Even though half of us will experience menopause, it's still very misunderstood. Explore this guide for helpful information and advice to better understand your body, its transition and access support along the way.
Making time for menopause
Learn about the natural process of menopause, how it can affect your wellbeing and where to find the right kind of support.
Menopause is a natural part of ageing when menstrual cycles come to an end as oestrogen and progesterone levels fall. It usually happens between 45 and 55, but timings can vary. There are three types of menopause:
- Natural menopause happens when your ovaries stop releasing eggs and menstruation ends as you grow older
- Premature menopause is when your menstrual cycle stops before 45, either for unknown reasons or due to certain health conditions like rheumatoid arthritis or chronic fatigue
- Artificial menopause happens immediately and is triggered by surgical procedures, like a hysterectomy
Menopause can be challenging to diagnose as it affects everyone differently. You may have no symptoms at all, or experience noticeable emotional and physical changes that can last for days, weeks or even years.
As menopause is related to hormone changes, its symptoms can be very similar to those you might feel with poor mental wellbeing. Look out for the following:
- Hot flushes and night sweats
- Problems with sleep or concentration
- Tiredness and lack of energy
- Low mood
- Feeling tearful or emotional
- Feeling disconnected
- Headaches, muscle or joint pain
- Heart palpitations or anxiety
However you’re feeling, your experience is unique and normal. We’re here to listen, and The NHS has some helpful guidance, too.
It’s a comfort knowing the Bank Workers Charity is there during times of need
– from our client
Steps to stay ahead
Follow the steps below to effectively manage your wellbeing during menopause.
Going through menopause can be overwhelming. Take some time to make a note of your thoughts and worries. Keeping a diary can help you spot patterns in feelings or behaviour, helping you better understand and make changes to improve your wellbeing.
As your body adjusts during menopause, you may notice changes in your sleeping patterns. Take these steps to ensure you’re getting the best night’s sleep possible:
- Plan ahead and make to-do lists before you go to bed
- Stick to a consistent wake-up time and avoid snoozing or napping
- Limit caffeine and alcohol before bed, and avoid large evening meals
- Only go to bed when you’re genuinely sleepy
- Minimise screen time before bed or adjust the screen settings for reduced brightness
- Ensure your bedroom is dark and at a comfortable temperature
- If you wake up at night, avoid clock-watching and try reading, a podcast or a herbal tea
Exercise is a powerful tool for lifting your mood and keeping aches and pains away. Follow these steps as you navigate menopause to stay on top of your mental and physical wellbeing:
Choose an exercise routine you enjoy. From daily walks, to fun workouts with friends that don’t feel much like exercise
Pick something that feels manageable, that way you’ll stick to it
Set aside at least 20 minutes a day for exercise. Block it in your calendar, or set a reminder
The NHS has some helpful ideas to get you started
Speak to others to support your wellbeing during menopause, both those going through it themselves, and those who aren’t. Friends, family and colleagues can all positively impact your thoughts and feelings. From text, to phone, to a walk in the park – stay in touch, to stay positive.
Stay supported in the workplace by speaking to your line manager or HR about a menopause policy. They may offer more helpful solutions like special uniforms to alleviate hot flushes, desk fans, flexible working, and other adjustments to relieve your symptoms.
Menopause can feel stressful and lonely. But helping hands are never too far away:
- Menopause Matters and The Menopause Charity give information and guidance on menopause and managing symptoms
- Menopause Support offers free resources and access to the Menopause Support Network on Facebook
- The Balance app gives advice and guidance on supporting your wellbeing during menopause, tracking your symptoms, and access to personalised content
- Women’s Health Concern provides guidance on managing sexual health, wellbeing and lifestyle concerns during menopause
- The Daisy Network offers access to a support group of women who have experienced early menopause
- If you have a banking connection, we can also help through our partner PAM Wellbeing, with a 24/7 emotional support line, wellbeing app and structured counselling service. Give us a call to chat about a referral
If you’re really struggling with symptoms, or don’t feel you’re getting the support you need, book an appointment with your GP as soon as possible. They’ll listen, assess your symptoms, and talk through a treatment plan which may include hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to help you feel better.
Other helpful guides and resources
Mental wellbeing for adults
Mental wellbeing for children
Phone / Livechat
Emotional support line (PAM)
Phone / Livechat
Relationship support (Relate)
Phone / Livechat
Structured counselling (PAM)
Wellbeing app (PAM)