PCOS Awareness Month: Mental Health Tracking and Goal Setting

PCOS Awareness Month: Mental Health Tracking and Goal Setting

This months guest blog post is a real important one, and is written by the lovely Becky from @pretty_pink_diaries on Instagram. Becky was diagnosed with PCOS last year, and in this blog post she shares her story as well as some of the things that have helped her. We thought as it is PCOS awareness month, what better time to share this post. 

We hope you enjoy reading Becky's story and hopefully it gives you more of an insight into PCOS...

"When I was diagnosed with PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) in July 2020, there was a range of emotions that I was feeling. Relief because I finally found out what was causing my symptoms, anxiety about the lifestyle changes that I would have to make and upset at the thought that I would have to live with this condition for the rest of my life with possible lifelong complications. However, it wasn’t until I started conducting my own research into this condition and talking to others who are also living with PCOS, that I began to see ways in which I could adapt certain aspects of my life and mental thinking to live with this condition as best I can.  

For those who aren’t aware, September is PCOS awareness month, and it is believed to be a genetic disorder which affects the way in which a woman’s ovaries work due to a hormonal and metabolic in-balance, affecting every 1 in 10 women within the UK. The condition often goes undiagnosed, misunderstood and can lead to lead to many lifelong complications. 

The signs and symptoms to look out for include:

  • Irregular or no periods at all (some women have been found to experience periods lasting up to 6 months) 
  • Difficulty getting pregnant as a result of irregular ovulation or failure to ovulate
  • Polycystic ovaries where your ovaries become enlarged and contain fluid like sacs that surround the eggs 
  • Excessive hair growth usually on the face, chest, back or buttocks
  • Weight gain
  • Thinning hair and hair loss from the head
  • Oily skin or acne
  • Increased risk of developing health problems in later life, such as type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol levels and cardiovascular disease 
  • Emotional deficits such as depression, anxiety and low self esteem

As you can imagine, learning to live with this condition can not only affect you physically, but also mentally, socially and emotionally which can be detrimental to your everyday life. One thing I wanted to share with you, was a couple of ways in which I incorporate stationary as a way of helping me to organise my life and get me motivated to achieve my goals. 

One item which I have come to rely on an everyday basis, is a checklist. The checklist I use from Project plan not only gets you to create a standard tick list, but it also includes mental health check ins to see how you’re feeling throughout the day which is something I have never seen before which makes this item unique. There is a section at the top of the pad asking how you’re feeling at the start of the day and how you’re feeling at the end of the day, which is a great motivational push that you may need especially if you’re feeling anxious in the morning and aim to feel better by the end of the day. Some people may feel better after a workout or by making themselves their favourite meal which is also incorporated within this checklist to make sure you’re on the right track to staying healthy and keeping hydrated. However, for some people including myself, creating small tasks throughout the day such as organising a specific area in my bedroom, or organising a drawer brings me joy and satisfaction which helps immensely with my mental health. Checklists may not be for everyone, but one thing I have taken from the one Project plan offers, is to have a check in with yourself to see how you’re feeling after completing a task and how you can continue to progress throughout the day. The biggest thing that we can do is reward ourselves after completing even the smallest of tasks as having negative emotions swirling around for long periods of time are not only damaging to our mental health, but also our physical health too. 

On days in which I am feeling low in mood, have a lack of motivation or when I feel really deflated, I like to create a goal I want to work towards, and I create this in the form of a mood board in my vision book. When you’re feeling down or feel that you may never achieve your goals, sometimes seeing it visually makes it seem more achievable. This is when I hope onto my laptop and ransack my crafting drawers to look for images and scrapbooking materials to create an enticing image to remind myself that I can achieve my dreams. On days when I question this, I open my vision book and remind myself of what I set out to achieve and to keep pushing for it. Plus, if you’re a crafter like myself you’ll also find this extremely therapeutic which will help promote your emotional wellbeing. 

Incorporating these tactics into my life has helped me to stay on track and keep motivated. It can be so easy to punish ourselves and have a sense of inadequacy which can push you off the track you were desperately trying so hard to stay on. Just remember that you are not alone, you’re doing the best you can, and that there is always help. 

For more information on polycystic ovarian syndrome, you can visit these web links that I have included: 

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/polycystic-ovary-syndrome-pcos/ 

https://www.verity-pcos.org.uk/ 

https://www.pcosaa.org/ 

https://www.hormone.org/support-and-resources/peer-support-groups/pcos-awareness-association 

If you have enjoyed this blog post and would like to discover more content from me, than please check out my Instagram @pretty_pink_diaries and my blog where, I share a new blog post every pink Wednesday: https://prettypinkdiaries.wixsite.com/ppdx 

Love Becky. Xxx"


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