Advice for Managing Symptoms and Improving Well-being
Your menopausal journey is natural and inevitable–it can also be a difficult time, both physically and emotionally.
Here some practical mental health tips that you can use.
May is mental health awareness month and now more than ever, your mental health should be a priority. As a woman on her menopausal journey, I pay closer attention to my mental health than ever. The last few years have been stressful. Between covid and then Hurricane Ida...all while going through perimenopause...it can be a lot to handle. If I would not have started to prioritize my mental health, life would have gotten the best of me.
Here are a few tips that will helped me navigate the mental side of menopause. Hopefully, one or two of them can help you.
The Impact On Mental Health and Well-Being
Managing your symptoms can improve your overall well-being. From practicing self-care to seeking support, there are many strategies that can help women navigate this part of life.
Tip #1 Practice Self-Care
The concept of self-care has been around for centuries, but it has gained significant attention in the media recently. It actually emerged in the 50's to describe patients who could take care of themselves at home. The pandemic has help highlight the important of self-care, raise awareness about the importance of taking care of yourself and prioritizing mental health and well-being.
Self-care is important for good mental health. Women on their menopausal journey should prioritize their well-being and do things that make them happy and relaxed. This can include exercise, meditation or a relaxing bath. Also, getting enough sleep can help reduce stress levels as well.
"Self-care is not selfish. You cannot serve from an empty vessel." - Eleanor Brownn
Tip #2: Seek Support
Right before the pandemic, I had become a certified foster parent. Mix that on top of going through perimenopause, I needed support. However, I had become overwhelmed and was still figuring out all the transitions of my "new" life. I started looking for a therapist, but she had to be right. It took a while, but I did find a therapist who listened and advised me. Some of the advice I took but the listening to me through my emotional period is what really helped me.
She validated my feelings and sometimes that is all it takes, someone to validate your feelings. That helped me and I encourage everyone to seek support in the form of a therapist.
It is important to not isolate at this challenging time. Family, friends, or a therapist that you can trust are a great support system to have. Sharing your experiences and feelings with others can help reduce feelings of isolation and anxiety. If individual therapy is not ideal, finding a support group can provide coping techniques and a sounding board.
Tip #3: Stay Connected
At least once a week, my friend Tonya and I talk on the phone. Since both of us own businesses and are busy moms/wives, our communication with the outside world is slim to none. In our weekly calls, we talk business and decompress. It works for us and is a stress reliever.
Social connections is crucial for your mental health. Make an effort to stay connected with family and friends. Too busy? Put "connection" time on your schedule and have regular phone calls. This can help reduce stress and make you feel connected to others in a personal way.
Tip #4: Practice Mindfulness
Meditation has become crucial in my life. At least once a day for 30 seconds I go into silent mode. Many people put too much thought into meditation, if it adds stress, you shouldn't do it. Meditation is as simple as deep breathing.
How many times have your been watching a movie AND texting on your phone? OR eating dinner AND talking on the phone or doing computer work?
Mindfulness reminds us to be present and fully aware. Small changes like this can help manage symptoms of anxiety and depression. Meditation and deep breathing is a great way to practice mindfulness. Just a few minutes a day to focus on your thoughts and emotions can help your mental health.
Tip #5: Be Kind to Yourself
Be kind to yourself. I often have to remind myself of this. Like most women, I pick myself apart for little things like not being productive (in my eyes) or for feeling like I was being to harsh. Menopause has opened my eyes to how critical I can be to my favorite person...me. In 2023, our mental health game plan has to include kindness to ourselves.
Don't be too hard on yourself if you are experiencing mood swings, hot flashes, or other menopausal symptoms. It is a natural process and you will get through it, take your time and get help when you need it.
As Mental Health Awareness Month is upon us, it is vital that we not only recognize the unique challenges that those on the menopausal journey may face. Promoting resources, supporting and raising awareness is how we make an impact on the mental health of menopausal women. By providing education and resources, we all can feel more empowered during this time in life.
Let's prioritize our mental health and well-being every day by promoting a culture of self-care.