Menopause occurs at the end of a woman’s reproductive years. It can have a significant impact on mood. It can also impact emotions and mental well-being. Women going through menopause might experience any of the following:
- Mood swings
- Anxiety and/or depression
- Poor sleep
- Trouble thinking clearly
- Stress and irritability
- Decreased self-esteem
- Negative body image
Not all women will have these mental health effects during menopause. For women who do experience mental health challenges during this phase of life, there are several strategies to consider.
Strategies to Improve Mental Health During Menopause
- Stay physically active: Regular exercise can have a positive impact on mental health. Things like walking, yoga, swimming, or dancing can help reduce stress.
- Try to reduce stress: Deep breathing exercises or meditation often bring you joy and relaxation.
- Spend time with friends: Friends, family, and other women can add support. Be open to sharing your feelings with people you trust. Joining menopause support groups or online communities can also help. Share and receive advice from people going through similar experiences.
- Take care of yourself: Activities that promote relaxation and self-nurturing can improve how you feel. Take a bath, read a book, or pursue a hobby. Look for joy and a sense of fulfillment.
- Develop good sleep habits. Your body needs rest during this transition. Make sure to set a regular bedtime routine. Limit caffeine and electronic device use before bed.
- Eat a balanced diet: Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Avoid sugary snacks, junk food, and caffeine. They can make mood swings and changes in energy worse.
It’s good to find strategies that work best for you. Be patient with yourself, and practice self-compassion. Seek professional support and medical care when needed.