Mother Nature is a real bitch. Ladies, this post is just for us. Battling the PMS demons can be hard enough, add on a mental illness and it can seem like you’re going through a week of pure, unadulterated hell.
Nearly all women suffer from the sudden mood swings and amplified emotions that come with the Lady in Red (whatever you may call the broad), but paired with the beast that is anxiety, it’s almost unbearable. But, it doesn’t have to be.
When anxiety starts to creep in, here are a few tips on caring for yourself while you ride the crimson wave.
Say It With Me: Self Care!
This is a big one – especially when it feels like your uterus is being punched over and over. Kidding aside, self care can help to combat the heightened sensations in the days leading up to your period. Exercise can benefit the body and does wonders for diminishing PMS symptoms. If you’re not really a fan of the treadmill, you can take a little walk outside, go to a yoga class, or even work out from the comfort of home while you binge Orange is the New Black.
Self care comes in many, many forms. There is no right way to do it. Just do something – anything – that makes you feel good. For me, it can be different for different emotions or days. Sometimes, when I’m feeling particularly emotional during my period, mixed with my own anxiety, I like to go to a bookstore. For me, it’s calming and it’s a safe space. I feel happy surrounded by books. Sometimes I blog while watching Netflix and destroying a California burrito. Other times, I like to lay down in my dog’s bed and cuddle with him. Do what you need to do to feel better and remember that this is cyclical – it will pass.
It’s Okay to Struggle
You’re not going crazy, or losing it. You’re actually going through a tough cycle, and that’s okay. Don’t ever let yourself feel undermined or less than because you’re having a hard time with your emotions or thoughts. It’s the journey of living with an anxiety disorder – self-sabotaging thoughts will pop up and you will struggle with them.
Remember that you’re not alone. Not only is there a large community that tackles mental health each and every day – almost all women battle their period each month. You’re not alone in your suffering.
Embrace Your Emotions
While these symptoms can be temporary – your anxiety isn’t. Like I’ve always said, it’s crucial to feel the emotions you are feeling and meet them head on. Whether that’s anger or sadness, allow yourself to experience it. If you don’t, you’ll just bottle it up and it will explode. You could also project your own emotions and issues onto other people, which is never a fun situation.
Write It Down
It’s important to feel your emotions, but it can also help to write them down. Fully feel your feelings first, with no narrative or story. Once you’ve processed, you can start to see the real reason you’re upset. Rather than writing yourself off as “hormonal” or “crazy,” realize there’s an intuition and potential wisdom with these fluctuations. Jot it down during your period and take the time to think about them after your cycle is over.
Give Your Period Props
When you really think about it, we are pretty amazing as women. Take a second and pat yourself on the back simply for being badass enough to function at all when you’re bleeding, hormone levels are constantly shifting, and battling daily anxiety. I mean damn, we are some strong, sensitive bitches.
If you feel those intense mood swings and emotions coming on, remember this: you are not weak for struggling. You are not weak for getting emotional. It’s something we all – as women – go through. It’s our ability to navigate those fluctuations – along with bouts of anxiety – month after month that’s a huge part of what makes women so empathetic, compassionate, and resilient.
Embrace the power of the period. And go ahead, have a Netflix marathon all weekend, you deserve it.
How do you handle getting your period with anxiety? Share your tips!