Kathy Gray

How Psychology can help you navigate the Menopause

How can Psychology help me during menopause?

Menopause can be a difficult time for women. Physically, it can bring on changes such as hot flashes, night sweats, and vaginal dryness - but it can also have psychological effects on women. Menopause is often accompanied by a rollercoaster of emotions that may seem impossible to cope with. But there are ways to manage the psychological effects of menopause.

By understanding the psychological symptoms of menopause, women can develop a plan to cope with them. The most common emotional issues experienced by women during menopause are depression, anxiety, and mood swings. These feelings can be compounded by stress from work and family obligations. 
Psychology can be a powerful tool in helping women cope with the emotional rollercoaster of menopause. One way to take control is by understanding what triggers your emotions and how they affect you.
Knowledge is Power!
Being mindful of your body’s signals can help you better manage your reaction. Identifying patterns of behaviour across all areas of life can also provide insight into how menopause is affecting different aspects of your life.
Self Care!
It’s also important to make sure you are taking care of yourself. Eating a balanced diet, getting regular exercise, and making time for relaxation can reduce the physical and mental toll that menopause can take on your body. Taking breaks during the day, doing activities that bring you joy like hobbies or spending time with friends.
Menopause can be a time when hormonal changes and additional stressors resulting in physical symptoms, such as hot flashes, aches, pains and fatigue. Knowing what to expect and understanding the psychological effects, as well as the physiological changes can help you prepare for and cope with these changes in your body.
It’s so important to pay attention to your mental health during this time. Menopause can cause stress, fatigue, and depression which may manifest as irritability, brain fog and difficulty concentrating or recalling information. The knock on effect of this is further challenges within the workplace; not many employers fully understand or support their employees in this natural life process for women.
Support during the menopause
Talking to a therapist, wellbeing coach or joining a support group are both great ways to find support and help you cope with the psychological effects of menopause.

Finally, it’s important to remember that menopause is a natural life stage process and women should not feel ashamed or embarrassed about going through the stages of menopause. I feel the different stages of menopause, the physiological and psychological impact upon women is poorly understood; particularly within the workplace. For women in leadership roles, it can create an overwhelming sense of loss of control, confidence and imposter syndrome as they question their ability to continue their roles. The culprit is known as 'brain fog', the result of hormonal changes in the body that cause cognitive challenges. As women enter peri-menopause, (the first stages of menopause) the levels of the female hormones estrogen and progesterone in the body fall, this causes issues with cognitive function such as memory and problems concentrating on tasks (Maki & Thruston, 2020). It is believed that the sudden reduction of estrogen has the greatest influence menopausal symptoms (John Hopkins Medicine, 2023).

The knock on effect of this is increasing anxiety levels and the vicious cycle of stress begins as you cannot fathom out why you feel the way you do; you struggle to think straight as your brain feels like candy floss.   
Whilst Menopause can present many challenges and changes, it also represents an opportunity to make positive life changes; this may be through improving nutrition and self-care. By understanding the psychological effects of menopause and taking proactive steps to manage them, women can continue to strive for success in their careers without letting the challenges of menopause stand in their way.
John Hopkins Medicine. (2023). Introduction to Menopause. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/introduction-to-menopause
Maki, P. M., & Thurston, R. C. (2020). Menopause and Brain Health: Hormonal Changes Are Only Part of the Story. Frontiers in Neurology, 11. https://doi.org/10.3389/fneur.2020.562275 

Psychological Wellbeing Coaching for Menopause

If you would like more information about how psychology can help you during menopause, enquire now about my psychological wellbeing coaching program. 
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