This week, 18 – 24 May 2020, is National Mental Health Awareness Week, an opportunity to think about what steps you can take to maintain good mental health. The theme this year is ‘Kindness’.
Menopause and Mental Health
Changes to mental health can be an unwelcome side-effect of the hormonal changes that occur at menopause. Some women experience higher levels of anxiety, mood swings and periods of low mood or depression. This has been discussed more openly recently thanks to articles and TV programmes by high profile women presenters and celebrities.
Poor mental health can affect your performance at work as well as disrupting your home life and relationships. You might notice feeling unmotivated, having very little energy, experiencing brain fog and poor memory. It is important to recognise what you are experiencing and take action to support yourself.
Tips for Self-Care
Staying with this year’s theme, kindness starts with being kind to yourself. Women are generally very good at being kind to others and forget to look after themselves. But remember, you can’t pour from an empty cup. You have to replenish your own resources before you can support others. If you ignore that, you can end up experiencing burn-out which happens when the adrenal glands are over-worked for too long.
Taking time out for self-care if not selfish. It is part of good maintenance. Self-care can take many forms from small moments of calm to exotic retreats. Here are some ideas:
- Take steps to get regular, good quality sleep.
- Eat a balanced, healthy diet. Good nutrition comprises a mix of nutrients including vegetables, fruit, lean protein (poultry and fish). Eat a rainbow!
- Enjoy regular exercise. Exercise boosts your self-esteem, boosts your brain and helps you stay physically healthy.
- Acknowledge how you feel without judging it. Talk to a family member or friend if you want support.
- Create a healthy treat list for those moments when you need a boost such as:
- A special cup of tea
- A luxurious bath or shower
- A hand massage
- A manicure or pedicure
- Read a book or magazine
- Talk to a friend
- Dance to your favourite tune
- Watch a comedy video
- Go for a walk
- Buy yourself some flowers
- Meditate or practice mindfulness.
By being kind to yourself you will be in a better place to be kind to others. It’s a win-win!
There are more resources and suggestions available on the Mental Health Foundation website
If you would like to talk about what you are experiencing or need some support, you can contact me for a free 30 minute consultation.