Being a woman is very interesting. We go through phases, periods and hormonal changes. Our menstrual cycle is complex. I feel like it’s even more challenging when you suffer from anxiety.
I could divide my cycle into three parts. During the first part I feel amazing. I almost forget that I suffer from anxiety. I feel good, I’m positive and I juggle daily tasks amazingly well. The second part of my cycle is still fine with a small difference, I begin to experience anxious thoughts. They hang over me and don’t want to go. I also overanalyse happenings in my life. The third part is bearable but can be daunting. It’s often combined with a state of being overwhelmed, anxious including having intrusive thoughts.
What do I do? I live and thrive. I’ve read multiple articles about ‘relaxing’ with anxiety during monthly cycle which is absolutely fine but I’m not a well paid TV reality show celebrity but an average human being who needs to get up, suck it up and go. Off course I try to eat & sleep well and exercise as much as I can ( excersicing works wonders- physical effort takes the edge off) but I also don’t change my routine. I simply ignore my symptoms doing everything which I would normally do with ONE exception- I listen to my body & mind. ‘Listening to my body & mind’ doesn’t mean to avoid running errands. My anxiety always tries hard to tell me to stay at home because the outside world is a dangerous place to be. When I actively listen to my body & mind:
* I wisely choose of what I have planned for today
* I adjust plans to my mental and physical state ( not a delusional side of anxiety)
For example, If I have planned to go to the shop and meet a friend for a cup of coffe but my anxiety has been really bad making me want to stay in the safe spot I think about my physical state first. If I feel strong enough to move around the house then I’m ready to face the big, scary and ugly world by making small steps and seeing how I feel about them. If I manage to take shower, dress and leave the house then it’s great. I can think of what should I do next… go shopping or meet a friend. I always remember if I start feeling unwell, at any point, I can return home to just relax and take it easy. I’ve had already succeeded because I’ve made an effort of not staying idle. That’s what counts.
When it comes to job, I focus on work and related tasks to it- it’s surprisingly relaxing because my mind solely circles around the subject related to my profession. I keep in mind, if don’t feel like socialising with my colleagues then I simply have a quieter but still productive day. If I mentally can’t stand being at work I go home. I’ve still succeeded ( AGAIN) because I’ve made an effort.
As you can see it’s about freedom of choice and finding the inner strength. By making small steps you still accomplish your goals without feeling pressured. You allow yourself to break the chain of anxiety and negative habits.
Don’t be afraid of talking about your anxiety and feelings related to it. It’s ok to not feel well and it’s also ok to take a break and rest.