MENOPAUSE AND MENTAL HEALTH

Earlier this week, on October 18th, World Menopause Awareness Day was marked. The aim of this day is to raise awareness for women who feel lost and in need of support as they go through menopause. It usually occurs between the ages of 45 and 55 as oestrogen levels decline. In the UK, the average age for a person to go through menopause is 51, and symptoms can last up to 10 years. Symptoms range from physical to psychological and cognitive. For example, it can cause tiredness, insomnia, stress, hot flashes, difficulty concentrating, anxiety, and depression to name a few. Similarly to premenstrual syndrome (PMS), it can cause emotional strain. Whether a person has pre-existing mental health issues or not, it can really impact someone’s wellbeing and mental wellness.

Going through menopause can really affect each element of our 8Wise™️ approach. Let’s take a look at how each is affected…

Physical Wellness: Menopause causes physical symptoms like tiredness, hot flashes, dizziness chills, weight gain, and thinning hair
Emotional Wellness: It can also lead to things such as irritability, sadness, depression and anxiety
Occupational Wellness: Many people find it more difficult to perform at work due to the range of symptoms they experience
Financial Wellness: Due to struggles in the workplace, this may trigger money worries for some as they may have to reduce their hours or take some time off
Intellectual Wellness: Menopause may cause some people to feel disinterested in hobbies and activities they used to enjoy
Spiritual Wellness: Some women feel lost and uncertain of themselves during this period in their lives
Social Wellness: Symptoms of menopause may cause some people to cancel plans with friends or loved ones
Environmental Wellness: People are less likely to be inclined to head outside if they are feeling a range of unpleasant symptoms. Plus household chores may slip due to feeling unwell and tired, meaning the home may not be as relaxing and clutter free as usual

There are many things that you can do to help relieve the symptoms of menopause including:

  1. Try to get eight hours sleep a night
  2. Dress in layers and have a bottle of cold water on hand to help with hot flashes
  3. Practice relaxation techniques such as breathing exercises and meditation
  4. Eat a healthy and balanced diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables, and wholegrains. Steer clear of things like saturated fats, oils and sugars where you can.
  5. Implement a regular exercise routine
  6. If you’re a smoker – quit! Smoking can increase your risk of a range of health problems, plus it can increase hot flashes

If you are struggling with symptoms of menopause then be sure to reach out to your GP who may be able to prescribe you medications such as HRT. If you are experiencing mental health issues, get in touch with a professional who will be able to help you manage them effectively.

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