Updated: Dec 8, 2022
You probably already know what your body goes through in the days leading up to your period and even during your monthlies. Body aches, cramps, heightened anxiety, irritability, and, what is probably the worst of them all, mood swings.
The best way to keep your mood from going up and down is to first understand what happens when you’re experiencing PMS symptoms or menstruating. So, let’s find out what it’s all about and how you can better handle your mood swings below!
What Are the Underlying Causes of Mood Swings?
PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome) symptoms generally begin about a week before you actually menstruate. This comes in the form of headaches for some people, while others experience bloating and fatigue.
However, for some people, it’s their mood that’s heavily affected. Mood swings involve an abrupt, unexplained change in your mood. For example, you might wake up in a great mood, but an hour or two later, you find that you’re angry and irritable for no reason.
But why does this happen?
It has something to do with your hormones.
Understanding hormones and how often they fluctuate during your period is the best way to get to the root of your discomfort.
About halfway through your cycle, ovulation happens. This is when your body releases an egg, which causes your estrogen and progesterone levels to plummet. As a result, you might feel some physical and emotional symptoms.
It doesn’t end there, though. Serotonin levels are also affected by changes in estrogen and progesterone levels. The reason why this matters is because serotonin is a neurotransmitter that assists in controlling your mood, sleep pattern, and hunger.
Low serotonin levels are associated with PMS symptoms like moodiness and irritability, difficulty sleeping, and unusual food cravings.
How Can I Handle My Mood Swings?
The good news is that you can boost serotonin and balance your hormones through natural means.
1. A Balanced Diet Goes A Long Way
PMS usually comes with intense cravings for junk food. However, excess fat, salt, and sugar can all negatively impact your mood. Now, you don’t have to cut them out entirely! Balance is key here. Make sure you’re also eating whole grains, fruits, and vegetables that your body will thank you for.
You can also try natural mood boosters such as maca root powder, St. John’s wort, licorice, and ginseng. Once you strike that perfect balance with what you feed your body, you’ll feel full throughout the day and prevent drops in blood sugar, which can make you cranky.
Need help deciding what to cook for lunch or dinner? We’ve got balanced and healthy recipes that you’ll definitely love!
2. Don’t Skip The Workout
Contrary to popular belief, exercise can help prevent PMS! Moving your body for at least 30 minutes a day can boost your mood and give you the energy you need throughout the day.
Plus, movement reduces stress and fends off chronic illnesses. You don’t have to go all out, though! For example, walking around your neighborhood for half an hour can help with feelings of irritability, anxiety, and sadness.
3. Sleep is Essential
One thing you should never do is underestimate the power of a good night’s rest! Sleep is so important when you’re experiencing PMS symptoms or when you’re menstruating because not enough of it can kill your mood.
Ideally, you should get at least seven to eight hours of sleep every night, especially in the days or weeks before and during your period. Remember that it can be extremely difficult to concentrate on your tasks when you're tired. And when you’re unfocused, you become more easily agitated. So, get some well-deserved beauty rest!
4. Don’t Stress Yourself Out
This is easier said than done, but stress will only worsen your mood swings. So, relax.
Practice relaxation techniques that work for you, such as breathing exercises, yoga, or meditation. All of these might just be what you need to calm your mind and body, especially when your PMS symptoms are kicking in or when you’re on your period.
5. Take Some Vitamins
Some vitamins can help relieve PMS or period-related mood swings.
Calcium is one of them, as it can help address anxiety, sadness, and irritability. You can find these in foods such as milk, leafy green vegetables, and yogurt. However, you can also take a daily supplement containing 1,000 milligrams of calcium.
If you don't see results right away, don't give up on it yet! When eating calcium-rich foods or taking calcium supplements, it may take three menstrual cycles to notice any symptom improvement.
You can also try vitamin B6, which can be found in fruit, chicken, turkey, and fish. Vitamin B6 supplements also exist but remember that you shouldn’t take more than 100 milligrams daily.
Be Kinder To Yourself & Your Body During Your Period
The bottom line is that whenever PMS or period mood swings are about to kick in, give yourself and your body lots and lots of kindness and patience.
Rest, exercise, eat healthy, sleep, and don’t stress yourself! Often, doing these simple things is all your body needs. Need more guidance in living your best life? Check out Holistic In Houston today!