One of the 30%July 30, 2010
Thank Goddess……….there’s nothing wrong with me; I’m just in transition. Seriously though folks, I can’t believe people cough up thousands of bucks to feel this way……for fun,….. for recreational purposes….ya know?
The Influence of Menopause on Mood.
Approaching menopause you may have noticed some deviations in your usual mood.
Well don’t despair, you’re not alone. Approximately 30% of women report psychological symptoms related to menopause. Some women find themselves becoming short and snappy, while others are teary and overwhelmed. Even the strongest woman who appears outwardly like she’s got it all together may be inwardly crumbling. Things that don’t normally upset you suddenly do. It can be something as simple or as insignificant as your partner not making the bed, or your stockings laddering… but it can seem like the end of the world. ‘Who is this person I have become?’ you may later ponder. Why did I react like that? I don’t recognise myself!
Menopause can do funny things to you. Rest assured that these intense emotions are just part of the transitional period your body is going through as it tries to get used to all the changes it’s experiencing…and know just that, they are only transitional ! They will eventually disappear.
A few of the commonly noted mood symptoms reported by women during menopause:
- Feelings of increased vulnerability
- Feeling overwhelmed
- Panic attacks
- No motivation
- Low self esteem
- Mood swings
- Crying and tearfulness
If you’re reading this and you can relate to any of these symptoms be proud! The fact that you are aware of your symptoms is great. Why? These symptoms are a wake up call, they’re telling you to pay attention to your body… What is it telling you?
So what can we do to cope with these emotional changes?
- Getting your hormone levels checked is a good first step. Correct hormonal balance alone can make an amazing difference to the way you feel on a daily basis.Having a good support network to guide and carry you during this time is also important. Do you have a good friend who will listen to you without judgment? If not speaking to a counselor can be a useful way in which to resolve unfinished emotional business.
- Studies show increased stress is related to an exacerbation of menstrual and menopausal symptoms so reduce stress in all its forms! This sounds easy but many women find this hard to do! Brain storm how you this can make this happen. It may be something as simple as hiring someone to iron the clothes for 3 hours a week so that you don’t have to do it. Whatever it is, put your plan into action.
- Nurture yourself and engage in pleasurable activities. Take some time out for you, nourish your soul! This can be passive activity such as making time for a bubble bath filled with relaxing essential oils or a foot bath once a week, or active such as enrolling in a language or pottery class at your local TAFE or community college.
- It sounds funny but if you’re someone who goes the extra mile for everyone, practice being selfish. Let others go the extra mile for you!
- A healthy diet can really help. Eating the right foods at the right time is important. Studies of different populations show that increasing fruit and vegetable intake particularly soy based foods and reducing consumption of meat has benefit in management of menopausal symptoms.
- Ensuring you are eating regular meals with some protein component will prevent fluctuating blood sugar levels. Hypoglycemia often plays a large part in mood changes. Aim to eat something every 3 hours. Good protein snacks include a small handful of almonds, a tub of natural yogurt or a tablespoon of tahini.
- Exercise is known to improve the mood and reduce stress. Choose something you enjoy and aim to do 4 to 5 sessions of 30 to 45 minutes. The choices are endless: yoga, pilates, bushwalking, swimming, belly dancing, ice skating and so on.
- Daily affirmations are important way of challenging negative perceptions we might have about ourselves and menopause. An example of an affirmation you could repeat on a daily basis might be:
“Menopause is a happy time for me… my body and mind are growing in wisdom”
(Source Menopause Centre of Australia)
Just for fun, I went to the Morgan Tarot website and picked a random card: