Getting your period is a sign that your body is healthy and operating as it should. But this sometimes comes with some challenging side effects – like period mood swings. With a little management, period mood swings need not throw you off your game. We’ve compiled some simple tips to help you through it, as well as advice about when to reach out for help.
Firstly, a few words about what causes period mood swings. Premenstrual syndrome, or PMS, can cause a roller coaster of emotions, starting up to a week before your period. You may go from feeling like just about everything is about to make you cry to feeling like so angry you could scream – all in one day!
These mood swings before your period are caused by the changing hormones in your body leading up to menstruation. The dip in oestrogen is particularly to blame for mood swings before your period. Oestrogen can cause the levels of serotonin in your brain to drop; serotonin is one of the important brain chemicals that puts you in and keeps you in good spirits.
Some girls also get PMS anxiety as part of their unique bundle of mood swings before their period. Read more here about PMS anxiety.
In order to reduce and manage mood swings before your period and during it, there are a number of simple lifestyle changes you can make:
Firstly, exercise! Exercise releases endorphins, and endorphins are your brain’s very own feel-good chemicals that boost your mood. You know that rush you get after running around or playing football with friends? That’s from endorphins.
Next, try avoiding caffeine and sugary foods. These spike your mood, only to set you up for a crash later. If you’re already facing mood swings before your period, the ups and downs caused by sugar and caffeine can be particularly tough.
Lastly, try reducing your stress levels. While mood swings during your periods aren’t caused by stress, being stressed out can certainly make you feel worse. Do your best to avoid stressful activities and events before and during your period in order to give yourself a break.
If all else fails, talk to your doctor about some medication options. Sometimes, going on an anti-depressant around your period can help. Together, you and your doctor can come up with a solution that works best for you.