Feeling like you’re having a midlife identity crisis? It could be a byproduct of menopause.
The years before and after menopause are associated with a host of physical and psychological changes. And while some of these changes can feel liberating, others may bring on a sense of loss.
A time of transition
For many people, menopause is defined as the end of their childbearing years. And it brings on some unsettling symptoms caused by fluctuating hormones — like mood changes, irritability, and difficulty concentrating and remembering things. The combined effect is that some people just don’t feel like themselves at points throughout the menopause journey, which can be unnerving.
The good news is that most menopausal symptoms are temporary, and you are not actually “losing your mind,” which is how many people describe the often overwhelming anxiety about what’s happening to them. In fact, for many, menopause can usher in a new phase of freedom, self-care, and goal setting.
Support and awareness
Historically, there’s been an unspoken rule about keeping menopause hidden. Yet it’s a completely natural part of life for everyone with female sex organs. Instead of going it alone, seek out others who are experiencing many of the same changes to exchange support, suggestions, and likely a few laughs.
Fortunately, there is also increasing awareness in the healthcare system about the need to address menopausal symptoms that can really cause misery, such as poor sleep due to hot flashes or insomnia. Talk to your provider about problematic symptoms and explore the treatment options available.
Refocus on your wellbeing
With all of the curveballs of menopause, there’s no better time to prioritize yourself while also looking at what lifestyle changes might help ease you into this new chapter. In other words, consider it an opportunity to develop healthy habits, boost your resilience, and double down on self-acceptance.
Yes, your life is shifting, biologically speaking, but that means you have the chance to reshape your perspective and reinvent your lifestyle for the better. Here are a few ideas:
- Start a regular movement or exercise practice that you look forward to and enjoy. Those feel-good endorphins will help reduce stress and improve sleep.
- Look into new pursuits that might allow you to grow, find new interests, chase long-held dreams, release your creativity, or expand your social circle.
- Limit alcohol and caffeine, which can negatively impact sleep, while incorporating relaxation techniques like meditation or yoga that can improve sleep.
- Instead of dwelling on how your body may be changing, make it a practice to write down things you like about yourself, and review your list when you need a pick-me-up.
Reviewed by the Ovia Clinical Team