Taking Care of your Mental Health
Taking care of your mental health is incredibly important when you are struggling with a premenstrual disorder, such as PMS, PMDD, or PME. Our mental well-being affects how we think, feel, and act. It also influences how we handle stress, interact with others, and make choices.
When anxiety, depression, mood swings, fatigue, loss of interest in normal activities, and feelings of unworthiness start showing up in the week or two before menstruation, it can be easy to isolate ourselves and shut down. However, there are practices and mindset-shifts we can try to help us cope better.
1. Taking time each day to write down 3 things you are grateful for can help foster more positive emotions.
2. How we speak to ourselves is a crucial component of mental wellness. Replacing the negative self-talk with positives affirmations can help us cultivate more confidence, increase self-worth, lower stress, reduce negative emotions, improve productivity, and overcome unhealthy habits. Rather than allowing yourself to become your emotions, such as "I am hopeless", try turning it around to "I am doing my best, and that is good enough".
3. What we eat has a direct effect on how we feel both physically and mentally. Choose whole, nutrient-dense, foods. The more variety and color the better. Create balanced meals by combining quality protein, healthy fats, and fiber. Also, be sure to hydrate! Dehydration can lead to feelings of anxiety, headaches, muscle pain, sugar cravings, and fatigue.
4. Daily movement can help improve mood, boost self-esteem, increase concentration, and enhance sleep quality. Start out slow and find activities you enjoy.
5. Whether it's cooking, gardening, painting, taking a bath, reading, dancing, or something else, take time to do things you love on a regular basis.
6. Getting too caught up in expectations can be detrimental to our well-being. Release the need for control and perfection to avoid feeling disappointed and defeated.
7. Being part of a community is an important aspect of social connection, support, and creating a sense of belonging. Catch up with a friend, call a family member, or join an online group to avoid feeling isolated and alone.