Menopause is a trying time for any woman. From the hot flashes, to lethargy, there isn’t much to look forward to during this period of time. But that’s not all; often mood swings are a common accompaniment, and can turn a day from barely getting by to unbearable. There are things that trigger and sooth these swings:
- Lack Of Sleep – Sleep is notoriously difficult to achieve while going through menopause, for one reason or another, but often as a result of hot flashes that wake you up in the middle of the night. After a period of time, women may become apprehensive of going to sleep, especially when they almost certainly know they will have to make one or more unscheduled wake up calls throughout the night.
The Fix: sleep. Practice a meditation or luna practice before bed with restorative asana. Just do it. Yes, you may wake up in the middle of the night feeling hot and drenched, but go back to sleep as fast as you can. Also, try using fans, or an air-conditioner to help keep you cool through the night. Use sheets made of a cool material, such as cotton, there are also cooling blankets
- Wrong Foods – sugar is notorious for causing drastic mood swings regardless of your age. This is compounded during menopause, however since unstable blood glucose levels coupled with fluctuating and diminishing estrogen levels make for a perfect storm. Caffeine is also to blame, as it cause an adrenal energy crash 1-2 hours after.
The Fix: consume whole foods that offer slower digesting carbohydrates, which keep blood sugar levels steady much longer. Caffeine, should at a maximum be limited to breakfast only.
- Hormones – This is the typical “spark plug” that ignites mood swings on a far more frequent basis. Unknown to many, estrogen plays a part in influencing the synthesis of serotonin, which is one of the primary brain chemicals (neurotransmitters) responsible for maintaining balanced mood. This diminished production of serotonin results in enhanced depressive states, as well as inability to process pleasure.
The Fix: this is tough to address with a one-size fits all approach. Hormone Balancing yoga practice will help lower cortisol levels, balancing thyroid and sex hormones also. Soy-based products, which are known to have an estrogen mimicking action.
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I’m an inclusive, not scary, totally normal yet heavily qualified yoga instructor and founder of YogaBellies® and the Birth ROCKS Method. I’m trained in self hypnosis and meditation and what I love is helping women (ALL women) enjoy yoga without having to whisper all the time and wear fancy activewear that cost a month’s rent.
I believe Yoga is for everyone.