Mood Swings During ‘Iddah: Is This Normal?

05 February, 2018
Q Salam. Please, how can I stop my mood swings during iddah? And is this normal? I feel like I am committing a sin if I cry, isolate myself and not talk to people around me. I don't know what to do.


In this counseling answer:

Having mood swings at this time is a perfectly normal response. The good news is that these feelings will pass as you adjust. If you establish some adaptive coping mechanisms, this will assist you in the process. There are a number of things you can do here.

Wa Alaikum salaam wa Rahmatullah wa barakatuh sister,

Going through the period of iddah brings with it many emotions. Thus, having mood swings is a perfectly normal response. You are adjusting to a new way of life and this is tough. You are facing multiple changes which will affect you both physically and emotionally, which will inevitably lead to mood swings. However, the good news is that these feelings will pass as you adjust. If you establish some adaptive coping mechanisms, this will assist you in the process. There are a number of things you can do here.

It is important during this time that you take care of yourself physically and psychologically.

Physically, when facing such stress, it is common for people to neglect their physical health and not eat properly, neglect exercise and have impaired sleep patterns. So, the first thing to do is take a look at these things and ask yourself if you are taking care of these things. A good diet, getting enough exercise and having a healthy sleep pattern is all important in emotional recovery.

Naturally, people who are not receiving sufficient nutrition or sleep will end up experiencing mood swings regardless of the situation they are in. In fact, this can even be the case when there are no stressor in someone’s life. Make sure to be following a balanced diet to ensure that your body is in a physically fit state. 

To complement this, make sure that you are getting sufficient exercise. Certain hormones are released during exercise that actually boosts psychological well being too.

Finally, when going through periods such as iddah, it is natural for sleep to be impacted as your mind becomes preoccupied with the stress. This then only exacerbates the feelings of stress due to sleep deprivation and becomes a difficult cycle to break free from.

There are some things you can do to improve sleep hygiene. Avoid caffeine for a couple of hours before bed. Avoid using your phone/tablet/laptop before bed. This will help your brain to wind down before bedtime. Instead, doing something relaxing in the hour before you sleep will help too. For example, taking a warm bath is a known way to reduce blood pressure as a means to aid sleep. Seep a regular bedtime routine so that your body becomes used to this and naturally allows you to sleep. It is recommended to sleep straight after Isha so this can be a good way to establish this routine. Furthermore, this will also place you in a good psychological state before going to bed which will further help with getting to sleep.

Regarding psychological self-care, there are also a number of things you can do to boost your wellbeing that will help with your mood swings also. Thinking positively can be a good place to start. You can tie this in with your bedtime routine also by contemplating the positives in your life before going to bed. Sometimes it can even help to write these things down to revisit during times when you are feeling particularly low. You can do this each night by writing down 3 positive things from your day.

If you are struggling, think of the most simple things that are so easily taken for granted, like the fact you have your sight or hearing when there are so.many that don’t. Also, make sure to maintain a healthy social life.

Often in iddah, it’s common to isolate oneself which only serves to exacerbate feelings and lead to mood swings. Therefore, make sure to take time out and spend time with your friends and family. This can be an opportunity to either be distracted from the difficulties that you are facing, or have someone you trust to talk to. You will be going through many emotions and talking them through with people you trust can be a useful path to healing.

If you do not feel like talking to those close to you, then you could join a support group, either face to face or online. Here, you will be able to talk to and get advice from others who have been through the same. This will help you to break free from the feelings of loneliness that you might be experiencing now.

Most importantly, taking care of your spiritual health is a sure means to boost your mood in many ways. Seeking solace with Allah and continuing to pray to Him will bring you much comfort during this time, boosting both your physical and psychological wellbeing. Connecting with Allah through salat, supplication and reading the Qur’an will help to increase your God consciousness which will ultimately bring you ease by putting a positive perspective on what you are facing.

May Allah bring you ease during this difficult time and make it ease to you to feel comforted in His remembrance. May He give you the strength and patience to pull through successfully.



Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, its counselors or employees be held liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.

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About Hannah Morris
Hannah Morris is a mum of 4 and she currently works as Counsellor and Instructor of BSc. Psychology at the Islamic Online University (IOU). She obtained her MA degree in Psychology and has over 10 years of experience working in health and social care settings in the UK, USA, and Ireland. Check out her personal Facebook page, ActiveMindCare, that promotes psychological well-being in the Ummah. (