Intuition Counselling & Psychotherapy

Counselling & Psychotherapy In South London

Tips to Manage Your Mental Health – Hormone Edition


Hi All


I hope you are doing well when you read this 🙂


I did an IG live last year with a menstrual coach called Louise Mensah (@louiseamensah) about wellness, hormones and mental health (you can check out the recording on her page or mine @intuitioncounselling).  I thought I would follow it up with a blog.  This post is not just for womxn, this is for everyone so well done to the men that continue to read this, it may help you know how to support the women in your life, or at the very least understand what they are going through more.


You can’t do better until you know better and that goes for me too, I had to do a lot of research on my hormones to get to where I am, and I still have a lot more to learn for my own hormone literacy and how that impacts mental health.  What I have experienced and learnt has made a difference to my wellbeing and mental health during different times of my cycle and I am in the habit of sharing what I know.  Also, I am annoyed we don’t get taught this at school as knowledge is power!


How do hormones impact mental health?


I am not going to get into all the science - y stuff (there is SO MUCH you can read though if you are interested – will drop some resources at the end!) however there are so many hormones at play in our bodies and they impact us in different ways, they also interact with each other to make sex hormones (or in some cases not enough). Think of it like cogs in a machine.

In terms of our mental health, sex hormones affect neurotransmitters in our brain (such as dopamine and serotonin), Neurotransmitters play a crucial role in our mental health.  That’s why hormones have a HUGE impact on our mental health and sense of wellbeing.  I hope that helps you make sense of why you feel low, anxious and not like yourself the week or so before your period.


This can go so much further for those experiencing PMDD, peri menopause and menopause.  I would really advise seeking help from your GP or at the very least checking out (@drmilli) on Instagram for wisdom and tips on hormone health.


Self-awareness/hormones and mental health


We are all different and so our cycles all look different and also can fluctuate between our norms.  Self-awareness is important for mental health in general and also for helping us tackle our mental health during our cycle.  It is a way to get to know your body and symptoms or signs that you go through.  Take time to track and get to know your mood and physical symptoms.


Stress is so closely linked to sex hormones and mental health as cortisol (the stress hormone), has an impact on periods and so becoming more self-aware of your stressors can help you take control of both your hormone and mental health.  Womxn over 40, please try to be even more aware of your stressors as your adrenal glands take over production of your sex hormones and stress can deplete those glands and reduce their ability to boost your sex hormones.  Believe me you need them for a hopefully smooth peri menopause and menopause so please be mindful.

Easier said than done right, life is busy for most people and the thought of slowing down may feel unattainable and even stressful in itself.  Go easy on yourself and take it step by step, it can be helpful to break it down once you become aware of what you feel needs to change.


Can you notice what feels overwhelming and how you then tackle it?  Are there any patterns to when stress/anxiety feels more intense? What is your thinking like? For example, are you ‘all or nothing’ meaning do you try to change things all at once and then become even more stressed? How would it feel to focus on making 1 small positive change?




Your inner critic can often get louder during vulnerable times and that can include when you are struggling with your mental health during your luteal phase (for most womxn this will be anywhere from a few days before their period to up to 2 weeks before).  This is one of the times that you need to be the kindest to yourself, that harsh critic can impact everything from your body image to your self-esteem.


Whether you are on your healing journey, it can sometimes feel like you have taken a step backwards during these times.  Be mindful of how you speak to yourself during those times, try to gently challenge yourself to say something different to yourself.  It can be helpful to start with the understanding that this is the time of the month that is harder for you, but it is temporary.


Being compassionate to yourself can lead to taking more nurturing actions such as creating space for rest, having some alone time or treating yourself to that chocolate bar (hey, it has magnesium which we need 😉 ). The alternative is to listen to that inner critic and treat yourself harshly which is never helpful, least of all when struggling with hormones.


Actions to take:


Now that I have shared a bit of what I have learnt about how hormones can impact mental health, here are some actions you could think about taking when you feel ready, of course this list is not exhaustive:

  • Keep a diary – log your cycle, moods, thoughts, stressors etc.

  • Change 1 small (or big) thing

  • Do something for you every day, if this feels unattainable, try to at least priortise this the week before and during your period

  • Practice self-compassion

  • Reach out to someone

  • Have therapy – never underestimate the power of having a space for you to unburden yourself.

  • Go to your GP if you are really struggling

  • Join a supportive group such as The Guidance Suite run by Dawn Heels (on Instagram as @guidancesuite).


I hope you found this blog helpful, if you would like a safe space to talk through things, my door is always open.  Drop me a message on to arrange a free 20-minute initial call to discuss starting therapy.


One more thing...




The Menopause Reset – Dr Mindy Pelz

Happy Hormones Happy You – Dr Mill Raizada


The Resetter Podcast

The Midlife Feast

Happily Hormonal Show






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