Do you feel like your get up and go has got up and gone?
Your usual zest for life is lacking and you’re finding it hard to get on with anything. You just can’t be bothered. You don’t have the energy – and it can wait until tomorrow.
You used to love your job, but now you don’t want to go to work. You’re not fussed about your favourite drama series. Why do you feel so flat? What’s causing this lack of motivation in the perimenopause?
You won’t be surprised to hear it’s down to oestrogen levels. Add this to progesterone, thyroid and adrenal hormones playing hide and seek instead of regulating cellular energy in your body, it's no wonder you feel lack-lustre.
Other linked signs of the perimenopause and menopause are brain fog, irritability, difficulty concentrating and memory lapses. If you also have difficulty sleeping and draining physical symptoms like hot flushes, then we don’t blame you for pulling the covers over your head rather than jumping out of bed in the morning.
If you’re feeling this way, then it’s time to take special care of yourself.
You are dealing with a lot of physical change and probably juggling like mad at home and work too. It’s time to give yourself an MOT and find your spark again.
Yeah, yeah, yeah – everyone’s always banging on about ‘me time’, but you just don’t have any daylight in your diary. Well it’s important you make some. If you want to feel better, this breathing space is vital.
Put yourself first and do whatever you want. Even if it’s only for an hour. Catch up with a friend on the phone or in person. Take a walk. Read a book. Have a beauty treatment. Just take some time just for you – and your mind and body will thank you for it.
FIND NEW THINGS TO LOVE
If you’re tired of the same old, same old… why not find something new to do?
You know that feeling when you’re caught up in something, utterly absorbed? It’s so good for your mental health.
Why not resurrect a long-abandoned hobby from your childhood? Or perhaps take the plunge and do something you’ve wanted to try? Bring some fresh air into your everyday – and you will benefit from a fresh focus in life.
APPRECIATE WHAT YOU HAVE
When you’re fed up with everything, it can be hard to feel grateful for what you already have.
Remind yourself. Dust off that lovely notebook and write down three things you’re thankful for every day. This simple but effective exercise can really shift the way you think and feel.
GIVE YOURSELF PERMISSION
You don’t have to force a smile or pretend to be OK when you’re not. None of us can be tickety boo all the time.
Negative states can pass more quickly if you let yourself be mad, sad and everything in-between. If you find it hard to let your emotions go, it could help to see a talking therapist.
KEEP YOURSELF HYDRATED
Take in a couple of litres of water a day and feel your energy levels rise.
Many dehydration symptoms mimic or exacerbate those of the menopause. Fatigue, joint aches, itchy skin, mood swings, memory loss and headaches all get worse when our body is thirsty.
Make sure you drink enough, and don’t sap yourself by consuming too much caffeine and other diuretics that make you wee and deprive your body of vital fluid.
BOOST YOUR NERVOUS SYSTEM
Many women lack key vitamins and minerals during the menopause, and this can drastically affect their joie de vivre.
Take a good multivitamin or individual supplements where you need them. Vitamin B tablets can give you a real energy boost, while magnesium can help you sleep which you can either take orally or use a spray oil on your skin before going to bed.
HINTS AND TIPS FOR THOSE WHO WANT TO SUPPORT SOMEONE THEY THINK MAY BE ENTERING OR IN MENOPAUSE
It can be frustrating if your partner or friend suddenly loses all their get-up-and-go. But it’s not their fault and making them feel rubbish about it won’t change things. Help them get their mojo back with some of these tips.
OUR ADVICE TO THEM
Managing this symptom is all about self-care, which is why we’ve recommended that they cut themselves some slack, takes time to appreciate the good things in their life and considers opening up to a friend, relative, partner or counsellor about their feelings. Staying hydrated and eating well will help them too.
GO WITH THE FLOW
The truth is going to social events when you’ve got no oomph is hard work, as is the pressure of keeping up appearances when you’re not feeling like yourself.
Be prepared for plans to change at short notice and try not to put them under any pressure, even if it means you are missing out as well.
SUGGEST A SUPPLEMENT
Some people find vitamin B gives them a boost when struggling with this symptom.
Why not gently ask if they have tried anything like that?
FIND A NEW FOCUS
We can’t wish symptoms away, but it sure helps if we can find something nice to distract ourselves from them for a while.
Give yourselves and your relationship a new lease of life by finding something new to do together. Take their lead and encourage her to try something new with you by her side.
MAKE SURE YOU ARE MENTALLY WELL
You may find it easier to support them when they are dealing with menopausal mental health issues if your head is in a good place.
What do you need to bolster yourself so you can weather their hormonal storms? Decent rest, good food, exercise and the right people to talk to will all help. Take care of yourself and you will be able to find the patience and understanding to help them too.
GET SOME SUPPORT
If you are at a loss as to what to say or do – it may be the right time to draft in the A-Team.
No, we’re not suggesting you helicopter B.A. Baracus into your back garden… just talk to a mate who’s coped with a similar situation, ask occupational health if you’re at work, or enlist professional help in the form of couples counselling. You don’t have to figure it all out on your own.
If you’re worried about lack of motivation, you should see your GP who can discuss your symptoms in the context of the menopause.
If you'd like more information, we have put some further references below for you: