Mood swings – and how to cope with them
As you’ve possibly noticed, puberty and emotional changes go hand in hand.
Feeling tearful, angry, anxious or ecstatic, then irritated, is totally normal – sometimes all in the space of 10 minutes. Riding the rollercoaster of your feelings during puberty can make you feel like you’re going crazy. Don’t worry – you’re not. And understanding your emotions during this tricky time will give you a sense of control.
The physical changes to your body during puberty – like starting your periods and getting a more womanly shape – are brought about by hormones. But while these hormones are undoubtedly clever, they’re also a bit of a pain. Because all of these chemical messengers rushing around your body and doing their stuff are having an emotional impact that can feel overwhelming.
For example, you may feel bad-tempered or sad without knowing why. Things that made you smile only a few months ago now seem to do the opposite. Occasionally you feel deliriously happy. Then you feel self-conscious about the changes to your body and appearance, and snap at your family and friends for drawing attention to them. But these ups and downs are all completely normal. Just remember to be kind to yourself and make room for these ever-changing emotions.
Sharing how you feel with friends can really help, because they’re likely to be going through the same thing as you. Your family may not understand quite as well, but at least if you let them know how weird you’re feeling, they’ll show you some consideration. And if you feel like spending time on your own, in your room with your favorite music on, well that’s just fine – do it until you’re ready to talk to someone. And here’s a tip – stay away from negative threads on social media when you’re feeling emotionally volatile, as these can make your mood worse.
Most importantly, don’t beat yourself up if you’re behaving strangely. Try to remember it’s your hormones that are being a bit difficult. It may help to know that millions of teenagers worldwide are going through puberty right now and feel exactly the same as you do. And that it will pass. You won’t be on this emotional rollercoaster forever.
How to deal with emotional changes
The endorphins released during exercise will improve your mood and make you feel more energetic and positive.
Speaking to someone you trust about what you’re going through will help you feel less alone, and give you some perspective.
Not sleeping enough will make the mood swings worse, so definitely don’t skimp on this.
Finding things that relax you will make this whole phase so much easier. Try walks, yoga stretches or cuddling a pet.