Mood swings can be the hardest part of menopause. Dealing with a pandemic and lockdown in winter has just made it that bit tougher. You may be struggling to find motivation and mood swings are a challenge. Sometimes menopause can leave us weak-willed, but there are things we can do to feel better. The choices we make can have long term positive effects, so we need to modify our lifestyle to enhance our happiness.
THE SIX PART PLAN
- EAT HEALTHY. Eating healthy foods is good for your body and your mood. You will simply feel better after eating a protein rich salad, than downing a tub of fudge ice cream (you may be doubting me but it’s true!) A balanced and varied diet containing healthy foods, such as lean proteins, vegetables, fruit and fibre filled whole grains, is more likely to provide you with enough OMEGA-3 fatty acids, folate, and other essential nutrients to help improve your mood.
- TAKE SUPPLEMENTS. Supplements will help support your daily needs. For example, beauty collagen supplements can be a game changer. Collagen can improve your gut health in addition to its other many other benefits. Gut health is paramount for your overall well being. Your gut and your brain are strongly interconnected. Therefore, a healthy gut is more likely to ensure a proactive mind.
- TRY TO LET GO OF STRESS. For some women de-stressing may be as simple as losing themselves in a page-turning mystery novel. For others a specific activity such as yoga, meditation or going for a walk in the countryside may be a mood enhancer. The natural world will usually decrease stress and anxiety. You can also concentrate on some breathing exercises to help cleanse your mind.
- CARDIO EXERCISE. According to one study performing 50 minutes of aerobic training four times a week can help to ease several menopause symptoms, such as night sweats, mood swings and irritability. Exercise, any physical activity, releases endorphins and other chemicals in the brain responsible for a feel-good factor. Try and find a time in the day when it’s easier to make a long term commitment to your plan. When you do it for at least 3 weeks it becomes a routine. Mix up your workouts, cycling one day, running the next, or go swimming every other day.Whatever works for you. You don’t need to train like an Olympian to get mood boosting results. Take a brisk walk before work if you are an early bird, or after dinner if not. Walking can be just as impactful on reducing mood swings as training for a marathon.
- GET ENOUGH SLEEP. Sleeping badly can add to your irritability and mood swings. During menopause sleeping can become difficult, so you need to maximise your chance of getting some proper shut-eye. You could start by creating a night-time routine that supports drifting off to sleep more comfortably. Start by shutting off electronic devices, making sure your bedroom is not too hot. Eliminating any light may also help. Avoid caffeine and alcohol to maintain healthy sleep cycles. Sleep should last about 7 or 8 hours to protect your immune system and allow your body to heal and repair.
- HEALTHY SEX LIFE. Menopause can affect your libido, but sex can be an ally when it comes to boosting your mood.
There are situations when it might be better to seek professional help. In fact it is better to see a doctor if your mood swings are:
. making it difficult to participate in your life
. causing added anxiety on top of what you already have
Always keep note of your mood swings or what triggers them, prior to the appointment. You can include information about your everyday life, including:
. activities you do during the day
. medications or supplements
. stressful situations
Try to give your doctor very detailed information, as this will help determine whether changes or additional types of treatment need to be considered. Be positive and safe!