Being moody is a sign of health, not sickness

Di Westaway | Chief Adventure Chick | Wild Women On Top | Life Changing Adventures

There’s nothing quite like a partner or friend accusing you of “PMS-ing” when you’re grumpy. In fact, I reckon there’s a special store of rage reserved for anyone who dares comment on the state of your uterus, especially when they’re right.

But despite what some people might have you believe, this monthly moodiness isn’t made up, nor is it negative. It’s hormonal, and it’s healthy.

Certainly, some women experience PMS that’s unbearable for them and their families, or moodiness, anxiety and depression that is out of sync with their cycles. These ailments often need professional support, or medication, or both.

But according to women’s health psychiatrist and author of Moody Bitches,Dr.Julie Holland, and in my personal experience working with thousands of women, most women can manage their moods with lifestyle changes. 

Dr. Holland says we need to think more like cave women. As human animals evolved in nature, we were hardwired to thrive in certain conditions. These conditions no longer exist and today’s world is out of sync with our biochemistry kit.

Holland helps women find happiness by prescribing the age-old remedies of movement, nature, fresh air, sunlight, good sleep, fresh healthy food, more relaxation and more face time with friends. 

She sayswe should get comfortable with being moody because it’s a sign of health, not sickness. Evolution has hard-wired us to be sensitive to our environments, our children, and our partners. This is basic to our survival. We are more “feeling” than men because as our brain develops, there’s more capacity for language, memory, hearing and observing emotions.

In her book, “Moody Bitches”, Holland explains that this is biology, not feminist ideology. But it has serious implications for our modern lifestyle. Our emotionality is in our DNA for good reason and it shows we’re healthy, not unhealthy; it is a source of power.

But we are under constant pressure to restrain our emotions, to apologise for our tears, to suppress our anger and to fear to be hysterical. Holland shows how the pharmaceutical industry manipulates this fear, targeting us through social media, talk-show advertorial and online.

So out of the very strength we have as women, we should focus on getting more sleep, sunshine, nature, nutrients, movement, hugs, and eye contact to stay healthy.

This is easier said than done. It’s really hard to fit in exercise, sunshine, healthy food, relaxation and more time really connecting with friends and family while trying to juggle the demands of modern life. And we often put ourselves last because we’re thinking of the needs of others. But this is a short-term strategy. In the long run, the best nurturers are those who prioritise their own self-care.

But time is our enemy. One way to fit everything in is to integrate and blend the things you value so that you’re always ticking two or three boxes at once. And get better at saying ‘no’ to things that won’t serve your health.

Most of us value family, work, friends, home, and health. By blending these elements into each other we can design a life we love. Walking the coast with friends gives you movement, personal connection, eye contact, fresh air, water, sunlight and relaxation all rolled into one. Or you could integrate a walk into your work with walking meetings or walking lunch breaks or walk to work blending transport and exercise together.

On the weekends you can get active with the kids and loved ones by cycling, swimming and bush walking together which provides many of the remedies recommended by Dr. Holland. Or create micro-adventures, like playing tip in the park or jumping on the bed every day.

And if that overwhelming emotional outburst hits, just go outside, alone. Just for 10 minutes. You’ll be amazed by how much better you feel.  

We all need nutrition, nature, nurture and sleep but women need to nurture themselves to become the powerful goddesses mother nature created.


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