How Self-Care Can Be a Burden
We’ve discussed the emotional burden of perimenopausal symptoms in the previous article (include link). Below are a few strategies to manage mental health symptoms during perimenopause.
Strategy 1: Self-care
Self-care practices include regular exercise, healthy diets, sufficient sleep, and stress reduction. Exercise improves mood and decreases stress levels. A healthy diet helps maintain overall health and stabilizes blood sugars, preventing the dreaded “sugar crash.” Getting a sufficient amount of sleep is also key for decreasing the symptoms of mood swings, anxiety, and depression. Stress reduction techniques can also help decrease anxiety and depression. These techniques include yoga, tai chi, or meditation.
Strategy 2: Mental Health Providers
Using a therapist or psychiatrist can help mitigate the symptoms of perimenopause. The changes that come with this time can be difficult to manage and these professionals will be able to help. They can help you understand where your symptoms are coming from, help with coping strategies, and even provide medications, if indicated. The emotional burden of perimenopause is not to be taken lightly. Seek the help if you need it!
Strategy 3: Hormone Replacement Therapy
Since many of the symptoms of perimenopause are either solely caused or directly impacted by the hormonal imbalance, replacement of the lacking hormones is a suitable fix. Since estrogen and progesterone, the female hormones, are reduced during perimenopause, hormone replacement therapy involves replacement of the hormones. This therapy can improve the symptoms of perimenopause, but is not suitable for everyone. There are certain risks associated with this form of therapy, so it’s important to discuss with your doctor whether hormone replacement is right for you.
Strategy 4: Mindfulness
Reducing stress with mindfulness-based interventions have been shown to reduce the symptoms of anxiety and depression. These interventions can also help with improving sleep and decreasing mood swings. Mindfulness-based interventions include meditation, breathing exercises, and yoga. These help with centering and focus, which helps mitigate negative thoughts and emotions.
Strategy 5: Social Support
Utilizing support from the people in your life is a valuable resource for managing perimenopausal symptoms. Likely your friends or family members have either gone through the perimenopausal phase or are going through this phase with you. Talking to them can help by providing tips and coping strategies, as well as lessen isolation. Support groups can also help in a similar way.
Strategy 6: Alternative Therapies
Many women utilize alternative or complementary therapies to cope with the symptoms of perimenopause. These include massage therapy, acupuncture, or herbal remedies. Discuss you’re your doctor prior to starting any of these to ensure there are no adverse interactions with your current medications or any other reason to not partake in such therapies.
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-Written by Paavana Varanasi