7 ways to help your anxiety during peri-menopause and menopause

by Apr 10, 2019

Handle your anxiety during peri-menopause and menopause


Anxiety during peri-menopause and menopause can have a devastating effect on both home and work life.


Women are more susceptible to anxiety, it’s a fact! Recent studies found that women were twice as likely to suffer than men, and even more so in Europe and the USA.

Everyone feels anxious at times, it’s part of our stress response, it enables us to deal with danger so we stay alive. But when anxiety turns into excessive fear, panic and worry, it can have a devastating effect on both home and work life.

Download our Free Podcast: Menopause in the workplace

Many women find they become more anxious during peri-menopause and menopause, even if they have never had anxiety in the past. Physical symptoms can go along with these feelings, including sweating, palpitations, panic attacks, shaking, nausea and diarrhoea just a few.


What’s causing the anxiety?

1.Cortisol – increased stress levels stimulate constant cortisol release, and too much (or too little) cortisol can interfere with your brain neurotransmitters and increase anxiety.

Tip: Schedule in daily stress management practices, such as meditation, mindfulness, deep breathing, yoga, reading, massage, whatever floats your boat.

Sometimes life can be hard, but it’s important to not allow it to get to you. 3Plus can help you with our Returner Roll-Up Session on Developing Resilience.

2.Sex hormone changes – oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone have a big role to play in how your brain works, and therefore how you feel. Fluctuations after 40 can increase anxiety, depression and general brain function.

Tip: Include plant oestrogens to regulate your levels; flaxseeds, lentils, soy in moderation. Get your hormones tested if you’re considering HRT.

3.Insulin – a high sugar/refined carb/processed diet can push up insulin, which can cause inflammation in the brain, altering neurotransmitters and mood

Tip: Eat a LOW GL diet, plenty of protein, healthy fats and complex carbs, no snacking, and reduce alcohol. This will help to keep your blood sugar stable and reduce inflammation.

4.Thyroid – low thyroid hormones mean a lower supply of energy to the brain, this can disrupt normal mood and function and increase anxiety

Tip: get your thyroid properly tested; ask for TSH, T4, T3 and antibodies. Nutreints to support thyroid include iron, Vitamin A, Vitamin D, zinc, selenium, iodine.

5.Gut health – we now know there is a direct link between your gut and your brain. If your gut isn’t happy (you may have digestive issues, you may not), then it can contribute to low mood and/or anxiety.

Tip: look after your gut by eliminating foods that you might be sensitive to (eg gluten or dairy) for a few weeks to notice how you feel. Try foods rich in probiotics such as live yoghurt, sauerkraut, kefir, kombucha to rebalance your gut bacteria.

6.Nutrient deficiencies – these vitamins and minerals are crucial for brain health – Magnesium (nature’s tranquiliser!), Vitamin D (sunshine), B12, B6 (helps to make neurotransmitters like serotonin), Folate (helps B12 and iron), Iron (carries oxygen to brain cells), Omega 3 fats and zinc, among others. If we don’t get enough from our diet, OR we are not absorbing them very well, deficiencies can occur and cause symptoms.

Tip: Get tested – these are all things we test for routinely – and your Dr should be too. If not, supplementing is very safe (check with your Dr if you’re on medication). Look for methylated form of B vitamins.

7.Emotional issues – anxiety might not be anything to do with your physical body, it can come from emotional issues that affect your self-esteem and confidence.

Tip: No food or supplements can help with this, so you will need to get specialist help with this. I’ve heard amazing things about the Thrive programme, an evidence-based training programme that teaches people the skills and resources to overcome mental health issues and learn to thrive.

If you think the source of your anxiety is more physical than emotional, and you’d like help finding the root cause, do book in a free Discovery call with me or one of the team so we can see how best to help you.


Contact 3Plus for Career Coaching to help you regain control of your career and reach your full potential

Nicki Williams Contributor
Nicki Williams is a qualified Nutritional Therapist, speaker and founder of Happy Hormones for Life, helping women to get back to their absolute best – slimmer, energized, more productive and in full control of their hormones!
follow me

Found that interesting?
Learn more about our services

Individual services

Make your dreams a reality with a professional evaluation of your career to date.

Corporate services

The evidence is in. More women in your company can deliver 35% greater financial returns. (Catalyst)

Upcoming events



📢New Programme available with 3Plus International

“If you have a brain you have a bias” and nowhere is this more apparent than in our hiring processes.

The ‘How to Mitigate Bias in the Recruitment Process’ programme is designed to convey the serious nature of bias in the recruitment process with a focus on gender bias and the way it impacts both businesses and organisations, but in a way that is thought-provoking and engaging.



Full programme details HERE

Dates for the Diary

April 14th - Career Mentoring Session for Ukraine 

April 23rd - Podcast with Ross Thornley on the Future of Work at 11:00

April 26th - How to create a bias conscious workplace - Corporate Workshop

May 10th - How to manage remote teams more inclusively - Corporate Workshop

May 12th - Strategies to achieve work-life balance and stress management - Corporate Workshop


Check out our exciting portfolio of offerings to support your business in upskilling and competence building for your teams, to address the unprecedented challenges that women face in this new totally digital world.


best job search


3Plus Online Learning Programs 





Download and listen free podcasts

Related articles

The invisible older woman

The invisible older woman

The invisible older woman reflects society’s disregard for women beyond their looks and highlights the gender gap in modern culture and a deepening of gendered ageism.

read more