Today on A.Vogel Talks Menopause, I'm going to be talking about, "Is your menopause anxiety even worse just now?"
Menopause and anxiety
So, because of all the worry that's going on, we do know that that extra worry can impact on all of our menopause symptoms. Our anxieties, our fears can be exaggerated. We may find that we're just feeling totally overwhelmed with everything that's going on.
We may find that we're worrying more about where our money is coming from, our jobs, we're maybe panicking in general and, of course, we are worrying about all our loved ones and the impact that that can have on them. And I know for myself, I have several older relatives and I'm really worried about them and also worried about my young grandchildren, too.
What can happen when anxiety increase during menopause?
What can happen is that when anxiety increases, it can make any of your symptoms worse. So, it's not just about the fact that your anxiety is worse, this will have a huge impact on your nervous system so you may find that some of the symptoms that you have managed to get control of are coming back with a vengeance.
The main ones will be things like hot flushes, night sweats, as well as panic attacks and palpitations. You may find that you're even feeling sick. Sleep can be impacted. And I know for me, I'm finding it much more difficult to fall off to sleep just because of all the thoughts and the worries that are going on in my head.
What can you do to help yourself through this?
The most important thing is to look after yourself really well just now. For those of you who fly or have flown, the steward always says that if you need the oxygen mask, you put it on yourself first so that you can help other people.
So, if you're worried about your loved ones and your friends, if you're having to look after your family if you're all home and maybe you can't get out at all, then the important thing is to make sure that you're not ignoring your own needs.
The main thing here is eat well. If we're getting really nauseous and sick, it can be easy just to lose your appetite. But your body is going through extra stress just now, so you need to give it as much nutrition as possible.
Don't skip meals and make sure that you are eating little and often. And I know for me, if anything happens and I have to be isolated, I'm going to worry if I've got enough food in the cupboards. So just while I can, I'm eating as well as I can.
When we're worried, when we're anxious, we look for something that's going to give us a bit of a release, something that's going to pep us up that little bit. And we tend to go more for things like caffeine, sugary foods, high salt foods, and anything that's going to make us feel better.
The problem is that these foods will rev up our nervous system even more, making it worse. So, it's really important to try and keep those ones to a minimum.
I just have to remind everybody how important water is. However, I often find it much more difficult, for some reason, to drink water at home. I think having other people round me always drinking water gives me a nudge. It reminds me that I need to drink. So, I'm having to make extra effort to drink enough water every day to help me. Water not only keeps you hydrated, but it stops that brain fog. It can also help to support your nervous system, too. So, don't skimp on the water.
If you find you're starting to get panicky, remember the deep breathing. A really simple one is what we call the block of four. To do this, you breathe in for four, you just hold your breath for one, you breathe out for four, hold your breath for one and just keep doing that. And you may find that the panic and the anxiety will tail off just that little bit more.
More anxiety tips
I have also done several blogs on anxiety so if you want more details and more tips on how to help yourself, then here are a few to have a look at:
Anxiety and the emotional turmoil of the menopause
How to calm menopause anxiety
Is anxiety in the morning a menopause symptom?
The physical symptoms of anxiety