Men(s)t(ru)al Health 101: Taking Care of Your Mind

  • by Cinestie Olson

Written by Cinestie Olson

Whether it be the fast-moving world, ever-changing climate, or Mercury in retrograde, we can all feel off some days. Now add PMS to the mix… yeah, we know. Though it’s important to take care of your body physically during your period, it’s JUST as important to take care of your mental and emotional well-being too.

Why Do We Feel Sad During Our Period?

Other than physical symptoms, like cramping and bloating that can make us not feel great, there’s lots of emotional turmoil happening in our bodies during and before our period. 

The days leading up to our period, we enter our luteal phase (AKA, PMS). Estrogen levels rise during the first half of our cycle. If you feel like your best right after your period and during ovulation, it’s because you’re supposed to! As estrogen levels rise, so do serotonin levels (the hormone responsible for making you feel happy). If you experience PMS or PMDD, estrogen and serotonin levels drop significantly during the last half of your cycle. This change can be responsible for mood swings, depression, anxiety, anger, and so much more. 

Here is a reminder that your body is going through dramatic changes during your cycle - it is okay to not feel your best!

So what can we do to prioritize our mental health during this time?


Breathing can help us so much more than you might think. If you find yourself stressed, sad, or confused, doing this breathing exercise can help put your mind at ease. Intentionally sitting down to breathe deeper and slower activates the parasympathetic nervous system, which can help you relax. 

Use this breathing gif as many times as you need until you feel better :)

Get Comfy

This time is for you and you only - get comfortable! We think it’s perfectly acceptable to take a day to stay in your PJs, turn on our favorite binge worthy TV show (mine is Stranger Things), and sit on the couch for the entire day. In a world that wants to be productive 24/7, remind yourself that a day of rest is crucial to your mental and physical wellbeing. 

Creative Outlets

Taking part in creative expression such as painting, journaling, crocheting, or something else that may make you feel better. Taking part in a creative outlet releases dopamine, therefore causing joy! Here are a few other ideas you can take part in:

  • Knit
  • Upcycle your old clothes
  • Garden
  • Create a vision board
  • Bake and decorate a cake
  • Take photos of your favorite things

Get Outside

We know that leaving the house may seem like the WORST idea when we’re not feeling our best, but hear us out! Connecting with nature has many benefits to our mental health. Spending time in nature can help you relax and slow down your mind, according to research. Be sure to take in everything surrounding you and focus on nature’s sounds. Consider a slow-paced activity to encourage this stillness like kayaking, walking, or reading outside!


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