From practising self care and nourishing your body, Clinical Hypnotherapist, best-selling author and TEDx speaker Fiona Brennan has offered her top tips to help maintain positive energy throughout the month.
By following these six steps for at least six months, along with getting at least thirty minutes of daily exercise you should notice a significant improvement in your mood and energy levels.
You can take control of both your hormonal and mental health and become an agent of positive change in your own wonderful life.
1. Know your cycle.
Understanding yourself on a hormonal and emotional level is the key. Through active self-observation and taking the time to understand the impact of your hormone health on your mental health, you will empower yourself to feel positive all month long. I recommend ‘A Menstrual Mood’ journal that you track not just the length of your period and physical sensations but also your moods and energy levels in the days before, during and after your period. What do you notice? Can you see any patterns emerging? For example, do you feel more irritable on the day before your period and almost immediate relief as soon as your period arrives? This information is golden, next time it happens you are prepared.
2. Say yes to yourself!
In order to practice a sustainable self-care programme, you need to sometimes say no to others. This is ok. In fact, self-care has to come first. If you are feeling low on energy or a little on edge hormonally, you need to protect your energy. By resting more you will be in a better form more quickly. It is when we force ourselves to do too much that we become more likely to enter the unnecessary conflict. For example, your family has organised a dinner but you are suffering from cramps and feeling anxious, you don’t feel like going. However, you say yes to your family to please them. You end up at the dinner being in a bad mood, you snap at your mum and then feel guilty after. In this scene, everyone loses. Politely say no to the dinner, explain why, be open, be vulnerable, and be true to yourself. Through honesty, your relationships become closer.
3. Nourish your body.
We are all guilty of reaching for the nearest snack when hunger pangs strike, but sugar and processed foods will only make you feel worse in the long run. Take time to select and prepare foods that nourish your body and support energy levels you will soon feel the benefits inside and out. Foods rich in Omega 3 oils and wholegrains will keep you going for longer, eating more vegetables, especially green leafy vegetables rich in B vitamins will support your hormone health and energy levels too.
It can be hard to maintain this every day, so I supplement with Cleanmarine For Women which is an omega 3 and multivitamin blend designed to offer women additional nutritional support especially at that time of the month. It contains Vitamin B6, which helps to regulate hormonal activity, Vitamin B2, which supports normal skin, Vitamin B1, which helps maintain normal energy levels and Vitamin D3 which contributes to the maintenance of normal bones.
4. Remember it will pass!
If you experience low mood or energy at any stage of the month, remember the uncomfortable feelings will pass. They always do. The sooner you accept them and understand them the more likely they will let go of you. I find repeating to myself, ‘this will soon pass’ very helpful as it removes hopelessness and replaces it with empowerment.
5. Activate your Vagus nerve
The vagus nerve is the longest nerve in the body and runs from the base of your brain into your gut. When you breathe deep, you activate the calming rest and digest system which will help you to navigate any situation. Your breath is your very best friend, don’t forget that! It is the healing energy that keeps you anchored in the present moment. It calms your nervous system and helps you to feel calm all month long.
6. Help remove stigma
Many women suffer from mood swings and anxious thoughts before their periods, yet so many of us try to hide it. Not intentionally but often because we don’t want to complain. By keeping it to ourselves we can feel like we are the only one. We can feel ashamed of ourselves for not being our usual calm, bubbly self. This shame is so unnecessary and really adds to the problem. By being open with friends and family you are giving both yourself and others permission to understand the impact of hormonal health on our mental health. Be very kind to yourself and always explain to those you love in advance if you feel on edge.
Cleanmarine For Women is an omega 3 and multivitamin blend designed to offer women additional nutritional support especially around the time of your period. It contains Vitamin B6, which helps to regulate hormonal activity, Vitamin B2, which supports normal skin, Vitamin B1, which helps maintain normal energy levels and Vitamin D3 which contributes to the maintenance of normal bones.
Fiona Brennan is a Clinical Hypnotherapist with a busy practice in Dublin 4. She is a best-selling author and TEDx speaker and regularly features in the media as an ambassador of positive psychology and speaks on how to manage stress and anxiety.