Learn your anxiety triggers
Before you can learn skills to manage social anxiety related to PCOS you have to be aware of your habits. Use exposure techniques to identify your reactions to anxiety stressors. Pay attention to your body’s reaction when at the grocery store or work. Do you sweat? Do you tend to talk fast? Do you look down? Keep track of negative and positive habits so that you can add them to your anxiety coping skills plan.
Have an anxiety coping skills plan
Creating an anxiety plan means identifying your triggers and selecting coping skills to combat those triggers. I’ve created a coping skill cheat sheet that you can use in public here.
My favorite and most useful coping skill is mindfulness deep breathing. By engaging in mindfulness activities, women with PCOS can release negative feelings associated with anxiety, depression, and stress. Deep breathing doesn’t take long and you can do it anywhere. Mindful deep breathing helps you stay in the now.
Start by closing your eyes and taking a deep breath in through your nose, breathe all the way through your belly, and hold your breath for two seconds as you visualize all of your unpleasant thoughts being gathered together in a bubble. As you breathe out through your mouth, blow the bubble out and clear your brain space. Repeat 3-4 times or until you feel yourself calming down.
Preparation is key with anxiety because during an anxious moment or panic attack it can be easy to succumb to negative feelings and thoughts. Click here for a downloadable anxiety plan worksheet.
Let a friend in on your plan so that they can offer support if you start to panic.
Make sure that you feel comfortable with yourself before your next outing. Wear something that you have room to move in, save your facial hair removal methods for the day of the event to avoid shadows and stubble, and don’t forget to smile.
Manage your PCOS and balance your hormones
The best way to manage anxiety symptoms that come along with PCOS is to commit to managing the root causes of your PCOS. Eat clean and whole, exercise regularly, supplement
Remember that you are awesome and you have the power to kick some PCOS butt!
Chris Joseph has a master’s degree in counseling psychology and runs HelloPCOS.com. Chris aims to help women lead happy and healthy lives with PCOS by providing useful and applicable information and resources. Sign up for Chris’ newsletter to receive FREE access to her Ultimate PCOS Resource Library. Chris can be reached through email at [email protected]