7 Ways to Cope with Perimenopause and Low Mood

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7 Ways to Cope with Perimenopause and Low Mood | We all know perimenopause and menopause can cause hot flashes, night sweats, weight gain, and mood swings, but did you know it can also cause low energy, make you feel sad, and make it difficult to concentrate? Click to learn the link between perimenopausal hormone changes and mood, common symptoms to watch for, when to see a doctor, and a list of diet and lifestyle changes that can help boost your mood and make you feel better all around.

It’s normal to feel emotional during perimenopause. Fluctuating hormones, especially changing estrogen levels, can make you feel moody and low. While many women experience a dip in their mood, it’s important to rule out any serious mental health conditions with your doctor. Fortunately, certain lifestyle changes can help boost your mood and make you feel better all around. Here are seven ways to cope with perimenopause and low mood.

The Link Between Perimenopause and Low Mood

Perimenopause is the time leading up to menopause marked by hormonal changes that lead to physical and mental symptoms. While physical symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, and weight gain may come to mind, many people also experience mood changes during this time.

The hormonal changes that affect your menstrual cycle during perimenopause can affect your emotions too. Plus, physical symptoms can lead to stress and fatigue, intensifying emotions. You may feel irritable, have low energy, feel sad or moody, or have a hard time concentrating. The timing of perimenopause may also coincide with other midlife stresses, such as relationship issues, divorce, struggles with your children, return of grown children home, as well as concerns about aging parents and caregiver responsibilities.

It’s important to know that the risk of depression increases during perimenopause. If you’ve previously been diagnosed with depression when you were younger, you’re more vulnerable to recurrent depression during perimenopause. Below we discuss the symptoms to look out for that may signal a mental health condition.

6 Things to Watch For

  1. Crying a lot
  2. Feelings of hopelessness or worthlessness
  3. Feeling numb
  4. Loss of interest in activities that normally make you happy
  5. Constant worry that gets in the way of your day-to-day life
  6. Finding it hard to concentrate, sleep, and take care of yourself

When To See a Doctor

If any of the above symptoms last for more than two weeks, make sure to talk to your doctor as soon as possible. They can help determine if your symptoms are a sign of a mental health condition and refer you to a psychiatrist if you need. The sooner you get on top of your mental health the better, so don’t sleep on this.

7 Ways to Cope with Perimenopause and Low Mood

1. Get Adequate Sleep
Getting too little or poor quality sleep can lead to trouble controlling your emotions, as well as making decisions, solving problems, and coping with change. Not getting enough sleep has also been linked with depression. Try to create the best environment possible for a comfortable sleep, from keeping the same wake and sleep time each day, to avoiding screens at least an hour before bed, and keeping your bedroom quiet, cool, and dark.

2. Exercise
Exercising regularly is one of the best things you can do for your mood and mental health. It protects you from a variety of medical conditions, keeps your heart healthy, and helps you maintain a healthy weight. It’s also amazing for stress. Exercise has been found to improve symptoms of depression, especially when it’s done outside and in a group. If you’re experiencing low mood due to perimenopause, make regular exercise a top priority.

3. Eat to Boost Your Mood
What you put into your body matters. While foods like processed foods, refined carbs, and foods high in sugar can negatively affect your mood, it’s important to eat a healthy diet filled with foods that make you feel good. There are certain foods that are known to boost your mood and help with brain health. These include fatty fish, dark chocolate, fermented foods, oats, bananas, berries, beans and lentils, and nuts and seeds. Make a point to increase these in your diet.

4. Seek Support
You don’t need to deal with perimenopause and low mood on your own. Whether it’s talking to a therapist or your doctor, you shouldn’t feel embarrassed about reaching out for help. Through evaluating your symptoms and personal and family history, the right healthcare professional can provide recommendations to help you feel better. You may also find it helpful to chat to your friends who are going through perimenopause to not feel so alone.

5. Create Balance
Balance is key to a happy and fulfilling life. Taking care of yourself is just as important as work obligations and caring for your family. If you’re giving all of your time and energy to things that drain you, you’re not going to feel as good as you could. With the new changes happening in your body during perimenopause it’s even more important to prioritize yourself. Finding the right balance between self, family, friends, and work can level out your emotions and make you feel happier.

6. Get Stress Under Control
Chronic stress is awful for your mind and body. Due to everything going on during perimenopause, from relationship changes, to poor sleep, to aging parents, women are more susceptible to stress and depression. The hormonal changes women experience during perimenopause makes the impact of these stressors even more severe. Get your stress under control with relaxation techniques such as yoga, deep breathing, or meditation. Getting outside for a walk is one of the best stress relievers out there.

7. Get Social
If you tend to spend a lot of time alone, try amping up your social calendar. Having an active social life is one of the best ways to combat a low mood or depression. Talking to others who are going through similar things as you can improve awareness, reduce barriers to seeking help, and lead to better care during this time. Of course, you don’t just have to talk about your woes with your friends. Getting out and having fun will do your mind good!

If you’re experiencing low mood during perimenopause, you’re not alone. Use these tips to help you feel happier and healthier.

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7 Ways to Cope with Perimenopause and Low Mood | We all know perimenopause and menopause can cause hot flashes, night sweats, weight gain, and mood swings, but did you know it can also cause low energy, make you feel sad, and make it difficult to concentrate? Click to learn the link between perimenopausal hormone changes and mood, common symptoms to watch for, when to see a doctor, and a list of diet and lifestyle changes that can help boost your mood and make you feel better all around.

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