natural menopause

11. Stress is a major factor in how women experience the perimenopause. There is a lot you can do to help manage stress…

Stress can instigate and/or exacerbate physical and emotional symptoms typically associated with the menopause. Learning how to manage it can, therefore, make a huge difference. Eating a healthy, nutritious diet, and getting enough exercise and rest, are all important. Taking up something like yoga, pilates or meditation can be extremely beneficial. These are all practices that are associated with peace of mind, suppleness and graceful ageing. They are activities you can participate in as a part of a social group, or do at home. Aromatherapy, and drinking herbal teas, can also be very stress-relieving, and are easily incorporated into your daily life. (See PDFs at the bottom of this section for more information.)


It's important to find something you enjoy. It’s not going to be relaxing and stress-relieving if you find it hard work and have to force yourself to do it! Swimming used to do it for me, up and down, cutting through the cool, blue, clear water, would send me into an almost meditative state. But I have friends who shudder at the thought… I’d combine my swims with a session in the sauna or steam room, and feel so utterly chilled and blissful afterwards… for me it was a great time for thought and reflection, too…


Managing stress also means that we are supporting our adrenal glands. Our adrenal glands produce cortisol when we are feeling stressed or anxious, and they can become very depleted by ongoing stress. Which means they are less able to cope once we get to menopause and they are further taxed – because once our reproductive system stops producing oestrogen, ie when it is going through menopause, the adrenal glands take over. This ensures we continue to have a small supply of oestrogen for a while longer after menopause, typically til about the age of 70.