Do I have to just accept that I’ll be unhappy for a few years?

I’m perimenopausal and I’ve been reading about what’s next. I’m dreading menopause! 

Believe it or not, you don’t need to! It’s true that vasomotor symptoms like hot flashes and night sweats are physically uncomfortable and inconvenient. In spite of that, research shows that positive well-being is mostly unaffected by those symptoms. Stage of menopause doesn’t affect it, either. 

Self-compassion and a sense of control over symptoms can promote positivity during menopause.

The things you can do to buoy your sense of wellbeing during menopause are the same as at any stage of life. Nurture close relationships with your partner, family members, and friends. That alone is a huge factor in emotional wellbeing. Focus on your strengths and on activities that give you a sense of purpose. Set goals and work towards them. Try to achieve financial stability. Research shows that all those things affect your emotional wellbeing.

One final note: Although more research is required, researchers think it’s possible that self-compassion and feeling a sense of control over menopausal symptoms may also promote positivity during menopause. So you’re doing the right thing by thinking ahead. The more you know, the better prepared you will be, and the more in control you’ll feel.