Menopause brings about a significant change in women’s life, which also has a profound psychological impact. Her menstrual cycle has been a big part of her life since attaining womanhood. With menopause, her childbearing phase comes to an end. While this has some apparent physical effects, the psychological impact is much more significant for some women.
Different women experience menopause in different ways. While some find it liberating, to some, it can be challenging to come to terms with. Finding the right balance in one’s life is essential so that this period does not overwhelm you.
This is because you can be prepared all you want, but the hormonal changes in a woman’s body can cause major upheavals in their moods. Despite their best efforts, they could feel sad and suffer from poor self-esteem. It can cause a lot of mood swings, just like one may have faced during pregnancy or while going through postpartum depression.
And yet, this is not something that you should be alarmed about. You may feel nostalgia for the phase that just got over, but it is nothing that should sadden you or affect you psychologically.
Read on to find out how to feel better mentally during the various stages of menopause.
Psychological Effects of Menopause
Although the experience is different for every woman, some underlying issues are the same.
Some of the common symptoms during this time are:
In a way, all these factors are correlated. For example, if you feel depressed all the time, any effort to cheer you up will irritate you, and you will want to be left alone. Or, you may feel stressed and anxious about the littlest things, which could keep you awake at night.
Menopause can lead to hot flashes and excessive sweating, and this could make you conscious of going out in public. Eventually, you start becoming socially distant and feel out of place, solidifying your low self-image.
What you need is a plan for this time of your life. That will give you a structure to cope with the sense of hopelessness during menopause.
How to find Balance and Wellness during Menopause?
As you start approaching the menopausal years- which can be anywhere starting around the age of 45- start making a plan for yourself that can help you during this time.
Once your menopause has started, you might not always be in the best mood. Hence, it would be best to make the plan well in advance to help you when you need it. Here is how you do it.
Start a Journal
You will feel different as you start approaching menopause. Start a journal during this time and document how you feel. If you feel sadder than usual for no apparent reason, then write them down as well.
Try to write how many times a day you are feeling this way. Journaling helps you keep grounded, and you won’t feel so overwhelmed when you have the pattern in front of your eyes.
You know the bouts will come, but they will recede as well. Be vigilant if there is a family history of depression. Or you have had bouts of depression in the past. This is because those symptoms can recur around this time.
Find a New Activity
Physical activity raises dopamine and serotonin in the blood, which can help combat the hormones that lead to depression. Instead of feeling old and past your prime, you will feel young and active, which is highly essential during this point.
Try to find a new activity that makes you move around and helps you stay active. It need not be anything too strenuous. But just something that makes you happy and gives you enough reason to move around.
Shake up your Routine
In some cultures, menopause means that a woman has entered old age, and this can be very frustrating and saddening. A monotonous routine only adds to this feeling. Try changing your routine and adding new elements to your life at this point.
In addition to finding new activities to engage in, you should also do things differently in your daily life. Try changing your breakfast or doing up your interiors. It will remind you that change is good, both internally and in your external environment.
Stay on Top of your Health
The hormonal changes in a woman’s body during menopause can also affect her physical health. You may feel tired and dizzy at times. The hot flashes and excessive sweating will leave you drained.
Going for your health check-ups and screenings is more crucial now than ever. If you do not feel well physically, it will make you feel old and tired all the more. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, and you need to stay healthy to feel mentally healthy as well.
Indulge in Self Care
Just because you have hit menopause does not mean you stop feeling beautiful. The end of one’s childbearing years does not mean one cannot look and feel beautiful. Try to make time for yourself and have a self-care routine that is designed for your needs.
Try massages or aromatherapy if you feel anxious. Have a cool shower twice daily to cope better with the hot flashes. Take care of your skin and hair, as you may suffer from excessive dryness of hair fall during this period due to hormonal changes.
Create a Network
It is imperative to have a strong network of women at this time- especially those who have already experienced menopause. Having the correct information from someone you trust can be very comforting at this time.
Being surrounded by friends and family will give you fewer causes to worry about. You will not feel alone, assuming that you are past your prime.
The outer manifestations may not be much, but your menopause can profoundly impact your mind. It is essential to be vigilant about your health, but equally important to be relaxed.
Try to form healthy habits, stay active, be around friends, and keep yourself engaged. You may feel nostalgia about the phase of life that just got over, but the knowledge that you can start all over again is sure to lift your spirits.