Irritability is a common problem at any phase of life, but during menopause it may be even more troublesome. You can overcome your irritability by fully understanding what causes it and being prepared with an arsenal of emotional tactics to stop it.
Before you engage in any of these tips, make sure you understand all aspects of irritability during menopause, so you can rule out more serious conditions like bipolar disorder and depression
Make Sleep a Priority
Not getting enough sleep can make you grumpy all day. Plus, with all of the other changes happening to your body during menopause, you'll need the energy to hold it all together. Make sure you're getting not just enough sleep, but quality sleep.You should have at 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night. Turn your bedroom into a "sleep-friendly" zone by making sure it's cool and calm. This means no television or computer to distract you and using fans or air conditioning so that you don't get hot at night.
Hit the Gym
Exercising is a great way to keep you from having unpredictable changes in mood. When you participate in aerobic exercises your blood gets flowing and your brain starts to produce more endorphins, which are chemical antidepressants that can lift your mood. Exercising, like boxing, is also a great way to take out your aggression or stress. These endorphins can stay in your system for up to several hours. Also, exercising will have a positive long-term effect on your emotional and physical health.
Diet, Diet, Diet!
No, this doesn't refer to low-calorie lattes and fat-free foods. Eating a healthy and balanced diet free of processed foods and refined sugar can help you avoid “the crash”—that time of day when all of that sugar you poured into your coffee and devoured in that "low-fat" muffin starts to dissipate.These energy deficits can send you heading back to the candy jar or in search of coins to feed to the vending machine. But it will only perpetuate the vicious cycle. To avoid sugar crashes, eat a hearty breakfast with whole grains and munch on fresh fruits and veggies throughout the day.
Relax. No, Really!
As much of a career woman,soccer mom,devoted wife as you may be, everyone needs a break. Women notoriously devote more time to their families and work than they do to themselves, and this can be especially problematic during menopause.In addition to going to the gym, try to carve out some time for yourself each day, even if it's only 15 or 20 minutes. Those few moments spent reading a book or meditating will be the best investment you can make in your own sanity.
Know your Weaknesses
During this phase of your life, when hormonal fluctuations make you more prone to being irritated, stay away from stimulants like caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol. They'll only exacerbate your emotional state. They can also keep you from sleeping well and digesting food properly, two bodily processes that you need to keep your health and life in balance.
In addition to fluctuating hormones, other symptoms of menopause such as sleep disorders, hot flashes, and loss of libido can cause irritability. Click the following link to read more about irritability during menopause.
- BMJ Group. "Menopause: What is it?" Patient Leaflet. 2007.
- Hutchinson, Susan M.D. "The Stages of a Woman's Life: Menstruation, Pregnancy, Nursing, Perimenopause, Menopause". November 2007.
- Love, Susan M.D. Menopause and Hormone Book. New York: Three Rivers Press, 2003.