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Firstly, what is anxiety? Menstrual Cycle – Exams and Anxiety 

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1. Does ANxIEty Spike With your monthly menstrual cycle? 

Hormonal fluctuations can cause an anxiety spike, if you have a preexisting anxiety disorder your anxiety may rocket through the roof. If you don’t have an anxiety disorder hormonal fluctuations can give you the feelings of anxiety. Anxiety coupled with mood ‘swings’ can cause greater anxiety! Couple this with exam pressure and the result can be overwhelming. 

2. Understanding your cycle helps! 

Keep a calendar, better yet keep a journal – note down when you feel mood changes, how your day has been, it doesn’t need to be an essay, if you’re code mined develop a code (for example 10 for feeling anxious/moody 1 for feeling 100%), if you’re more descriptive – be descriptive. Note down when your period starts and when it finishes. Tracking your periods will enable you to see patterns and avoid certain things /foods at certain times to help reduce anxiety. 
Noticing that being on your period is not the only time your hormones mess about with how you feel its empowering and can save you negative thoughts about yourself. 

3. HELP - What (ACTUALLY) helps! 

Sleep. Getting sleep is important! Routine maybe boring but it works when it comes to sleep. You can try and convince yourself 5 hours is enough but add on-top of this the brain power you are using to revise, and the impact of your hormonal fluctuations and you have a recipe for burnout. 
Relaxation techniques. I hear you – easy for you to say ‘get to sleep! Try using relaxation techniques (go on treat yourself – try; yoga or mindfulness or deeper meditation techniques. There are loads of free stuff out there on the internet – give it a go. We even have a free mindfulness download. (add link here) 
Diet. Eat carbohydrates! (go on do it), whole grains and starchy veggies (for example potatoes, parsnips, or sweet potatoes) — having these in your diet can increase happiness and decrease anxiety, go rich in calcium, yogurt, milk…... 
Vitamins. calcium and vitamin B-6 can reduce the physical and psychological symptoms caused by the hormone levels within your menstrual cycle. 
Be Active: (I know!) regular exercise throughout the month is proven to aid learning, concentration and reduce anxiety, oh and improve pre-menstrual symptoms. Having a plan can help – make it part of your study plan – walk the dog, jog, cycle, get outside and walk (even in the rain), dance (like no one is watching), you don’t have to join and gym and become wonder woman. 

Check out our Menstrual Cycle and Exams mini guide HERE  

This tri-fold leaflet is designed for printing double sided in colour for students. 
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