As you know us PCOS’ers are prone to anxiety & depression and our health relies on sunshine, eating well, and exercise, all of which are limited these days. So let’s talk about what we can do to stay on track and keep the anxiety and depression at bay.
#1) Try to keep your diet as clean as possible. I’ve taken baby steps here and working with what I have and don’t have. The first thing I did was make a must-have list: smoothies, carrots, cottage cheese (the only dairy I eat), turkey (helps me sleep), quinoa, dark chocolate. These are my staples and I wanted to make sure my diet stayed as close to normal as possible. When I eat junk I feel it everywhere, and that trickles to my moods, sleep, everything. I also made a note for my fridge that just reads ‘Conscious’ – it’s a reminder for me to not binge on junk. Being home either alone or with a family can be overwhelming and food (SUGAR!) is my happy place.
#2) Exercise. I bought a $25 dollar step machine for my living room so that while watching TV I could at least step. I also make it a point to walk everyday, now that might not be an option for everybody. Turning up the music and dancing in your house either alone or as a family dance party is also fun and beneficial. A body in motion stays in motion, so try to stay in motion for your physical and mental health.
#3) Vitamins and Supplements. These can be ordered on Amazon, Target.com, wherever you shop. My body is so used to the supplements that when I don’t take them I feel off. And like I’ve mentioned before I need to stay as normal as possible because once I fall off the wagon it takes me a while to get back up.
#4) Staying on routine. Did you shower today? Did you brush your teeth? Would makeup make you feel good? Blow drying your hair? Eating your normal meals so your body stays at its homeostasis. During the first two weeks of quarantine I would literally forget to shower, to brush my teeth and I felt overwhelmed. Then I sat down with myself and listed my goals for staying normal, which consisted of everything on this page.
#5) Find your happy. I personally can’t watch the news or read it. I do look at recipes, look for new fun shows, read either physical books or if I’m on my phone/tablet I’ll head to Wattpad.com or find a good eBook. If you’re prone to anxiety and/or depression then you need to stave it off, find your happy place and get distracted. My morning smoothie makes me happy, new music makes me happy, a good love story, etc. You can try a new puzzle, new recipes, new books, gardening, putting together online photo albums, getting lost on Pinterest, reaching out to old and new friends, writing in a journal, etc.
#6) Relationships. If you’re single- this is a great time to focus on your goals, watch or read some great love stories or whatever your preference. If you’re in a relationship then this quarantine can be great or disastrous. Anxiety and depression can take their toll on you but also your relationship. When I get stressed I tend to take it out on my husband and my sex drive also disappears (not that with PCOS it’s ever really there). I try to keep myself in check and not take my stress out on him. My PCOS symptoms cause me to go from mellow to rage in 2.5 seconds so I’m constantly reminding myself to breathe or excusing myself and going upstairs to walk, dance, shower- something to cool myself down. I also try to make sex a priority- for MY mental health. Sex produces oxytocin and releases endorphins. If getting into the mood is an issue, which it commonly is for me, I turn to books. A good love story goes a long way.
#7) Stop. If I’m overwhelmed, I stop and vent or cry. If it’s too much then I slow do. If I’m getting too jealous or feeling less than, then I stop looking at or reading whatever it is that’s making me feel that way. I stop while I’m ahead.
I hope you are all safe out there and please share with us what’s keeping you sane these days!
XOXO- PCOS Girl