Perimenopause can be a complete and utter emotional rollercoaster, but hey, we don't need to tell you that. 

Quick reality check: during perimenopause, it’s so normal to cry, feel rage and want to curl up into a little ball and hide from the world. We all feel like that at some stage.

Every woman's experience of perimenopause is going to be different and the emotional rollercoaster will be felt by different women in different ways to varying degrees.

If you're over 40, it's highly likely you're in perimenopause so if you've noticed you're more emotional lately that's probably why.  Perimenopause can last, on average, between 5 - 10 years so yes, time to strap in...

Perimenopause symptoms are triggered by the hormonal changes happening in our bodies.

The most common perimenopause symptoms are irregular/heavier periods, hot flashes, insomnia, mood changes and migraines.

As well as the physical symptoms, you might well experience one or more of the following emotional symptoms:

  • Mood swings
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Sadness
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Difficulty retrieving words
  • Loss of memory
  • Fatigue
  • Depression.

You might start to notice patterns around different emotional feelings depending on where you are in your cycle. Which is also easier said than done when perimenopause can also see our cycles becoming increasingly irregular. Some periods might feel different from others when you start not to ovulate (release an egg) every cycle.

Whilst this can feel somewhat despairing, it can help to understand what's happening, that this is a natural stage of a woman's life and that it won’t last forever.

Acceptance (even though that can be hard) is key.

Notice when your energy levels are up and and you're feeling in good form - when you're there, go out into the world and do all the things that you love. 

Then, when you aren’t feeling up to being in the world, allow yourself the time, if you can, to rest and retreat. We know it’s so easy to say that, but tune in and take the smallest windows where you can. 

Perimenopause couldn't come at a worst time (though we can't actually think of a good time to go through it!).  Over 40 usually sees women at a time in our lives when we have a lot going on: careers, kids, animals, elderly parents, mortgages… In all that hustle and bustle, wherever possible, it's important to take time out. 

After all these years, now's the time to make you and your needs a priority. 

Combining exercise and mind-rest by practicing yoga is a great timesaver and a wonderful practice for peri women. Here’s a previous post about the benefits of yoga in perimenopause.

Why Does Perimenopause Mean Emotional Symptoms? 

As we head towards menopause our hormone levels of oestrogen are dropping.  This can cause many of the changes we experience as we move through perimenopause (the transition period as we move towards menopause. Menopause being a point in time when a woman hasn't had a period for 12 months). 

Dropping oestrogen levels can affect the serotonin and norepinephrine within our bodies. 

Serotonin is a chemical released by our nerve cells that regulates anxiety, mood and the feelings of happiness. 

Norepinephrine is both a neurotransmitter and a hormone. It plays an important role in your body's “fight-or-flight” response.  As a neurotransmitter it sends messages across nerve endings in the body. Low levels are associated with depression, anxiety, low energy and lack of concentration.

Risk Factors That Can Make Perimenopause Emotional Symptoms Worse

There are risk factors that can make these emotional changes worse during perimenopause:

  1. If you have a history of PMS you are likely to have experience it more intensely during perimenopause.
  2. Women who have experienced depression at any time in their life have an increased risk of depression in perimenopause.
  3. If you are experiencing sleep issues and not getting a good night's sleep, this can affect your emotions the next day.  You might experience irritability, bad mood and poor memory. 

What Can You Do About Emotional Perimenopause Symptoms?

The good news is that there are lots of things we can do to improve emotional symptoms:

  • Improve your Sleep - everyone functions better after a good night sleep
  • Eating a wholefood diet and avoiding processed foods in peri can help regulate your mood in peri. Here’s our top foods in peri.
  • Movement every day - as well as helping improve emotional symptoms in peri it will help keep up muscle mass and protect our bodies from injury. Find the right exercise for you in peri.
  • Connect with friends and family - talking about it always helps and lightens the load.
  • Calm your mind - find ways to relax. Try yoga, meditation, journaling (writing down your feelings) and/or breathing exercises.
  • Self Care - Look after yourself by doing the things that you enjoy (exercising regularly, doing your hobbies, learning a new skill, cooking, sewing, gardening, painting or art).
  • Try natural supports like Magnesium, to soothe the nervous system - why we LOVE Magnesium in peri! Our Peri Chai Latte is loaded with magnesium - learn more here.
  • Speak to your health professional about bioidentical hormones.
  • Find a counsellor or qualified mental health professional if you feel that you need more help than your friends and family can provide.

Emotional symptoms of peri can be so very different for everyone. It might be a breeze for some and like trudging through mud for others.

Wherever you sit, there are things you can do. Reach out for help if you need it. If you want to find a health professional that understands peri and menopause, this is an awesome directory.

Remember the transition years of peri won’t last forever. If you would like to connect with other perisisters we have a Facebook community you can connect with here.

Other useful contacts:

Click here to reduce anxiety, regulate mood swings with our
magnesium-loaded Peri Chai Latte.



» The Emotional Rollercoaster of Menopause – What It Can Look Like





September 16, 2022 — MICHELLE SHEARER

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