Sometimes perimenopause and menopause are seen as negative things, largely due to stigmas in the world. As a result, many women associate it with a period of sadness. Admittedly, the physical symptoms one experiences as they transition into menopause can be challenging and disruptive to people’s lives. For instance, many women struggle with hot flashes, and there are countless other potential symptoms. In addition to these symptoms, some women report upticks in psychological symptoms, such as anxiety and depression. This link between the physical and psychological symptoms is even more complex than previously surmised.
But, experiencing perimenopause and menopause is also a positive thing and can open up new opportunities in this next phase of life. Keep reading to see what you can expect in this new chapter!
Research Shows That There Is Hope
An increasing number of studies have shown a pretty startling result. Even though many women experience depression and anxiety during menopause, these symptoms often resolve following menopause. In fact, many women are happier and report fewer mental health challenges during their 50s, 60s, and 70s than they did earlier in life. This research tends to show a U-shaped curve for happiness over the course of a person’s life.
Many women also report a sense of relief that they are no longer dealing with PMS and potentially painful periods. Plus, not having to worry about pregnancy allows for a more spontaneous sex life! And spontaneity, coupled with better knowledge of her own body, often leads to post-menopausal sex being the best sex of a woman’s life.
Happiness After Menopause
But, you’re probably wondering, why is this so? Well, it could be for a variety of reasons. For example, many women in this older age group are empty nesters, and they may have time to pursue hobbies and passion projects that they could not when their children were younger.
More Time For Self-care
Also, many women are winding down their professional careers in this age group. This also gives them more ‘me time’ or time for self-care. Self-care can take many different forms, and women should listen to what resonates with their personality and soul. For example, some women may find it exciting to learn a new language and plan a vacation to a locale where they can practice their newfound skills in person. Someone else may embark on a spiritual or mindfulness journey and embrace a regular yoga practice.
But, self-care may also be smaller things. For example, some women may revel in not having to set their alarm clocks seven days a week. An extra hour of sleep in the morning can do wonders for a person’s mental or physical health. Self-care may also take the form of luxuriating in a long bubble bath instead of rushing through a shower.
More Reasons for the Uptick in Moods
Many women struggle with troubling physical symptoms during perimenopause. For some women, these symptoms may be a mere inconvenience. But, for other women, the symptoms can be debilitating, leaving them struggling to complete even daily tasks of living. There are treatments available for many of the symptoms, but the treatments are not always wholly effective. But, completing the menopause journey generally resolves all these symptoms.
Therefore, women often see a dramatic uptick in their energy levels following menopause. And, this increased energy is also good for mental health and developing a positive outlook on life.
Women are also more financially stable during this stage of their life. In their younger years, women identify financial stress as one of their primary stressors. Women’s financial stress seems to be higher than for their male counterparts, and the pandemic has only amplified this gulf. Removing, or at the very least mitigating this, reduces overall stress levels. It also has another added plus. It opens up hobbies that may have previously been too expensive for the woman to embrace. Freedom to explore is amazingly empowering.
Adapting to Social Changes
Many older women report having more time to spend with their friends. But, there can also be a dwindling of friend groups and social networks as some friends begin to pass away. This can be extremely sad for the survivors. It may also mean that people need to work to establish new friendships. Hobbies and shared social activities, and clubs are a great way to build these bonds with people who share common interests. This time in your life can also be a great way to explore things that have always interested you, but that you have never had time for. Think creatively and maybe think about exploring intergenerational friendships.
Get Support if You Need To
If you find yourself struggling to embrace all the wonderful opportunities of your post-menopausal life, do not hesitate to reach out for support. Your local clergy person could be a great source of support. You could also reach out to a professional therapist for counseling. If your symptoms go beyond sadness and you are concerned about potential depression, make sure to bring your medical provider into the conversation. And, also make sure to have regular, frank, and transparent conversations with your friends and loved ones.
There Is A Bright Side
Many women look at perimenopause and menopause with dread and sadness, seeing it as the end of their life as vital and active women. But, this is simply not true. Many women are surprised at the end of their menopause journey to find that they are happier than ever. They can enjoy more ‘me time’ and usually have financial resources to engage in self-care and passion projects. Plus, they also know what makes them happy.
Therefore, don’t see your menopause journey as a sad one. This is a time of your life to enjoy, reflect, and evolve.