Emotional fluctuations are a major part of perimenopause because your entire inner being is renovated. From the electricity (hormones) to the plumbing (the ovaries) to gutting the attic (mental state); these refurbishments take a long time and can have upsetting surprises.
For decades your communication network has had a consistent routine as estrogen and progesterone were coordinating with neurotransmitters to keep an organic balance to your physiology. But now that they are dropping out it’s causing the entire system to be out of whack with surges and blackouts.
You used to know your body pretty well…you could identify when PMS was coming around and you could at least estimate the first day of your period. You knew how to navigate the signs and would be prepared to self-soothe accordingly. Whereas going through this overhaul is very puzzling and far from the routine you were familiar with.
Additionally, whether you realize it or not, you’re probably also distressed with concerns about how your body image will change and how that might affect your relationship with your significant other as well as society.
Welcome to the Carnival!
Are you fine and content one minute and then suddenly feel angry and agitated?
You’re probably experiencing an emotional rollercoaster which runs the gamut of mood swings from happy and thrilled to being scared and saddened and then back to another high only to turn a corner down to a low.
Living in these polarizing conditions can be extra exhausting as you really have no idea how long these spells might last or they quickly disappear. In fact there is so much yo-yoing going on that you’re beginning to feel insecure about possibly being unstable.
What’s Driving This Machine?
This not-so-fun ride can be trigged by perimenopause not only due to the extreme fluctuations of your hormones, the psychological stress you’re in the process of, but it’s also due to the lack of sleep that you’re probably getting.
This trifecta is heightening your sensitivity to the most minor issues which further adds to the emotional exhaustion that you might be experiencing.
Especially near the end of the transition into menopause when estrogen is nearing record new lows, mood swings can be more intense than they had been in recent years or ever.
Identifying The Source
With everything that you’re juggling it can be tough to decipher if it’s your lifestyle or if perimenopause is the culprit to these soaring bouts of elation or depression. Here’s how:
- It’s not related to a recent life event (i.e. a death of a loved one or being fired from your job)
- It’s in combination with the other common symptoms of perimenopause.
- You haven’t started or stopped any medication.
- It’s been going on for weeks if not months.
- The people you’re closest to and around the most have observed it happening.
Finding Level Ground
You’re not at the whim of just being a passenger. You might be able to steady your world a little by incorporating some these healthy habits:
Practice Meditation - meditation not only helps to calm the central nervous system but it also helps to improve mindfulness so you can learn to observe your thoughts which can help you to delay your reactions to needless, trivial figments of your imagination.
If you’re too agitated to sit still, there are other kinds such as walking meditation or even coloring can bring the mind to center.
Try Adaptogens - this category of select herbs, fungus, and roots have superpowers to protect, aid, and strengthen cells to “adapt.” Their chemical function is a bit complex but overall they help soothe stress, lower anxiety, and help you feel at peace.
Some of the most common are: ginseng, maca, ashwaganda, reishi mushroom, licorice, and rosemary. All of these are very versatile and can be taken as a supplement, a tea, or added to a smoothie.
Magic in Movement - tai chi, yoga, dance, barre, or any kind of similar physical activity not only helps your mind and body to develop a better connection but they offer a chance for self-expression. This allows an outlet of opportunity to not only feel free but to release the tension you’re carrying around.
Start Journaling - you may feel so vulnerable that you can’t verbalize it. Writing your thoughts and sentiments down can get them out of turning them over in your head and organizes them in a way that you can examine them later. It’s even been proven to sharpen your memory.
Spend Time in Nature - whether it’s the desert, the mountains, or an ocean being outdoors lowers stress, reduces anxiety, and will boost your mood. If you live in an urban area, even a park will do. Researchers don’t precisely know why this phenomenon works but the results speak for themselves!
Return to Your Childhood - sit down and make a list of all the activities you loved as a kid. Maybe it was art or pottery or a recreational sport. You might be buried under so much responsibility that you’ve forgotten about some of the things that used to make you really happy.
Go to Your Community - you may want to isolate yourself from any collateral damage but that can actually cause you more harm than good. Whether it’s your church, a group of friends, or you decide to host a party; being social can give you a good dose of oxytocin helping to induce tranquility and well-being.
If you’re really not into close encounters, you could try an online community where you can have a sense of anonymity yet you’re still surrounded by those who are going through similar situations. You might even find some humor amidst useful suggestions that are real, practical solutions.
Take Time for Gratitude - name 5 things that you were grateful for that appeared in your day. Recognizing what you’re thankful for can help to ground your energy into the present moment and moves you away from the toxic emotions that you can be caught up in. It costs nothing and can be done in less than 10 minutes or you can download an app to keep yourself accountable.
Perimenopause is just the opposite of puberty except you’re more aware of who you are which can inextricably make you harder on yourself that you need to be. The more you stress, the more duress you’ll be under. Be patient, be kind, and take it day to day.