his loud chewing, but a hormonal massacre happening within us, makes a lot more sense and might alleviate a bit of tension between the two of you...
So now, what to do about it?
1. First off--- If you’re not tracking your cycle, then what are you doing with your life? There are a ton of different options for period tracking apps that allow you not only to track the days you’re bleeding, but also when you’re cramping, breaking out, having sex, feeling moody, exercising, having headaches, having cravings, eating well/not well….
Basically, you are able to watch for patterns and predict when certain symptoms might arise, and plan ahead! There is nothing worse than being caught off guard by a mood swing and spending your whole day over analyzing who or what it is that is pissing you off.
A few period tracking apps I personally love are: Spot On, Clue, and Flo. Find one that works for you, and keep up with it daily.
2. Get your Calcium and B vitamins. While you likely won’t see results right away, after a few cycles of taking these regularly you will get some support leveling out emotions of anxiety, irritability and sadness.
Of course, you can hop on Amazon and have supplements delivered to your door, but there are also a lot of foods you can naturally add into your diet to get the same benefits in a more palatable form. Foods like dairy, leafy green veggies and fortified cereals will add extra calcium while fish, chicken and fruit will give you a B-6 blast.
3. I know I said that these mood swings are the result of an internal stimuli--- but there are also some really useful lifestyle switch ups that can greatly reduce your experience of these mood swings! My number one advice is to add more movement into your life. Allocating even 30 short minutes from your day to sweat and get your blood moving works wonders on the mood and hormone balance because it combats the hormone dips you’re experiencing with a boost of endorphins.
Already hitting them gym every day? Try switching it up and adding yoga or meditation to unwind. Unresolved stress and tension is only amplified by PMS and it might be a slowdown that you need.
Mood swings can make some major impacts in our routines and relationships, and even in our performance day-to-day. It is so important to seek out the help you need to manage one of the most crucial aspects of our daily lives. The emotional response to our day to day is really what makes us who we are--- so don’t let your hormones get in the way! Talk out your options with a doctor and see what might work best for you.
Empower yourself to take control of your emotional life! It’s more important than you’d think. Got questions? You know where to find me!