Updated: May 28
When we think about Menopause and this stage of life, we tend to associate it with physical symptoms like hot flushes, night sweats and ageing.
However the changes we experience can have a psychological affect, causing symptoms that include low mood, tearfulness, mood swings, irritability, brain fog and anxiety. These symptoms often occur in perimenopause before we experience anything like a hot flush, and can be an indicator that things are beginning to change.
How does menopause affect how we feel?
Oestrogen helps to regulate the serotonin levels in the brain, affecting the production of endorphins, our "feel good" hormone. As oestrogen levels fluctuate in perimenopause and start to decline during menopause we may begin to experience some psychological symptoms.
It's not just about the hormones.
Of course it's much more complex than merely hormonal changes.
Menopause comes at a time that can be very challenging for many women. Perhaps dealing with more responsibility at work, divorce and relationship issues, caring for ageing parents, adolescent children or coming to terms with children leaving home. These big life changes as well as coping with physical symptoms can compound how we feel mentally and emotionally. Sometimes this can lead to a loss of perspective and a feeling of overwhelm.
What can we do to feel better?
The good news is, quite a lot!
With the right support and a positive and open minded approach to menopause we can learn how to mange symptoms and shift our mindset.
Write it down. Journalling can be a helpful way to record our thoughts and feelings and help us to see things more clearly.
Tracking symptoms, the food we eat and stressful situations can help us to notice any triggers and identify new ways to take control of how we feel. This can be empowering which in turn can improve our mental health.
Lack of sleep or poor quality sleep can exacerbate all symptoms. We all know how sleep impacts our wellbeing. Creating a good bedtime routine and improving sleep hygiene can hugely affect our energy levels, mental state and mood.
Cutting down on alcohol can improve the quality of sleep and have a positive affect on mood.
HRT can be very effective in reducing the severity of many common symptoms including insomnia, brain fog, mood swings and anxiety. It should be considered as part of a holistic approach to menopause for some women and it is important to be properly informed and prepared when seeking medical support.
With the right support and information, we can reframe our approach to the transition from peri to postmenopause. We can use it as an opportunity for a positive transformation and a time to consider how we would like our futures be shaped. An opportunity to actualise our long held dreams.
Regular exercise can have a profoundly positive impact on mental health. Physical activity is proven to boost mood, decrease symptoms of depression and anxiety as well as improving memory.
Walk, run, dance around your kitchen, do Yoga, find something you enjoy and do it regularly.
Talk about it
Talking openly and candidly about how we feel is so important for a healthy mind. Charged feelings can become less charged when shared and lead to a sense of relief. It can help us to feel less isolated and alone.
It's a chance to "hear" how "we" feel, expressed by the person feeling it.
The key to managing the transition through all stages of Menopause is self-care.
Join my new Menopause Yoga class at Tessa Clemson Yoga, Great Harwood.
Every Wednesday 7.45pm
Starts 7th June
Hello, I'm Jo..
I've been practicing and teaching Yoga for many years and I'm passionate about the transformational power of Yoga particularly in terms of womens health.
I have experienced first hand just how effective Menopause Yoga can be in managing menopausal symptoms.
My intention is to share some really helpful and hopeful information to support you on your menopause journey.