Menstruation and Mood Swings

 It’s that time of the month again.  

Cramps, stomach pains and bloating followed by those pesky mood swings.

While not everyone suffers from mood swings during their period, or may mildly do, there are some instances where you may experience feeling irritable and angry to an extent that it affects your personal relationships and takes a toll on your day to day life.

Dealing with a rollercoaster of emotions that you cannot understand, being easily annoyed, crying or feeling extremely vulnerable may leave you feeling weak and drained both physically and mentally. So we are here to talk about why it happens and what you can do about it.

When would  I get mood swings?

Most people encounter mood swings either about a week before the beginning of their period or during the first few days of their cycle. Mood swings could be a symptom of PMS, also known as Premenstrual Syndrome which includes headaches, insomnia, sore breasts, backaches and depression.

What causes mood swings?

While it is not exactly clear what causes mood swings, medical experts have claimed that hormones have a huge part to play. Fluctuating levels of hormones such as Oestrogen and Progesterone are the main reasons for mood swings and irritability.

How can I manage my mood swings?

  • Eat a balanced diet! Consuming wholesome foods is important in general, but especially so during your period. Eating food high in calcium and Vitamin B-6 have been linked with reducing mood swings and feelings of sadness during menstruation. Natural sources of calcium are found in food such as Milk, Yogurt, Green Vegetables and Orange Juice. Food that is high in Vitamin B-6 includes Fish, Fruit, Chicken etc.
  • Keep a mood diary. Get yourself a  notebook or journal and keep track of when you have mood swings. This method lets you figure out when you may have mood swings during your cycle and help you anticipate them.
  • Work it out! Keeping fit and staying active will significantly help you deal with your mood swings. Regular activities can reduce the symptoms of PMS and make you feel better overall. Exercise releases Endorphins, which is a feel-good chemical that helps you feel happy and lift your moods. Physical activity can also help reduce cramps and bloating.
  • Keep calm and carry on! Keep your mood swings in check by engaging in calming activities such as Yoga and Meditation. Even a relaxing massage can do wonders for you!
  • Talk to a friend. Speak to a close friend or loved one when you are feeling down. Talking about how you feel will help you feel better and know that you are not alone.
  • Cut down on the caffeine, sugar and alcohol. Try your best to stay away from Coffee, caffeinated drinks, sugar and alcohol at least a week or so before your period start date. Stimulants like caffeine can increase anxiety and insomnia which are triggers for mood swings.
  • Get some sleep. Ample rest is key to avoiding those mood swings! Try to get at least 7- hours of sleep especially on the days close to your period and once your period starts. Not getting sufficient sleep can affect both your mental and physical health.