How to Help Anxiety and Mood Swings

woman with anxiety

The hormonal changes associated with perimenopause and menopause can cause mood swings and anxiety in some women. There are many options for managing these symptoms. From medication to lifestyle changes, you may find one or two options that work best for you. The best way to learn to manage your anxiety and mood swings during menopause is to consult your doctor for guidance. She can help you safely explore the options we’re going to outline.

Lifestyle Changes

While internal hormones may be to blame for your fluctuating moods and agitation, there are still things you can change externally to help manage things. Try to identify things in your life that are causing you stress and anxiety. After you identify them, look at solutions for removing those things from your life. Or if you can’t remove them, find ways to minimize their influence on your life. For instance, if you find yourself anxious or overwhelmed due to work or family commitments, think about how you might lighten your load by setting boundaries and asking for help. Easier said than done, but it can help you feel better.

Other lifestyle changes like introducing regular exercise into your routine can also help you work off anxiety and lift your mood. Making sure you get the proper nutrients with a mostly healthy diet will also help with your mood. Don’t deny yourself a treat if it gives you a boost, but most of your meals should be balanced and consist of whole grains, fruits, vegetables healthy fats, and lean protein. When you do all you can to keep your body happy, your mind might follow suit.


Another way to manage mood swings and anxiety is by practicing basic self-care. While pampering and spa treatments are often what springs to mind when the term “self-care” is thrown around, it’s really much more than that. Self-care is about checking in and caring for yourself as well as you would care for another person. 

That means prioritizing your physical, mental, and emotional health. It’s about nurturing yourself so you are better equipped to take on the demands of life. And yes, self-care in some forms might look like taking the time to have a long bath or get a massage on your own. But it can also include exercising, eating well, meditating, or dedicating time to something you love without worrying about how it benefits someone else. Find what most centers you and make an appointment with yourself to do it often. 

Counseling/Talk Therapy

Some people think therapy is only for people who have a mental illness or who have gone through great trauma. However, therapy can be beneficial for most people if they are open to talking through their thoughts and problems to find solutions. There’s nothing wrong with seeking an unbiased person with whom you can talk things through. 

Menopause is not an illness, but it is still a transitional phase that many people have difficulty navigating. It’s natural to be emotional during menopause and perimenopause for a number of reasons. Again, the mood swings and anxiety associated with hormonal imbalance are caused by internal sources, but you can address your feelings externally to help manage your symptoms. 

Medication and Hormone Therapy

You should talk to your doctor about any and all methods you use to manage your anxiety and mood swings, but when it comes to medication and hormone replacement therapy (HRT), you must work closely with your healthcare provider. A Certified Menopause Practitioner may be best suited to help you determine which type of treatment (or combination of treatments) will work for you.

Often, nonhormonal prescription medications can be used to treat the mental and emotional symptoms of menopause. Antidepressants like SSRIs can help with depression and anxiety. Some antidepressants may also help treat hot flashes, so that’s another reason to ask your doctor about them.

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) treats menopause-related anxiety and mood swings by addressing the core cause of the symptoms: hormone imbalance. There are several types of hormone replacement therapy available and a menopause practitioner with experience in HRT can guide you through your options.

Contact Chapel Hill Gynecology

Dr. Karen Clark of Chapel Hill Gynecology is an experienced OB/GYN and NCMP. She specializes in menopause management and HRT. If you have managing your anxiety and mood swings, Dr. Clark can help you navigate your treatment options. Call Dr. Clark at (919) 960-2720 to schedule an appointment.


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