If you have been more worried or fearful than usual, have you considered that you’re experiencing anxiety as a symptom of the menopause?
Bearing in mind the chaos and uncertainty of life over the last couple of years, and in recent weeks, the rising costs of living, it is understandable that many of us are experiencing heightened levels of anxiety. While leading busy lives, juggling work and family, you may only notice that you have become much more fearful and prone to worrying when it starts to become a problem and it’s having an impact on your life.
Menopause, or more accurately perimenopause, is the few years prior to the end of a woman’s period. According to the NHS, during this time, most women (about eight in 10) can experience many different symptoms including hot flushes, night sweats, reduced sex drive and anxiety and depression.
In recent years, there have been many campaigns and petitions to raise awareness about how much menopause symptoms can affect the lives of women and by association their loved ones. Doing her bit to support menopausal women is Reading born and bred entrepreneur, Marva Williams. Williams’ award-winning Shhh…Menopause Wellness range was recently stocked in the John Lewis store in Reading.
As the founder of a brand designed to support and encourage woman who are going through the menopause, and help ease their physical and emotional health, we asked Williams to shed some light on anxiety as a symptom of menopause.
Here’s what she said.
How common is anxiety a symptom of menopause?
During Peri Menopause and leading up to Menopause, anxiety is common in women. One of the reasons for this is the depletion of the hormone Estrogen. Also another key hormone, progesterone, can fluctuate in our bodies. This can cause feelings of anxiety or depression. But frequently, it can cause troubling high anxiety including panic attacks.
In your experience do women make the connection that their anxiety could be caused by menopause?
Most women I speak to do not associate or connect menopause to anxiety. Most woman associate menopause with hot flushes and their periods stopping. I believe more needs to be done to educate women on the different symptoms of menopause. My team and I are in the process of developing an App, that will be launched soon at the Reading branch of John Lewis.
What are some natural remedies for alleviating the symptoms of anxiety?
Essential oils and magnesium are my go to, that is one of the reasons I use magnesium in the products I have developed.
Magnesium plays an important role in our bodies and has a number of health benefits. Magnesium is known to be helpful as a natural treatment for anxiety. Coriander essential is known to assist with stress and anxiety. Cypress Essential Oils can help with anxiety and depression. We use Coriander and Cypress essential oils, in our Allay Anxiety Range.
What other coping mechanisms to reduce anxiety? Exercise? Self care?
Movement and light exercise is important for women. A 10-minute walk may be just as good as a 45-minute workout.
Selfcare is so important, I always say to women, take some me-time. Run a bath, add some salts, put on a diffuser or light a candle and sit back and relax. It’s so simple but it really works wonders.
Why did you decide to create Shhh… Menopause Wellness?
Shhh… is a labour of love, due to my own personal experiences. Too many women are misdiagnosed for years and their lives are thrown into turmoil. I feel that it is important to break the taboo around talking about menopause. I want women to know that they are not alone. It is time to get the conversation going. We will be launching the Shhh… Menopause Collective App at John Lewis Reading. This will be not only a resource for women, but we want to provide a community so woman can share their stories.
Any other advice to share with our menopausal readers?
Menopause is a rite of passage and should be celebrated. One in four women going through menopause experience severe symptoms that impact their day to day lives. It’s important that they realise that they are not alone and it is good to talk to other women about what they are going through.