Hitting 49 or thereabouts, something changed in me.
Not being able to put my finger on it, I became more than a little flustered by the tiniest things. If my teenage son gobbled up the last biscuit without telling me, I moped and grumbled around for days when I discovered they were all gone. Sigh. Or when I found a rather inconspicuous stain on my favourite blouse just when I was getting ready for a lunch date with my girlfriends at the corner cafe, tears began rolling down my face.
What. is. happening?!
If you’re a woman with a bad case of the menopause blues, there is good news. Menopause and depression do not have to rule (or ruin) your life. That’s worth repeating, so here goes: I’m living proof that it’s possible to keep menopause mood swings entirely under control. Menopause and mental health don’t have to be at odds. I’ll share my secrets on how I got over menopause depression naturally. Keen to hear? Let’s have a go at it! Fair warning: No drugs. No hormone replacement therapy (HRT). All-natural!
Natural Way #1 to Cope with Menopause Mood Swings
I had read about menopause’s famous “hormonal fluctuations” so I can’t say I was completely unprepared. But I had no clue at all what they would feel like. The blues literally hit me out of the blue one day. It was like a high-speed, 5-ton lorry loaded with bricks hitting me at once. Ever have that feeling? Not pleasant. But the next day, I was back to normal. Surprise, surprise. And I carried on like this for months. One minute, I was grinning and joyous. The next, crying for no apparent reason. Know what I mean?
Just when I least expected it, two major events happened in my life. They drove me into a depressive tailspin.
First, my boss told me they were downsizing. Gasp. How would I survive? Then, I was involved in a car crash – at no fault of my own. It cost me over £4,000 to prove my innocence. Good god. Menopause and depression hit hard. Dealing with the double whammy of catastrophes pushed me to the brink. It was like a thick veil of depression slipped over me. Can you relate? Horrible days. I retreated into a book that rescued me: Michael A. Singer’s The Surrender Experiment: My Journey into Life’s Perfection.
An incredible read that taught me how to let go of the urge to control events. I ended up in a better place. And felt amazingly in control. Wonders! Mindfulness and meditation were the keys that unlocked a door to well-being for me. Looking for a way to get in? Don’t delay! Who knows? You could even feel happy during menopause!
Natural Way #2 on How to Overcome Menopause Depression
Then I stumbled upon (quite by accident if I do say so) a lovely method to create the peaceful internal state I so desperately craved: tai chi. This is how it happened. I attended a London art show on ancient Asian traditions. There hidden away in a corner display was a video of people swaying gracefully in measured cadence. I stared, enthralled. I recall thinking at the time: meditation in motion. Tai chi is a martial art. But there’s nothing militaristic about it despite its name. To the contrary, in fact.
It had everything I needed to get a grip on my menopause depression and mood swings. Things like:
Slow, fluid movements that countered the rollercoaster of menopause.
Active relaxation of mind and body when I longed for inner peace.
Focussed attention to banish stress and anxiety.
Mindful body awareness: I really was a goddess in disguise!
Deep breathing centred me perfectly when I needed it the most.
View some great videos on the Internet to use for guidance
Or, if you’re feeling a bit adventurous, step out in style with a community of women in the same life stage. Give it a go, ladies! You won’t be disappointed at all. Tai chi will ease menopause mood swings and lighten you up! Do try tai chi and share your experience with us.
Natural Way #3: Progressive Relaxation for Menopause Mood Swings and Anger
After I learned that I had (sort of) lost my job, I fell into a state of disbelief bordering on shock. Wouldn’t you? Then, I got angry. My blood began to boil. “But I had worked so hard and so faithfully for all those years!” Likewise, when I learned that the bobby had reported merely what one person had said at the accident scene – without even taking my statement – my top blew off.
In the heat of the moment, it took a lot of self-control just to breathe. I noticed how tense I felt all over my body. Fists clenched. Jaw tight. Legs stiff. But here’s a little known truth: If your body is physically relaxed, you cannot feel angry.
Let that sink in for a minute. Makes sense, doesn’t it?
This truth is the jumping-off point for why progressive relaxation (PR) works. PR dials down angry outbursts when you’re overwhelmed by menopause mood swings and depression. It’s a simple technique that you can do anytime. Like waiting endlessly (or so it seems) for water to boil at tea time. Or sitting at a red light at a traffic stop when you’re running late and feel anger brimming up inside. Tip: Hideaway in a dark, quiet bedroom to speed up the PR feel-good-all-over effect. When you’re a newbie to progressive relaxation, I recommend starting with audio as you systematically go through the major muscle groups. I like to start with my tippy toes and work up to my noggin. I keep my eyes closed and prefer to be lying down.
An easy step by step of meditation for menopause and depression.
- Squeeze a group of muscles tight as you breathe in. Hold for 5-10 seconds.
- Release (Aaaaahh!) the muscle tension as you exhale quickly. Gone.
- Wait a bit (10-20 seconds) before moving on to the next muscle group.
- After you’ve gone through all the muscles in your body, slowly count down from 10 to 1. 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1. Done.
Whew! Feels good. Tension in my shoulders and neck eases away as I write. Nothing better for you to get a grip on menopause mood swings and anger!
Menopause and Depression Takeaways
It’s perfectly normal to feel down, zapped or moody during menopause. Anger is another all-too-common menopause symptom. No doubt menopause takes a toll on your mental health. Fortunately, there are natural ways to manage anger and depression in menopause. Practising mindfulness through meditation, tai chi, and progressive relaxation are 3 natural ways to cope with menopause and depression. Good news! There’s light at the end of the tunnel, ladies! Menopause blues, moodiness and anger are definitely manageable…naturally. Remember: They’ll be all gone one day.