We all experience stress, but women going through menopause face new physical and emotional changes that add to daily stressors.
Just when you need to be at your best to manage stress, your fluctuating hormone levels may affect the mood centers in your brain intensifying the experience. Chronic stress can wreak havoc on your overall health and happiness.
When you are stressed out
- It is difficult to lose weight
- You may experience migraines, irritable bowel syndrome, acid reflux, and back and joint pain
- You feel gloomy and tearful
- You have a hard time concentrating
- You are constantly irritable and cranky
- You feel hopeless
- You may have sexual difficulties
- You may have sleeping problems
- Damage can be caused to your immune system, making you are susceptible to infections and viruses
- You may grind your teeth
- You have a harder time going through menopause
The leading sources of stress are health, money, work and family concerns.
Stress contributes to heart disease, high blood pressure, strokes, and other illnesses in many
Stress also contributes to the development of alcoholism, obesity, drug addiction, suicide, cigarette
addiction, and other harmful behaviors.
How to cope with stress
- Identify stress triggers, and resolve relationship issues
- Try stress-relieving activities, such as yoga, meditation, or tai chi
- Regular exercise releases endorphins, making you feel better
- Schedule fun activities
- Make time for your friends; support is important
- Eat healthfully – avoid a diet heavy in carbohydrates
- Pamper yourself a little bit—take a hot bath, or treat yourself to a manicure or massage
- Get in touch with your spirituality
- Get plenty of rest
- Slow down and take time in the day for yourself
- Find a relaxing new hobby
- Start reading more, and watch a little less television
- Free up your schedule – start saying no to others, and yes to you
- Make a point of laughing every day
- Don’t always answer your cell phone
- Make fun plans for the weekend
- And if you have a partner, a little affection and intimacy goes a long way – make sure you are satisfied
Whether you are suffering from midlife issues, lifestyle changes, or hot flashes it is no surprise that women going through menopause are stressed out! Make time daily to pamper yourself, and get rest. You are going through a major shift in your life. Everything you know is being altered, emotionally and physically.
If you cannot manage the emotions and stress in your life on your own, seek professional help. A therapist can help with many issues in your life, relationships, or past that may need to be addressed. Your practitioner can discuss the possibility of hormone therapy or the use of antidepressants. Some people find that the herb St. John’s Wort can help counteract depression and stress, but if you take St. John’s Wort, be sure to inform your doctor. This herb is often not compatible with other medications, and drug interactions can be dangerous.
For many, the menopause journey can be stressful. It’s especially critical that you manage stress during menopause, so that you can take care of your health. Once you handle stress triggers, managing menopause symptoms is possible.
More From Staness Jonekos
Staness Jonekos is the co-author of The Menopause Makeover, speaker, and advocate for women's health. For more information about Staness visit www.MenopauseMakeover.com. You can also follow her on twitter.com/staness