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The Secret To Why Your Anxiety Is Worse Before Your Period

Cherrelle Slaney, period and menstrual cycle educator lays on a bed, her face partially hidden by a duvet.
Find out why your anxiety gets worse just before your period is due. Your menstrual cycle and your hormones have more to do with this than you realise.
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Do you find yourself feeling way more anxious right before your period? It’s a fairly common trait in the lead up to shark week, yet, hardly anyone is talking about it. It’s time to unravel exactly why you experience more anxiety when you’re due on.

 

You’ve heard of classic PMS symptoms haven’t you? In fact, you’ve probably been experiencing at least some of them every month since you were a teenager. The bloating, the mood swings, the hunger, the… anxiety? Well, yes – anxiety does fall into the PMS category.

 

That week before your period might have you aflutter with feelings of angst, self doubt and worry. When you understand that anxiety can fall into PMS territory, it’s easy to say “oh well, it’s a hormonal thing” and just put up with it. But I propose there is a better solution.

 

Understanding Your Menstrual Cycle

If you’ve heard me speak about the menstrual cycle before you’ll know there’s way more to it than periods and PMS. Likely if you’re a someone who bleeds, you’ll know at least something about the menstrual cycle. I guess we come to relate it mostly to periods though. Either you’re on your period, or your not. Period = no baby. No period = baby. But there’s actually way more to it than that.

 

There are actually 4 phases to your menstrual cycle. They are:

• Menstruation
• Pre-Ovulation
• Ovulation
• Premenstrual

 

Through each of these phases different hormones are released by your body, which can cause changes in your mood.

 

Through the first 2 phases of the cycle, your body is prioritising the production of oestrogen. It steadily rises to a peak at ovulation. This is important to note because with a rise in oestrogen comes a rise in serotonin. Serotonin is the happy hormone. As it rises, it lifts your mood.

 

Once ovulation is over, your body reduces oestrogen production and prioritises progesterone instead. Progesterone is there to support a potential pregnancy. So it’s a pretty big deal when it comes to the continuation of the human race.

Hormonal Changes

Remember, there is a link between oestrogen and serotonin. So, when your oestrogen levels are lower, so are your serotonin levels. This can mean your mood is not as spritely as it was during the first half of your cycle.


If you’re prone to anxiety, it can really show up after ovulation. Those lower serotonin levels can cause you to feel more anxious than usual. If you’ve ever suffered with anxiety, you’ll know that those anxious thoughts can easily spiral out of control if you’re not careful to keep them in check.


I can always tell when I’m going through this phase of my cycle because I start to get snappy, impatient and generally just feel very overwhelmed. I know I’m not alone in this, I’m sure you feel this too. It’s really quite common.


So, you might be thinking “well, that’s great, but what can I do about it?”. I personally think awareness is a major factor here. Knowing how your body works and why you feel the way you do can really help.


Tracking Your Cycle

Tracking your cycle daily, and jotting down your general mood for each day can help you identify patterns that crop up regularly. If you’re more aware of how you’re likely to feel through each stage of your cycle, you can prepare and plan accordingly. I created a free menstrual cycle tracking sheet to make your cycle tracking practise as simple as possible. You can find it at the bottom of this post.


If you clear some time to do more relaxing during the premenstrual phase, you’re giving yourself time and space to stop that anxiety from building. Take more time to go for walks, or to meditate, or to do things that make you feel good. A little kindness towards yourself can pay off in big ways when you’re feeling uneasy.


Likewise, if you know something is really going to stress you out, it might be worth putting it off until you’re feeling more confident. The first half of the cycle is the perfect time to do things that require you to feel a bit more courageous. Once you’ve tracked your cycle for a few months, you’ll get super good at knowing when your confident days are likely to crop up.


Enter your details to get the free menstrual cycle tracking sheet, and start identifying where anxiety shows up for you each cycle. It’s all about getting to know yourself and your body better.

Enter your details below to get your free cycle tracking sheet.
A photo of Cherrelle Slaney, period and menstrual cycle educator sitting on a bed.
I’m Cherrelle Slaney

I’m a period and menstrual cycle coach. It’s my mission is to show people with periods how to live in sync with their cycle to create a life with less stress and more joy.

A Life In Sync
the podcast
Listen in as we talk periods, PMS and all things menstrual. A Life In Sync is a Podcast designed to help you navigate the natural ebbs and flows that come with life as a person with periods.
mini menstrual masterclass
A photo showing a quick, free lesson on the menstrual cycle.

Learn the basics of the menstrual cycle seasons in the time it takes to make a cuppa.

a few of my
favourite things
#1
My absolute favourite period product. This reusable silicone menstrual cup totally changed the way I experienced my period.
#2
These highly absorbent period panties are the perfect replacement for disposable pads. They’re comfortable, breathable and best of all, reusable.
The one you can wear for lovemaking. Yes, you read that correctly, a menstrual cup you can wear during sex for a mess-free period experience.

Struggling to get the rest your body is so deeply craving?

Drowsy Sleep Co’s Sleep SOS Pillow Spray is an award winning deep sleep pillow spray made with premium, 100% natural sleep oils. It is formulated to trigger sensors in the brain that help promote deep sleep.

Disclaimer: Information on this website is not offered as a substitute for professional medical advice.

find your
cycle season
Find out which menstrual cycle season you’re in right now, and how it could be impacting on your life.
hey there pal!
I’m Cherrelle – a period and menstrual cycle coach. I have spent the last 5 years living my life in sync with my menstrual cycle. My mission is to show people with periods how they can get the most out of their life by living it in a way that aligns with their natural cycle. So tell me, are you ready to create a life with less stress and more joy?