Menopause can be a time when our mental health is shot. In fact, according to our non-profit menopause charity partner, Let's Talk Menopause, 38% of women in late perimenopause experience depression. And women who have never experienced depression before are two to four times more likely to experience a depressive episode during menopause.
This change in mood is all down to the erratic behavior of hormone levels. As the female hormone estrogen drops, so do our serotonin levels, which are the chemicals that help you feel happy.
Irritability; feeling overwhelmed and unconfident; having trouble staying motivated…do any of these symptoms sound familiar? These are just some of the mental health issues that menopausal women can experience.
So what can be done to improve these low moods?
Thankfully, making a few simple adjustments to your daily routine can really make a difference.
HELLO! asked 3 experts to share some of their easiest tried-and-tested mood-boosting daily habits that can help to keep your mood happy and positive during menopause.
They're so simple, you can start trying them tomorrow!
1. SCHEDULE IN ME-TIME IN BETWEEN MEETINGS
Broadcaster, TV host and menopause advocate Tamsen Fadal, told HELLO! at the Let's Talk Menopause event that she adds "time blocking" reminders to her calendar "in a pink color" so she has "little blips of moments'' throughout her day. And what's her favorite way to fill in these time blocks? "I get outside every day no matter what, whether it's sun[shine] or raining, so I have that moment of feeling the light."
2. EAT MORE PROTEIN
"Really pay attention to the quality of the food you are eating," explains Dr Taz, Author of The Hormone Shift. "Getting those protein grams in every 4 hours or so does a lot for stabilizing blood sugar and helping with energy, brain fog and so much more." One of her favorite hacks to pack in protein? "Doing a protein shake, and getting at least 20 to 40 grams first thing in the morning." And then she suggests snacking on things like nuts and seeds throughout the day. "Women really need to understand that as the hormones go down, your blood sugar sensitivity to carbohydrates and sugar goes way up, so that's why so many women find that they can't eat rice, sugar and alcohol - as they will do really weird things to [your mood]."
3) DRESS FOR JOY
"Once you get to a mindset of thinking 'what can I wear to bring joy?', that gives you more confidence to be a bit more joyful and then things snowball positively from there," explains Today show presenter, podcaster and founder of beauty brand Trinny London. "It may seem superficial, but having an exterior you feel joyful in, can help bring a bit more joy inside." Trinny's go-to colors for dressing for joy? "Neon and silver are my go-to for confidence, they just feel present, fun, and engaging. They are my guaranteed savior when I'm feeling flat."