By Nicole Amaturo
We all know them. They can be compared to the month of March. They come in like a lion and out like a lamb. They’re the hormonal changes that occur for many of us whether due to menstruation, postpartum, or menopause. We’ve all experienced the uncontrollable sobbing, anxiety, sadness, mood swings, bloating, breast tenderness. cramping, break-outs, irritability, and panic attacks that result from these changes.
When I was about 7 months pregnant with my first child, I started to get panic attacks out of nowhere. Doctors blamed it on my hormones and pregnancy and I bought it. But, if I knew then what I know now, I would’ve seen what was going on a bit more clearly. My whole life was turned upside down at the age of 19 when I became pregnant for the first time, got married to my ex-husband of 16 years that I knew for about 3 months, and started to become a real adult, all after breaking up with my ex-boyfriend of 2 ½ years 6 months prior to getting married. Yep read that one again to fully comprehend the whirlwind I was in!
The relationship I broke away from at 19 after 2 ½ years was a tumultuous and abusive relationship that I had to get a restraining order to get out of. This was the reason for my panic attacks more than the hormonal changes! I never had a chance to deal with everything that came with a relationship like that as my life was in overdrive for a good 12 months after it and my hormones were just the messengers asking me to listen and heal. Within 6 months, I went from staying out late as a kid to going to court to then shortly after picking out a wedding dress to sitting in Lamaze as a new adult with some guy that I knew for about 6 months talking about how there was a possibility I could poop the table during delivery. Ummmm can we say holy sh*t!?! No pun intended! This. Was. My. Life.
These emotions that my hormones were bringing out were trying to tell me something and help me heal.
Then, I finally had my son and Bam! My hormones crept up again. I would just sob uncontrollably for about a week after he was born and then experienced panic attacks on and off for much of my 20’s. My hormones sure were out of whack but as it is clear to see, it wasn’t JUST about my hormones. The panic attacks, anxiety, mood swings, and sadness all had a message in it for me that I wasn’t listening to at the time. These emotions that my hormones were bringing out were trying to tell me something and help me heal.
After working with a spiritual life coach in my 30’s and attaining my Master’s in Holistic Health, I began to listen more to what my PMS was trying to tell me. The emotions we experience are actually real and not made up just from our hormones. Emotions are certainly intensified and issues seem way worse, but the underlying reason why we cry, get upset, or get anxiety are actually relevant and we need to give a good listen as to what they’re trying to tell us. If we truly want to know what some of our core issues, false beliefs, and blocks are, we may want to listen to that crazy hormonal bitch that comes through and disrupts our lives a little more closely. She knows way more than we give her credit for. While experiencing these hormonal changes, I have found a few things that truly help alleviate the severity of my symptoms.
5 Ways to Cope & Learn from Hormonal Changes
- Get Active: Exercise always helps and releases endorphins needed to raise our mood and energy levels. Try going for a run, a swim, biking, yoga, Zumba, or lifting weights. Give yourself the extra push that’s needed knowing that it’ll instantly raise your mood and vibe.
- Be Mindful of Your Diet: Many foods should be eliminated from your diet when experiencing these hormonal changes. Some of these foods studied by the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology are eggs, milk, cheese, butter and red meat, caffeine, and refined carbohydrates. Fried foods should also be eliminated as fried foods increase estrogen levels and foods high in fiber decrease them. Dairy makes symptoms worse because of the added hormones in it as well as the fatty content. Salt increases the amount of fluid your body stores, therefore salt should be avoided, and this will help minimize cramping as well.
- Meditate: With mood swings, anger, irritability, and anxiety as hormonal symptoms, relaxation techniques offer much relief. Deep breathing exercises and muscle relaxation can help to alleviate these symptoms by filling the mind with love and peace. These feelings will increase happiness and help you to relax.
- Aromatherapy: Essential oils are extracted from plants that provide a pleasing and distinct scent that helps to stimulate healing. They can help to soothe and relax you while helping with mood swings, fatigue, aches, cramps, food cravings, bloating, and depression. Some oils that help are Eucalyptus Oil, Rose Oil, Lavender Oil, Geranium Oil, Sage Oil, and Ylang-Ylang Oil. This is a great resource for more information on essential oils.
- Listen to Your Emotions As Messengers & Journal: When we think about all that a woman does each and every day, it is easy to see where the stress comes from. Many women are single, working mothers nowadays, as well as homemakers, all while they are dealing with their own personal issues like self-criticism, negative self-talk, worry, and anxiety. We all wear different hats from super mom to independent career woman to party girl that just wants to be free and have fun. At the end of the day, it’s all about balance. Allow all parts of your self to integrate without stifling anyone to fit the mold you think society demands. Be unapologetically you without judgment. Journal about how you’re feeling and you’d be surprised to know what comes up for you as you write.
Getting to the root of all these emotions will then help with the amount of stress it causes, which will eventually help with overall hormonal symptoms. It is a chain reaction which requires the first step to acknowledge the feelings and emotions. Accept where you are and quit pushing the emotions away while having compassion for your Self.
About the Author
Nicole Amaturo is a Mindset Coach who helps women all over the world uncover and heal blocks inhibiting them from attracting the love they desire and deserve. Nicole holds a B.A. in Education and Psychology, as well as an M.A. in Holistic Health from Georgian Court University. Nicole is a divorced mom of three on a mission to share her lessons in self-love and worth as the founder of The Free Life with Nicole Amaturo. She is a certified Infinite Possibilities trainer by best-selling author, Mike Dooley, in his program on The Art of Living Your Dreams. Nicole is also a graduate of Gabrielle Bernstein’s Spirit Junkie Masterclass. Writing is Nicole’s second love and is an active contributor to the Worthy blog. Learn more about Nicole here.