During high school, I started to notice a difference in my mood changes and my everyday life during my period. I always had the best grades until my PMS started shifting and impacting my academics. Generally, I’m an anxious person, but my anxiety during my period became next level. I was lashing out at my parents, failing some tests, and having extreme bathroom anxiety. I remember getting to college and having trouble taking tests still and sleeping whenever I wasn’t in class and taking many trips to the bathroom. I was living post-period with anxiety, but when I was on my period I was feeling life-altering anxiety.
I got a therapist sophomore year of high school and got on birth control senior year. The birth control lowered my PMS anxiety, but it never went away completely. As my anxiety heightened in college, I assumed that heart palpitations and excessive sweating, and many bathroom breaks were normal. I didn’t talk about my anxiety with anyone because my parents didn’t believe in anxiety. Going to a college that talked about mental health and the ways to get help, showed me how to get help. My anxiety was never normal and I didn’t need to live every day with it.
By my senior year of college, I needed a therapist to help me get through my everyday life. I was getting sick a lot and my anxiety levels were off the charts. I was sleeping frequently again and I refused to go out to any events. My therapist helped me realize that everyone has troubles that they’re dealing with and that mine was holding me down. We worked through the irrational fears I had and shifted my thinking so that I had a more positive outlook on each day. I was beginning to live my life more carefree.
Every therapist recommends exercise. They all do. It’s inevitable. If you’re not already exercising then you need to. Exercise keeps your body happy and healthy and in turn, it makes you healthy and happy as well. I started taking walks with my mom to get exercise during the pandemic. During my period, during PMS, and during my most anxious moments, I walked. You can’t walk off your problems, but you can try talking about your problems to a dear friend while walking at the same time. It helps, trust me. Exercise doesn’t have to mean going to the gym. Exercise can mean dancing alone in your room or swimming or rock climbing. As long as you are moving your body, you are getting closer to managing your stress.
And with exercise usually comes music. Music is an essential part of managing my anxiety. Anxiety can’t be tamed if you don’t know the ways to calm yourself down. The best way to start is by getting to know yourself and the things that keep you content or calm. For me, music always brings me back to my most content self. Try throwing on your favorite song and jotting down the best ways to stay calm.
My last tip for keeping your PMS anxiety at bay is supplements. I’ve tried St. John’s Wort which is supposed to help with moods. My mom got it for me when I first started my period because I was acting like a b*tch. St. John’s Wort never seemed to help me, but it does for some! The supplement that helps me and my PMS is Jubilance. It took a few weeks for it to kick in, but once it did, it was amazing. I am currently PMSing and having no reaction to my period coming. I feel in control of my anxiety, my emotions, my energy, and my life.