1. Balance your hormones
If your anxiety arrives at the same time each month, before your period, it is probably linked to the hormonal fluctuations happening in your body at this time. If you experience other symptoms of PMS such as swollen, tender breasts, painful period cramps, and fluid retention along with the anxiety, taking Agnus castus to bring your hormones into balance will go a long way in solving your anxiety. Agnus castus needs to be taken continuously for 2-3 months before you can expect to notice any changes; and it can't be taken alongside hormonal contraceptives.
Addressing any nutrient deficiencies can help with PMS also, so consider adding a multivitamin to your day. For more information on supplements to promote easier periods, have a read here.
While you wait for these changes to take effect, I have listed things you can do in the meantime to ease your PMS anxiety.
2. Enlist herbal help
Feelings of anxiety can originate out of stress, feeling overwhelmed or low mood. Addressing the stress or mood issues can help with the anxiety. Here are some suggestions that could help address these issues:
- AvenaCalm – This is a great remedy to have if you suffer from mild to moderate anxiety or stress, and need help calming down while remaining focused and alert. It is an extract of oat plant, which is very nourishing for your nervous system. This remedy has a cumulative effect, so taking it for a period of months will be most efficacious.
- Valerian Complex – Perfect if you are suffering from a very stressful time and can't seem to wind down. It is non-addictive and non-drowsy. Most people find it fast-acting and soothing.
- Mood Essence – A lovely emotional support that helps you feel more optimistic and light during times of stress or difficulty.
|Tip: When you soothe your nerves during the daytime, you often find your sleep improves too, which strengthens your whole system.
3. Cut out caffeine
The hormone cortisol, which is linked to anxiety, increases in the days immediately before menstruation starts. This makes it more difficult for you to manage the stresses in your life, making you feel more anxious.
You know what else raises your cortisol levels? Yep, you guessed it, caffeine. Caffeine-containing foods and drinks not only include coffee and cola drinks but also black, green and white tea and even chocolate.
It can be especially difficult to cut back on caffeine in the week before your period because, often, you feel more tired and lethargic at this time of the month. This can lead to using caffeine as a crutch to get through a busy week. Make a special effort to avoid caffeine completely in the lead up to your period, to help ease PMS anxiety. Try Balance Mineral drink as an alternative, to give you a healthy boost of energy-associated nutrients. It's filled with vitamins and minerals, so will attend to all of your nutrient needs and help your energy levels remain stable. Make sure you include lots of slow energy-release foods throughout your day so you don't get a big energy dip that leads to you ordering a double shot latte. Keep reading for another way of avoiding the premenstrual dash for caffeine. Be warned, it is quite radical.
4. Reduce your responsibilities
Adjust your pre-menstrual week to fit with your reduced energy and feelings of anxiety. I can almost hear you protesting through my laptop as I write. But bear with me; maybe, just maybe, you are feeling anxious and tired and unable to keep up with life, because you are doing too much. Gift yourself the week before your period to dun, dun, dun ....do less. I told you it was radical. If you are functioning at 40% during your pre-menstrual phase, look at ways of bolstering you up to 100%, whether that be through extra support from friends or family, cutting back on responsibilities at work or just leaving your washing dirty and your house unclean. If this fills you with dread, scroll back up to point two on this list and grab your favoured calm in a bottle.
5. Keep a period diary
Logging the symptoms of your menstrual cycle can be helpful in dealing with PMS anxiety. Once you have a few cycles logged, you will begin to see patterns emerge in your cycle. You might notice that you begin to feel anxious on the same day each month and that the anxiety disappears on the same day each month too. This can be a comforting reminder that it won't last forever and it will pass.
6. Treat yourself like a small child
Imagine you are looking after a small child. You will have to make sure the child gets plenty of sleep, eats all their vegetables, drinks water and gets outside to play. You will make the child laugh and soothe the child if they get upset. Ok, now imagine for your pre-menstrual week, you are that child. Make sure you eat all of your veggies, drink water, play, sleep and laugh. Be as kind as you would be to that small child and maybe your anxiety will be eased.