Today on A.Vogel Talks Menopause, I'm going to be talking about five simple menopause mood-boosters.
Low mood and mood swings are really common symptoms in the menopause. I get a huge number of women contacting me every week about this, asking why it is happening and what can they do to help themselves.
So, over the next few weeks, I'm going to look at different aspects of low mood and mood swings.
Why does menopause affect your mood?
The problem in the menopause is that low oestrogen or falling oestrogen can affect us in so many different ways. And one of them is that it can affect our mood.
Oestrogen is our happy hormone, if you like. It helps to keep our mood up and it helps to keep our mood lifted. And, as it starts to fall in the perimenopause and the menopause, that can have a direct effect on our mood. If we're suffering from low mood, that can have an effect on all sorts of other areas of our lives as well.
The problem, too, with falling oestrogen is that it can cause a number of other symptoms such as weight gain, and that's going to affect our mood. We could also end up with fatigue and poor sleep, which I'll go into in another video blog. And, also, it can impact on our self-esteem.
So, there's all different areas of the menopause that can come together if you like. And all of these can affect the way we feel about ourselves and the way that we see the world on a daily basis.
What can help boost your mood naturally?
So, what can you do here to help yourself? Just some really simple tips to get you started over the next few weeks.
The number one remedy is water. And I know for those of you that have tried it, you know, you've told me you find it makes such a difference for all aspects of the menopause.
Falling oestrogen can affect the way your body stays hydrated. So, you can be dehydrated at a very general level, without really being aware that you're dehydrated. And that can have a huge impact on our mood to start with.
So, remember, loads of plain water every single day can make a difference really, really quickly, so it's a good one to start off with.
Exercise is great for lifting our mood. When we exercise, this produces happy chemicals called endorphins that help to lift our mood.
It doesn't have to be major exercise. You don't have to go out and pound the streets or go down the gym and wear yourself out.
There's something really simple that you can do at home that can be a great mood lifter, and that is dancing. You can do it while you're doing the dishes, while you're cooking, you know, dancing in between the pots and pans.
You can be dancing round the house whilst you're doing the housework. It's something really easy to do, and if you're playing your favourite music to dance to, that can have a huge impact on lifting your mood as well.
3. Uplifting music
If we're feeling low, then sometimes soothing music can help to relax us or we can have sort of jazzy, upbeat music, again, just to lift our spirits.
And listening to music on a daily basis is really good for our nervous system as well. It can make a huge difference. So, you know, I listen to music on my way into work every morning. I find that it sets me up for the day. And, again, you can listen to music whilst you're cooking, whilst you're doing the dishes or, if you're lucky enough, you can have music on whilst you're at work.
And, again, that can help you cope with any stresses and strains that are appearing at your work, too.
This is so important, especially if you live in countries where, during the winter, it gets really, really dark, like up here in Scotland. We need light in order to stimulate our brain. And, if you're not getting daylight, your mood can suffer (because artificial light doesn't really count in most cases; unless you're using those daylight bulbs). So, getting outside for just half an hour a day whilst it's light is going to stimulate your brain.
That's going to make you feel better generally as well. And if you're getting outside, you know, for half an hour of fresh air, if you can get out into nature, then that's going to raise your mood, too. And, again, it's just going to make you feel that little bit better.
5. Relaxation and breathing
And, again, for those of you that have been watching along with me for a while, you'll know just how important that daily "me" time is for relaxation.
It's not about sitting down with a cup of tea in front of the telly. It's about shutting yourself away, about doing some really slow, deep breathing. You can listen to very specific meditation or mindfulness tapes, or guided meditations if you like.
These can alter your brain waves. And that can have a profound effect on your nervous system and that, in itself, can help to lift your mood.
When to consult your doctor
Now, when do you need to see your doctor about low mood? The NHS here in the UK recommends that you consult your GP if you have been having continual low mood for more than two weeks.
Please go and see your doctor if you are struggling with your low mood; if you find that getting up in the morning or facing the day is becoming more and more difficult; if you're finding it really hard to get motivated and get yourself up and out of the house; and if you find that these natural things that I've recommended like supplements and herbs are not working to lift your mood.
It's amazing the number of women who contact me who are struggling with low mood for months and months and, sometimes, a quick visit to the doctor can make a difference. They can maybe give you something short-term, just to help to lift you up enough so that you can cope with daily life for that little bit longer.
So, I hope you found this one interesting. It's a little bit short and sweet today. If any of you have used anything else to help your mood, please share because I would love to hear all about it.