Anyone with PCOS symptoms knows that living with the menstrual condition is a juggling act. One day, you’re worried about your insulin resistance issues, while another day, you may be thinking about the long-term impacts the condition may have on your life. 

For instance, according to the CDC, PCOS puts over 5 million women at risk for longer-term conditions, like infertility, type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, or high levels of “bad” (LDL) cholesterol. These are all important facts to know, but often, for those who struggle with PCOS, the fear of what can happen in the future comes second to just wanting to make it through today. 

So, how do you deal with PCOS emotionally?

It can be helpful to focus on what you can control, particularly how you care for yourself on your journey. 

We pulled together nine self-care coping strategies that may help if PCOS is especially impacting your mood. 

Keep a note of your PCOS symptoms and when they pop up 

This sounds almost too easy to be true, but we stand by it. Jotting down symptoms on a note on your phone is one way to take care of future you. Now you’ll have some insight on how to care for yourself next month. 

Breakfast before coffee

While the “But, first coffee” mantra is great to have on a coffee mug, you want to get some food in your stomach before your first morning cup to help avoid blood sugar spikes. Once you do so, though, studies have shown that coffee can help regulate insulin levels.

Rework your expectations to meet your body where it is today

One of the kindest things you can do for your mental health is to honor exactly where you are. If you’re feeling off, overwhelmed, or especially activated, try to prioritize rest or practice a self-care habit to reset. 

Turn to meditation or mindfulness 

Studies have shown that meditation and other mindfulness practices can help lessen stress, anxiety, or mood shifts. If sitting down and doing a guided meditation isn’t your cup of tea, you can also try walking meditations or deep breathing exercises as alternatives. 

Choose low-impact workouts over high-intensity ones 

While you learn more about how your body reacts to PCOS symptoms, choose low-impact workouts instead. You want to stick to low-impact exercises (think pilates or yoga) because they won’t spike your cortisol levels like a HIIT workout. 

Try holistic wellness practices to see what works for you 

Learning to manage your PCOS mood fluctuations comes down to trial and error.  One other method to try is acupuncture, a holistic wellness practice, which studies have shown can be effective in helping patients manage their hormone levels, insulin levels, and fight-and-flight response. 

Notice how dairy and gluten make you feel 

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While the Internet will tell you that cutting dairy and gluten helps manage PCOS symptoms, the most helpful thing you can actually do is notice how dairy and gluten make you feel. Trust your gut (literally) on what works best for you and your body. 

Pick a favorite menstrual-supporting tea 

Spearmint tea is one good example of a tea that can help alleviate some PCOS symptoms. 

Look for long-term mental health support 

Your self-care habits can be helpful on hard PCOS days, but it’s also okay if you need to turn to mental health experts for added support. They can be the shoulder to lean on and the coach that helps you find even more ways to ride the PCOS mental health symptoms.  

These nine self-care suggestions for managing your PCOS symptoms are just the tip of the iceberg for what can help your unique journey. Remember to have patience with yourself as you figure out what works best.

Vivian Nunez is a writer, content creator, and host of Happy To Be Here podcast. Her award-winning Instagram community has created pathways for speaking on traditionally taboo topics, like mental health and grief. You can find Vivian @vivnunez on Instagram/TikTok and her writing on both Medium and her blog,