By Le’Nise Brothers
Picture this: you come home after a long day at work where you’ve managed to be courteous with your colleagues and clients. The minute you get home, you feel your mood changing and find yourself snapping at your husband and shouting at your kids. You’re devastated when you overhear your kids say to your husband: “Why is Mum always shouting?”
Raise your hand if this sounds like you.
It’s easy to try to sweep these feelings under the rug and blame them on your period or just being a bit hormonal. Mood swings, such as that feeling of being happy one minute, and then teary or in a rage the next, are a sign something’s wrong. It’s important not to ignore them or hope they’ll just go away.
Up to one in ten women in the UK suffer from mood swings, with many complaining that they seem to get progressively worse as they get into their late 30s and 40s.
If this is happening to you and you feel baffled by these sudden changes, you’re not alone.
Mood swings in the week before or during your period can be a sign of an imbalance between oestrogen and progesterone, two of your female sex hormones. If you experience mood swings all throughout your cycle and you’re in your mid-late 40s, you may be beginning to experience perimenopause.
As we get older and our seemingly endless to-do list grows and grows, we get less sleep and less exercise, and taking care of ourselves tends to go onto the back burner as our many priorities take precedence.
Here are a few simple things that can help you get back onto an even keel emotionally.
- Go to bed earlier. Less than six hours of sleep a night is considered sleep deprivation, which on an ongoing basis can contribute to mood swings.
- Support your liver’s ability to balance hormones with lots of leafy greens and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower.
- Eat two portions of oily fish like sardines, anchovies, mackerel and wild salmon a week to support your mood and reduce inflammation.
- Try adding an extra portion of vegetables to your daily diet every week so you eventually build up to seven portions per day. This helps keep you regular and feeds the good bacteria in your gut that help produce serotonin, your happy hormone.
- Try more fermented foods like kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut and kimchi. These also feed the good bacteria in your gut.