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    Stress and your cycle

    Stressed woman with a menstrual cycle

     

    It seems we're all feeling pretty stressed these days and we've heard all the warnings about how bad it is for our health. But, did you know that chronic stress can also impact your menstrual cycle?

    From irregular periods to intensified PMS symptoms, numerous studies have identified a link between stress and menstrual health.

    Read on to learn exactly how stress impacts your menstrual cycle (plus we'll share some practical tips for managing stress to support your menstrual health).

    THE IMPACT OF STRESS ON THE MENSTRUAL CYCLE

    1. Hormonal imbalance: Stress triggers the release of cortisol, a hormone that can disrupt the balance of estrogen and progesterone, leading to irregular menstrual cycles or missed periods.
    2. Intensified PMS: High stress levels can exacerbate your PMS symptoms, including mood swings, bloating, cramps, and breast tenderness.
    3. Increased period pain: Stress can lead to heightened sensitivity to pain, making menstrual cramps more intense and difficult to manage. Ouch!
    4. Delayed ovulation: Chronic stress can also interfere with the release of luteinizing hormone (LH), which is essential for ovulation. This can result in longer cycles or anovulatory cycles (cycles where ovulation does not occur).

    Find your PMS is worse than usual or your cycles are all out of sync? Maybe it's worth checking in with your current stress levels - this could be to blame! And if you think stress could be the culprit, read our tips below for managing that.

    PRACTICAL TIPS FOR MANAGING STRESS

    1. Mindfulness and meditation: Practicing mindfulness and meditation can help reduce stress by promoting relaxation and mental clarity. Apps like Headspace and Calm offer guided sessions tailored to stress relief, but mindfulness can take any form. For some, it's getting outside for a walk. For others, it might be losing yourself in a craft. 
    2. Regular exercise: Physical activity is a natural stress reliever. Incorporate regular exercise into your routine, whether it’s yoga, running, a walk outside or dancing, to boost endorphins and improve mood.
    3. Healthy sleep habits: Prioritize good sleep hygiene by maintaining a consistent sleep schedule, creating a restful environment, and avoiding screens before bedtime. Read our blog post on sleep here.
    4. Balanced diet: Eating a balanced diet rich in fruits vegetables, lean proteins and healthy fats can support overall health and help manage stress. Avoid excessive caffeine and sugar, which can worsen stress and anxiety.  Read our blog post the best foods for your cycle here.
    5. Time management: Effective time management can help reduce feelings of overwhelm. Use tools like planners or digital calendars to organize tasks and set realistic goals. At Fri Period, we can't resist a good list!
    6. The power of a bath: If you've been here a while, then you'll know that at Fri Period we love a good epsom salt bath. The warmth is incredibly soothing, and the magnesium in epsom salts works wonders for melting tension (and as a bonus, it helps nix period cramps, too!).
    7. Social support: Connecting with friends, family, or support groups can provide emotional support and reduce stress. There's real power in conversation, and a good chat to offload your worries can be incredibly cathartic.
    8. Relaxation techniques: Incorporate relaxation techniques such as deep breathing exercises or progressive muscle relaxation into your daily routine to help manage stress levels.

    STRESS LESS, PERIOD BETTER

    Managing stress effectively can help maintain hormonal balance and improve overall menstrual health. By incorporating mindfulness, regular exercise, healthy sleep habits, and other stress-relief techniques into your routine, you can support your body and mind through the ups and downs of life.

    At Fri Period, we’re here to provide you with the knowledge and tools to take control of your menstrual health and live freely every day of the month.

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    The fine print: We do our best to insure our blog articles are informative and up-to-date. The information provided in this blog is for general informational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice. We strive to ensure that the information presented is accurate, reliable, and up-to-date, but we make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability, or availability of the information contained in the articles.
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