Menopause Mental Health Management

If you’re feeling as though menopause is affecting your mental health, you’re not alone. It is very common for women to experience mental health problems during this period of their lives and it’s completely natural too.

Knowing you’re not alone in facing mental health symptoms during menopause is the first step to gaining control. Secondly, there are practical ways you can alleviate such symptoms which we will come on to inform you of.

Before we get started with ways you can manage your mental health, it’s important to identify how menopause can negatively affect your mental state.

Mental Health Symptoms and Menopause

Being aware of how menopause can impact existing mental health conditions will help you to notice symptoms before they arise possibly preventing them from worsening. For those that have a history of depression, menopause can bring about depression.

Other common mental health symptoms include:

  • Higher levels of anxiety – this is one of the first symptoms many women experience when they are going through menopause.
  • Low self-esteem – you may feel less confident in your body as it goes through such big changes.
  • Difficulty concentrating – many women find it harder to focus when at work or on other tasks which can lead to less productivity.
  • Irritability – becoming irritable during menopause is also common. You will likely find yourself feeling stressed over things that wouldn’t usually bother you.

Are You Experiencing More Anxiety Than Usual? Signs it is the menopause

Women describe anxiety as one of the first symptoms of menopause. Anxiety occurs as one of the first mental health symptoms in menopausal women due to the decreased levels of hormones in the peri-menopausal cycle.

This means that women will commonly experience stress and anxiety when they are around 41 years of age and many fail to connect it to their menopause.

Most women who have never really experienced anxiety before find this time extremely unsettling. They come to find it extremely difficult to understand why small issues suddenly feel so overwhelming.

In the worst cases, this can result in women stopping to drive, or even leaving work as they find themselves in a midlife crisis state.

However, what we know is that stress and anxiety occur during menopause due to biochemical changes and hormones. Anxiety is due to a rise in cortisol levels and a decrease in oestrogen that results in our bodies producing a stress response.

5 ways to Regulating Menopause Mental Health

Below, we have included 5 ways to manage mental health inclusive of cognitive behavioural therapy. You will find solutions that are guaranteed to provide relief and help you bring about a calmer state of mind during this challenging time.

1. Take Time For Relaxation

Since your stress levels will already be higher than usual, it is important to take time for relaxation and pleasure.

This could be something such as enjoyable as listening to a podcast, listing to the Calm App or reading a good book.

Relaxation techniques can also include meditation, taking a long bath, reading a book, or getting outdoors for a walk in nature.

2. Carry Out Low-Intensity Exercise

Exercising is great for mental health since it boosts the feel-good chemicals known as endorphins. By carrying out regular exercises such as brisk walking or cycling you will be naturally boosting happy chemicals in your brain.

This can significantly help to minimise the feelings of sadness and anxiety associated with menopause.

3. Practice Mindfulness

Calm thinking and mindfulness can play a huge role in reducing anxiety. This is one core component of cognitive behavioural therapy that we provide to women like you.

It is important to recognise your feelings of anger and honour them as they come, however, excessive anger is not healthy. This is where mindfulness comes in to help. In moments of anger or irritability, it is easy to get carried away and caught up in both thoughts and emotions.

Relax the mind practically by:

  1. Taking slow deep breaths to ground yourself and return the attention to the body, do this for as long as you need to before you feel internally relaxed.
  2. Imagine you were speaking to a friend, what kind of things would you say to help them calm down? Imagine saying these things to yourself in your mind.
  3. Don’t punish yourself when you feel a negative emotion! It is important to recognise the emotions and make note of them without acting on what arises.

4. Consider Therapy With Menopause Management

Therapy is one of the best ways to treat mental health issues caused by menopause and as you can imagine we are big advocates!

We deliver a six-week intervention course that focuses on providing our clients with evidence-backed methods proven to minimise all types of menopause symptoms. Throughout the course, you learn practical skills and support as you navigate and apply the new techniques.

If you prefer one-to-one help, we also have options available to you. Our online counselling and therapy services will help you feel empowered as you move through this phase of your life rather than defeated.

5. Nourish Your Body

Along with hot flushes, the last thing your body needs to experience is hunger pangs or side effects from not drinking enough water.

It is so crucial to nourish your body with good foods as it processes the big changes going on inside. Vitamins and minerals should be topped up regularly and you may want to even consider menopause supplements too.

Watch what you eat and be sure to give your body the stuff it needs—this will help to keep mental health symptoms at bay and promote a more positive state of mind.

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