Menopause – Its effects on your emotions and sense of self

Exeter Menopause women getting hot sweats by Caroline Lucas ExeterAre you still experiencing menopausal or peri menopausal symptoms?

These symptoms vary from person to person so I will share what I experienced:

  • Low energy and general tiredness
  • Disrupted sleep
  • Frequent headaches
  • Achy joints
  • Hot sweats during the day – waking up in the middle of the night soaking wet, as if I’d been in the shower.
  • Low mood, and other emotions – anger, sadness, anxiety
  • Feeling different, off, out of balance
  • Brain fog – not able to make decisions easy

I would just like to say at this point if you are experiencing any of the above your doctor is your first port of call. HRT is so helpful for many women, but what can you do to support yourself emotionally and make the transition of change more comfortable or, if for some reason, like me you are unable to take HRT?

Feeling grateful that more people are talking about “menopause” and it is now more widely recognised, in the work place, that women need greater support during this time. The police service, for example, now allow women with menopausal symptoms to take time off to get the help they need.

Why is it important, even if you are already taking HRT, to get emotional support and what can you do immediately to begin to help yourself?

“Changing levels of hormones may well help to bring up old memories, accompanied by strong emotions, especially anger. This is not to say that anger is caused by hormonal change. Rather, it means that the hormonal changes simply facilitate remembering and clearing up unfinished business.”

Christiane Northrup M.D.

Christine goes on to say – “Maybe you don’t feel angry. Maybe you’re just irritable, grouchy, aggravated, envious, overwhelmed, or depressed. These emotions are associated with the same thing anger.”

She goes on to say “we need to claim our anger, especially during midlife, it can play an important role in improving the quality of our lives and our health. It is a powerful signal from our inner wisdom – one we should learn to listen to and act on. Anger always arises from a genuine need that isn’t being met.”

Because menopause is experienced differently for many people I will share a bit about my experience, in order to attempt to answer the above question.

I went through menopause when I was 45 years old I am now 59 and I still get mild hot sweats occasionally.

I felt happy life was good and then gradually the symptoms of peri menopause began, such as hot sweats, disrupted sleep, low mood, anxiety and tiredness. When my periods had completely stopped the symptoms became too much to handle even with the support from natural herbal remedies, homeopathy and nutritional advice. I felt lonely, despairing, anxious and emotional.

I went back to the doctor who suggested medication that was not HRT, but  something that, when metabolised by the liver, fooled my body into thinking and behaving as if it had enough hormones, such as oestrogen. I remember feeling great relief, the hot sweats diminished, I had more energy, I slept better and felt more like me again.

However, I still had bouts of anxiety, anger and low mood. I was on this medication for about 3 years, towards the end of that time I started getting migraines and more frequent headaches so I was advised to stop taking it. The symptoms came back.

By now I had been struggling with these symptoms for several years and I kept thinking and asking myself How much longer do I have to put up with this? The worst thing for me at this stage was the anxiety, anger, low mood, brain fog, and I realised that psychologically I was struggling to accept the changes, and feeling distanced from a sense of who I had known myself to be.

Exeter women going through Menopause by Caroline Lucas ExeterWhat to do?

In terms of anxiety, anger and low mood things that never made me feel anxious and low before, now did. This was an area where I could help myself, so I decided to practice what I suggested to others. I kept a journal of triggers such as events/thoughts that cropped up, in everyday living, that resulted in me feeling anxious, angry and sad. Then I applied the techniques from coaching and EFT, as and when needed, to support me through these times.

It worked and helped me continue my self development. I became more confident, self assured, happier, calmer able to deal more effectively with challenging stressful situations, even with a continual lack of sleep. I found myself addressing areas in my life that had not seemed a problem before, but now once addressed I felt great relief and became more connected to my sense of self.

Today I’m feeling more at ease with me. I know who I am as an older women and beginning to accept the process of getting older. Even enjoying and embracing it, as a new chapter with it’s unique richness and creativity. A big shift for me was being able to embrace the reality of what is, here and now, and not focus on some illusion of what I thought was important or how I wanted things to be.

Putting things in perspective

I now have the space and capacity to be able to feel even more grateful for my life and the lovely people in it. Focusing on the joy of life and how lucky I have been. To date I haven’t had the challenging medical problems others have had to battle with, and have been able to have a child and grandchildren.

Exeter Forest Walking for Mindfulness with Caroline Lucas path in forestWhat can you do to support yourself?

  • Firstly recognise that you can do something to effect change in your present circumstances, no matter how small that seems.
  • Give yourself time and space to be with yourself. Using this time to become more aware of your repetitive thoughts and the feelings that they generate. Ask yourself Are they supportive or unsupportive?
  • Using breathing techniques and meditation to ease stress, anxiety, learn more about yourself and to connect to yourself and nature. Nature adding it’s own magic to the mix supporting you in so many ways.
  • I am not a dietician but I have had a life long interest in food, not just for pleasure but in terms of healing, repair, and support for various conditions.
  • So I invite you to search out some of the many books that are available regarding helpful foods to include in your diet re menopause.
  • Also check replacing the use of salt in your diet with seaweed flakes. The benefits to health are substantial especially if you are sweating a lot. For more information go to
  • An essential book, in my opinion, to help with all things menopausal. “ The wisdom of menopause” by Christiane Northrup, M.D

If this blog has resonated with you in some way, I would love to hear from you.

We are all individuals and menopause affects us in so many different ways. If you are feeling, lost, anxious, experiencing low self esteem and lack of confidence, sadness, or feeling irritable and even angry at times. You feel you could benefit from some extra emotional support, please get in touch I would love to help if I can.

Whatever you do please do not put up with whatever is going on for you in silence and let the years go by. Sometimes a problem shared is a problem halved. It is important that we get the support we need physically, emotionally and spiritually. Problems become less when you expose them to the light.

Take the leap to look after yourself and your mindset (how you think and the thoughts you choose to dwell on). Become more aware of what is really going on in order to see things differently and to put things in perspective.