HORMONAL changes around the menopause can lead to physical and emotional symptoms, but the addition of ‘watershed’ moments like children leaving home or parents aging can affect women’s wider wellbeing as well.
With its mission to ‘get well, stay well and thrive’, local charity West Kent Mind (WKM) says that mission includes the menopause.
In a panel event yesterday, timed to coincide with World Menopause Day (October 18), WKM Training and Development Manager Ceri Hodgkiss led a discussion with Jeanette Forder of Phoenix Wellness Coaching, and Daisy Tappenden of Tap Into Your Health.
Jeanette’s own perimenopause experiences have shaped her coaching work with women of all ages.
Meanwhile, registered nutritional therapist Daisy supports clients on a broad range of health conditions, as well as assisting those who want to make lifestyle changes, get in shape, and improve energy levels.
Hormonal changes experienced during perimenopause and after menopause can cause women to experience physical and emotional symptoms, changes in cognitive function and more.
Yet, as Ceri explained: “While hormones undoubtedly play a part in our moods, menopause can coincide with a watershed moment for many women making the emotional symptoms of menopause more acute.”
These milestones can include ‘empty nest syndrome’, with children growing up, as well as increasing care responsibilities as parents or other relatives age.
This can lead to isolation, Ceri said.
“With our children leaving home, we are no longer connected to our old network, or we may find our relationship with our partner or other family members is not as strong.
“It can also be a time when many women feel ‘invisible’ at work, either because they have fallen out of love with a career or because they see opportunities no longer coming their way,” she added.
“All of these feelings will impact our mental health and cause areas of our lives to feel out of balance. At these moments we need to seek help and support and recognise we are not alone.”
Lifestyle and daily routine matter, too, said the panellists, as they discussed how to look after our mental and physical wellbeing.
“Since our gut is sometimes called our second brain, they will also look at the impact of what we eat on (peri)menopause experiences and mental health,” Ceri told the Times.
Appropriately, the lunchtime event finished off with a light meal at The Finance Hub, which supported the event.