Polycystic Ovaries Syndrome is a common condition among women of reproductive age. Every 1 in 5 women suffers from this disorder polycystic ovaries syndrome or PCOS in short. Although there are several myths regarding PCOS, it is indeed true that women with PCOS actually suffer from mood swings. It is not uncommon that women with PCOS have to deal with mental health along with other physiological symptoms. Mood swings in PCOS are a common symptom. Sometimes women who have PCOS suffer from extreme depression and anxiety disorder. PCOS mood swings are no less than emotional rollercoasters. You feel frustrated at how often your mood changes. One minute you’re perfectly fine, having a great day and excelling through your daily chores, but the next moment, your mood falls drastically low. The frequent energy fluctuation makes you depressed and upset, which you hate but are unable to overcome.
PCOS mood swings force you to mess with your perfectly planned day. It’s like you have pre-planned your schedule the previous day being all hyped up, but when you wake up the next day, you have zero energy and motivation to leave your bed and get work done. Your mood is horrible and there is no trace of optimism when it comes to work and cross things off your to-do list. Sometimes, your behavior becomes erratic around people, and despite knowing you’re being irrational, you can’t seem to stop it.
Some of the irrational and unreasonable feelings Cysters might experience:
- Being emotional and crying over the silliest things that have nothing to do with your severe mood change.
- Emotional outbursts for something very trivial.
- Getting angry over little things.
- Crying your heart out when someone says something that’s not big enough to hurt you.
- Being sad for no apparent reason.
- Getting irritated easily while interacting with someone.
Also read: Why Are Women More Depressed Than Men?
Why do these mood swings happen in PCOS?
Primarily, hormones are responsible for these mood swings related to PCOS. PCOS is related to hormonal imbalance, so are the mood swings. Hormones are chemical messengers that perform metabolic functions and regulate your mood.
Some of the hormones responsible for your mood fluctuations are:
- Serotonin and endorphins
Mood swings, anxiety, depression, and irritability are some major symptoms of PCOS. So, if you can manage your hormone levels, most likely you’ll be able to pull off a bright and positive daily life without falling prey to your pesky mood disorders.
Here are 6 ways you deal with your PCOS mood swings effectively:
Since you can’t always rely on pills, you need a self-care regime. Lifestyle modification is the only way that can effectively manage your PCOS. If you can implement some healthy habits into your day-to-day life, it’ll be much easier for you to manage your polycystic ovaries syndrome or as everyone calls it in short, PCOS.
First thing first. Take note of your mood swing patterns along with your daily schedule. Take a journal and track down your eating and sleeping habits to maintain your body’s natural clock. One of the important rules to manage emotional health is to recognize how certain areas of your day-to-day life are affecting your health. There can be additional triggers along with PCOS which can affect your mood disorders. Some of them are:
- Family issues
- Body image issues (being a victim of body shaming)
- Personality disorders
- Hectic lifestyle
- Undisciplined living arrangements
It is very important to know yourself and what is going on in your life to be able to manage it accordingly. Self-care needs self assessment. Once you can identify the patterns and triggers, it’ll be much easier for you to control them from affecting your PCOS mood swings.
2. Yoga & Exercise
Several studies have proven regular exercises or yoga sessions can boost your serotonin levels. Moving and exercising can affect both your physical and mental health in a great and positive way. Since exercising releases the happy hormone named serotonin and endorphins, it can help shift your negative mood to a more positive one. So, physical activity is a must. Minimum 15 minutes of daily exercise can help manage your PCOS mood swings. Some of the effective yoga poses for PCOS are, Cobra pose, Butterfly pose, Downward Dog pose, Fish pose, and Head-to-knee bend.
Related read: Why Yoga Is Good For Mental Health?
3. 7/11 breathing exercise
Breathing exercises are one of the best methods to calm your nerves instantly. Practice 7/11 breathing exercise which is a marvelous technique to calm your mind quickly. You’ll just have to sit upright and breathe in on the count of 7 and breathe out on the count of 11. Take a maximum of 5 minutes from your busy schedule and allow yourself to relax. You can practice this easy breathing exercise 2-3 times a day or whenever you feel like it. Along with calming your nerves, breathing exercises reduces stress levels, lowers heart rate and blood pressure. It also reduces the possibility of anxiety or panic attacks. Breathing exercises help with depression management since it increases oxygen intake and calm your mind. Another benefit of breathing exercises is, it improves stamina and work performance. So, you can pretty much get rid of your unwanted mood swings with this quick 5 mins breathing exercise.
4. Healthy diet
A healthy diet is very necessary, especially when you have polycystic ovaries syndrome.
- Drop alcohol, smoking, tobacco, and any kind of sugary beverages.
- Eat homemade food.
- Include a lot of leafy vegetables and fiber rich food in your diet.
- Some very necessary food sources for PCOS are nuts, legumes, grains, oats, and fruits.
- Avoid gluten and dairy products as much as you can.
- Drink plenty of water.
Sleep is also important to keep your mood disorder under control. Sleep for at least 6-7 hours. It’ll help in reducing your frequent mood swings.
Related read: Indian diet plan for weight loss in PCOS
5. Essential oils
Seek help from essential oils. Essential oils directly affect the brain’s limbic system. Since the smelling sense is 10000 times more sensitive than any other sense, it can make your brain feel certain emotions from scents. As soon as any scent reaches your nose, it connects with the olfactory bulbs inside your nasal cavity. In response, these bulbs send a message to the limbic system of your brain. Since the limbic system is responsible for dealing with memories, emotions, hormones, mood management, and other behavioral responses, it gets influenced by these scents.
Essential oils can raise the frequency of the body and shift emotions, stress responses, or moods. Aroma therapy of peppermint, lavender, ylang ylang, frankincense, and any citrus flavored oil can enhance your mood positivity. The sweet aromas affect your lower mood and lift it up like magic.
Best way you can use essential oils to cure your PCOS mood swings is inhaling. Use a diffuser. Pour the essential oils into it and keep it in a corner of your room or workplace. You can also use personal inhalers, which are mostly used for travelling purposes and mindfulness practice. Or the easiest way, put a few drops on your wrists or temples and rub it there. These are your pressure points. So that you can get the smell to work on their own.
Another effective way to deal with your PCOS mood swings and depression is taking a walk outside. Nature is a natural healer. Leave your phone and any electronic gadgets in your home and go to the nearby park for a quick stroll. The fresh air and natural greenery will refresh your mood right away. Take your journal with you and scribble down anything you want to destress.
Taking a walk is the same as taking alone time for self-reflection. Interestingly, when you’re alone, you can reflect on your triggers and come up with solutions to deal with them. Along with boosting your mood, taking a walk boosts your self-esteem and helps with a quality sleep. That’s why it is a good practice to walk for a few minutes after having dinner.