Women's health doesn't always get the attention it deserves. Many of us feel like we're on our own when it comes to making decisions about birth control or knowing whether our menstrual cycle symptoms are normal. The truth is, just because you're used to a certain side effect corresponding with your time of the month, that doesn't mean it's "normal." The symptom could be a sign of an underlying problem that needs to be addressed.
So, how do you know the difference?
Today, we'll discuss the warning signs of a changing cycle, including menstrual cycle depression and anxiety, and explore how you can thrive during this time of the month.
Signs That Your Menstrual Cycle has Changed
When experiencing a period of extreme or prolonged stress, menstrual cycle changes are a common physical response.
There are several signs and symptoms which may be a clue that you're experiencing an imbalanced menstrual cycle:
Excessive brown bleeding
Most women have experienced one or more of the symptoms on this list. When we recognize them as clues, we are able to make lifestyle shifts to improve our body's response to menstruating.
If anxiety and your menstrual cycle go hand in hand, you don't have to sit back and accept that you're going to feel awful for a week every month. With some simple modifications to your exercise routine, you can feel your best even when you're on your period.
Exercises for Menstrual Cycle Depression and Anxiety
We all know that getting your body moving can help with feelings of depression and anxiety. However, not all forms of exercise are equally beneficial to help with menstrual side effects. There are four phases of our cycle and different types of movement go well with each phase:
Follicular – something new and innovative (Zumba)
Ovulation – strong-willed (run or long bike ride)
Luteal – slowing down (easy jog or vinyasa)
Menstruation – gentle movement (yoga Nidra or restorative yoga or walk)
For many women, depression and anxiety symptoms worsen when they don't feel like themselves. If you're someone who runs every day but doesn't feel up to it when you're menstruating, go easy on yourself. Try a gentler form of movement during this time.
On the flip side, if you're someone who heads for the couch with a pint of ice cream while on you're period, try incorporating more movement into your cycle. You'd be amazed at how getting your heart rate up just a little will combat your menstrual cycle depression.
During your cycle, listen to your body and make adjustments accordingly. For those who experience short periods or very light bleeding, you'll really want to bring the energy down into the body. A great way to do that is to strengthen the legs with squats or do some slow meditative walking, really focusing on your feet as they touch the ground. If you're experiencing heavy periods or mid-cycle spotting, then you need to release excess energy with breathing techniques.
Take Charge of Your Menstrual Cycle
Here is my invitation to you, pay attention to your body during this special time. Observe your menstrual cycle and jot down your emotions and symptoms, not just when you are on your period but throughout the month. Listen to what your body is telling you and make adjustments accordingly. If you feel creative, create. If you feel confident, ask for that raise. If you feel strong and energized, take a HIIT class. If you feel tired, rest. Your cycle is your story and if you listen and nourish yourself, you will be empowered, and you will thrive.
It's up to us to put more of a spotlight on women's health and become more in tune with our bodies. Don't wait to understand your cycle better so you can start thriving every day of the month.
Looking for more guidance on how to feel healthy and happy during your cycle? Consider scheduling a complimentary breakthrough call with me today. We'll discuss your health goals and devise a plan to get you feeling your best.