Like most women, I don’t even think twice about my cycle; my life revolves around it. I’m hardly at my best when I’m on my period. (Ask my husband.)
I’m irritable, short-tempered, quick to anger, and generally uncomfortable. I start my cycle late in the cycle.
Can you tell me about what you do during the cycle to help your mood? When you get a period, you’re tempted to count the days, thinking it’s the only way to determine your cycle’s timing.
But your cycle isn’t a real period, and it can’t tell you the day of the week. Your cycle means you’re ovulating and fertile.
You can get your period in any month, not just at a certain time. And it doesn’t necessarily correlate to the day of the week you ovulate.
Let’s take a look at your cycle. You ovulate on the 10th day of the cycle (about a week before you typically start your period).
You may have been trying to get pregnant during this time, so if you’re trying, you might be up all night every night when your body releases the egg, thinking that it’s ready to conceive. When you don’t ovulate, you may experience symptoms of being on your period because your body thinks it’s on your period.
The good news is that once you do ovulate, your body does a fantastic job of shedding the uterus’ lining to prepare for menstruation, and you are fertile for about a week. You are very unlikely to get pregnant at this time.
So do what you can to help your mood before your period. Try to follow your typical eating habits and exercise routine. (When you’re fertile, you want to avoid being nauseous or constipated.)
My personal recommendation is to try a few days of no or low-stress activities. Try to be active, but without overdoing it. I can’t emphasize this enough.
Ease into your activities
During a cycle, you tend to overdo it, which means it’s harder to get back into the groove afterward.
Consider scheduling your workouts in two blocks of time: one for the beginning of your cycle, when you’re a little more hormonal and irritable and sensitive, and another one for the second half of the cycle, when you’re not nearly as hormonal. The first block of time should not be more than 45 minutes.
When you are not pregnant or not trying to get pregnant, you may be able to go for about an hour-and-a-half. You want to avoid exercise that makes you feel like you might throw up or even strenuous exercise that puts stress on your abdomen.
Lastly, I recommend taking a quick break when your day gets too busy and unwind by taking a warm bath, snuggling with your cat, or even drinking a cup of tea.
You may be feeling a little moody because you’re also having hormonal PMS symptoms. Take a moment to think of those symptoms as a trigger for your PMS and not cause your mood.
If you can work with your hormonal system, it can improve your mood.
When you are not on your period and are just stressed, think of a way to cope and get ready to start your routine again.
Note: PMS symptoms are genuine, and they can be difficult to treat, but that doesn’t mean that they should be ignored. Check out some of the options I’ve provided, and talk to your doctor. They can help you find the solution that works for you.
Working out is like a drug
When I want to exercise, it’s hard for me to sit still.
Working out can increase your energy level, as well as your mood. I’ve written about how working out can improve your sleep, too.
When I want to exercise, I have to find something to get me moving. When I was working my butt off to lose weight and get stronger, I wasn’t sitting on my butt.
I worked out two to three times a day, which allowed me to burn a ton of calories and build my stamina.
I also did a great deal of cardio (like running and riding my bike), which helped keep my body burning calories and keep my blood sugar stable.
I can’t tell you how much better I feel when I work out, and I certainly can’t tell you what my workout has done to my body. But I can tell you that working out gives me the endorphin rush I need to be mentally and physically healthy and that I’m more productive during the day.
And no, I don’t think you can consume enough caffeine to produce an “endorphin rush.” There is no special process that releases the “endorphins.”
I’m not a big fan of scientific studies because many of them are flawed, but I’ve read enough to know that the benefits of working out outweigh the risks.
As someone who exercises, I’ve also seen a lot of evidence that working out is safe. I do not work out until I hurt myself, and I don’t enjoy being out of breath and feeling fatigued.
And I certainly don’t do it just to fit in a workout.
Most people who choose to work out have an interest in their health. This means they have a goal in mind, and they’re working towards it.
Even if you’re doing it to lose weight or to build muscle, that’s fine. If you’re motivated by something other than your health, you’ll end up feeling a lack of satisfaction.
If you’re already exercising regularly, you probably aren’t that concerned about losing weight or building muscle. That’s okay, but do make sure that you continue to make time for yourself.
Sometimes, people work too much, and they forget about themselves.
Work out as often as you can, and enjoy the time with your body and your mind.
Relaxation techniques and meditation are great
Those of you who are trying to calm your mind or reduce stress should definitely consider these techniques.
One of my favorite ways to relax is to take a 10-minute shower. I turn on the water, take my bath, and do deep breathing as I relax.
I find it takes me quite a while to relax completely, but I’m always so glad when I get there. I take a deep breath, close my eyes, and remind myself to be in the moment.
A few weeks ago, I was having a hard time at work and couldn’t stop thinking about how much I needed to get away from my job and from my emotions. I decided that I was going to run away from everything.