That time of the month? Use Your Cycle to Boost Mental Health
Let's get real about periods for a second. Do you spend at least a week out of every month feeling miserable or out-of-control bitchy? Are you riding an emotional roller coaster all day, every day during that time of the month? Do you keep an emergency chocolate stash under lock and key to self-medicate during this trying time?
Well you’re definitely not alone, that’s for sure. The fact is, fluctuations in your hormones undeniably affect your mood. In the first half of your cycle, estrogen stimulates parts of the brain associated with verbal skills and socialization. During this time, you might feel great, positive, and energized. The second half, however, is another story: right after ovulation, depending on your hormonal issues the ratio of estrogen to progesterone levels in your brain, can cause your mood can take a nosedive and you might feel exhausted, irritable, even depressed.
But you don’t have to be a victim to this hormonal turbulence.
Being a woman does not mean being miserable one quarter or more of every month. By improving your diet and adding the right supplements, you can actually counteract and reverse some of the issues impacting your mental health during your period. Every woman’s personal period struggles are unique, but the solution is the same across the board: eating in a way that fuels and enhances your hormones.
How can your hormones affect your mood?
If you suffer from estrogen dominance, you might tend to feel more manic during that first half of the cycle and take such a turn during the second half that you feel like a different person. With just a few key foods and supplements like sweet potato for vitamin A to help the liver metabolize estrogen more efficiently, and broccoli and kale for the indole-3 carbinole to help break down estrogen, you can feel better fast.
If you find yourself feeling extremely depressed or anxious, you can use a combination of B vitamins to help the ovaries manufacture progesterone, such as B6, B5 and B12. Feel extremely aggro during that time of the month? Saw Palmetto can help to reduce the effect of testosterone on their mood and keep you from causing a scene when someone takes your parking spot or cuts in line.
Not sure which category you fall into but you know your period brings on mood problems? Then it’s important for you to start eating in a way that restores and maintains balance in your body so you can stay even-keeled all month long. The best place to start is by supporting the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis by keeping your blood sugar levels very stable. This is easier to do than you think: eat consistently, sleep and wake on a regular schedule, and only eat one kind of complex carbohydrate at a time to avoid blood sugar highs and lows.
What do these mood changes mean?
But while we want to banish the severe mental health symptoms of hormonal imbalance, it can also be helpful to pay close attention to times that you do feel moody and irritable. Sometimes your bad mood is a message from your body to your brain that something you’re doing in your life is simply not working for you.
When you have PMS, it’s a great time to evaluate key areas of your life including self-care, relationships, career, and pleasure to see if you need to make any adjustments. It can be really liberating to look at PMS as an opportunity to take stock of your life because it lets you be in charge of your life rather than feeling like you have to write off your mood swings as consequences of otherwise-useless hormonal fluctuations. Instead, you can start to appreciate all of your hormonal changes for providing valuable insight into how to live your life more successfully and pleasurably.
What can you do to feel better now?
There are plenty of food and lifestyle strategies you can implement right now to start feeling better fast. Here are some of my favorite mood-boosting tips:
- Be sure to eat plenty of complex carbohydrates like brown rice and quinoa and root vegetables like sweet potatoes to curb sugar cravings and keep your serotonin levels stable.
- Supplement with a good magnesium/calcium supplement like Natural Calm to soothe stress and tame irritability.
- Find a healthy outlet to channel your stress — yoga and meditation are great practices to take up and can be crucial to keeping calm during your period.
- Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables and don’t eliminate dark chocolate — just a few squares of it can satiate your sweet tooth and help elevate low serotonin levels.
- Speak your truth - whatever you need to say to whoever you need to say it to, do it, don’t suppress; express yourself and you will ensure you are moving in the direction of your soul’s desires.
*Crave more hormone help?*
If you’re needing some health upgrading, it’s time you started you looking into what’s going on with your hormones. Alisa has designed a 4 day hormone detox and evaluation to help you understand exactly what’s out of whack and how you can start getting back to balance so that your hormones no longer have to suffer.
Click here to get your FREE detox + evaluation!