Changes in hormone levels can affect your mood across life stages—remember PMS? So it’s not surprising that during perimenopause, this is still true.
Emotional and psychological symptoms are common during menopause. These include:
Let’s be crystal clear—many women experience these symptoms, it’s not just you.
Changing hormone levels aren’t the only reason emotions can be all over the place during menopause. Usually this life stage coincides with many other big changes—kids leaving home, pressure at work, and having to take care of parents are all common occurrences that add to responsibilities (and often stress levels).
All these life changes, biological and social, mean it’s more important than ever to take care of your mental health and focus on your emotional fitness.
What is emotional fitness?
Emotional fitness is about practicing positive routines and habits to support emotional resilience. People who are emotionally fit are often less anxious and better able to weather challenges in times of crises.
Even if you have never experienced mental health issues, emotional fitness should be a priority. Just like you don’t have to be ‘out of shape’ to work on being physically fit, you don’t have to have be diagnosed with mental health issues to focus on being emotionally fit.
How to stay emotionally fit
- Take time for yourself
This can take many forms, like a yoga class or a walk. Some people practice mindfulness as a way to reset and relieve stress. If that works for you, fantastic! If it’s not your cup of tea, then don’t worry, you can take a bubble bath or whatever suits you best. The important thing is to make time for yourself to relax.
- Practice gratitude
Scientific research shows that gratitude is consistently and strongly associated with greater happiness (1). One practice we like consists of reflecting on 3 things that you’re grateful for at the end of each day.
- Work on your self-confidence
Many women feel their confidence takes a hit around menopause. Whether it’s because of symptoms or changes in appearance, women report feeling unworthy. Changing this takes time, but it can be done. On challenging days, try using VIA Character strength. All you have to do is take the free online test and use it to remind yourself of your strengths and successes.
- Share your experience with others
We all love sharing good news, but it can be just as important (if not more) to share our struggles with others. This can be with existing friends or family. Or through Bia’s programme, where you can speak with women who are also going through menopause and participate in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT).