menopause and lack of motivation
By Andrea Donsky | Fact Checked By Andrea Donsky | Sources
Did your get-up-and-go disappear? Do you feel like you’ve lost your mojo? Are you becoming very good at procrastinating? Sounds like you are suffering from a lack of motivation. And you’re not alone.
What is a lack of motivation?
A lack of motivation is when you feel like everyday activities and events are a huge effort. You don’t get excited about things. You might feel like staying home instead of going out like you usually do, or it may be difficult to get out of bed in the morning.
If this sounds a bit like depression, that’s because a lack of motivation is just one symptom of depression, but it can be caused by other things. You may lack motivation, for example, because you’ve been passed over for a promotion at work, or you didn’t pass a test you felt confident in passing. Such events can crush your self-confidence and put a dent in your motivation. Other factors can cause a lack of motivation, and one of them is menopause.
How is a lack of motivation associated with menopause?
It all starts with the decline in hormones—mostly estrogen and possibly testosterone as well. The drop in hormone levels can result in symptoms such as anxiety, depression, fatigue, hot flashes, night sweats, joint pain, weight gain, mood swings, and much more. All of these factors can be fuel for a lack of motivation.
Let’s say you are experiencing fatigue or joint pain. You used to exercise nearly every day, but now you’re not motivated to do so because you’re so tired or achy. Or perhaps you’re having mood swings that make you less motivated to join in social events. A lack of motivation can be the consequence of menopausal symptoms.
Experts have studied the impact of menopause on motivation, and here’s what they’ve found. More than 20 percent of working women said that menopause had an impact on their level of confidence on the job, while more than 33 percent said it affected their social life and about 50 percent noted that it had an impact on their home life.
How to manage a lack of motivation naturally
You may be familiar with the saying that the first step is the hardest. This is especially true when you lack motivation. However, you can boost your mojo by thinking about what you want to achieve and then tackling these goals in small, manageable steps. Here are a few examples.
- Try affirmations. Yes, it may sound simplistic, but it’s been shown that affirmations have the power to overcome negative thoughts. A study in Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience evaluated the power of affirmations in adults who repeated positive statements. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans of their brains showed that the reward centers in the brain responded to the affirmations in ways similar to when experiencing other pleasurable events, such as winning a prize.
- Identify your motivation challenges. Which menopausal symptoms are affecting your lack of motivation? Do you have insomnia, too much stress, hot flashes, lack of sex drive? If you know your “enemy,” then you can take action. Choose a challenge you want to beat and start the process of conquering it. (There are lots of tips on this website!)
- Get support. You are not alone, so team up with other women who are facing a lack of motivation as well. Buddy up with someone who can help you stay on track and who you can help as well. Look for menopause support groups in your area or forums/chats online. Check for references from your gynecologist or other healthcare provider.
- Destress. You can help restart your brain and your motivation by relieving the stress you are holding in your body. Find a fun exercise and to it! Take time to meditate every day, even if it’s only for 10 to 15 minutes. Take a walk in nature. Watch funny videos. Learn easy yoga poses online. Do karaoke online in the privacy of your own home. Start a new hobby you’ve been wanting to try.
- Nourish yourself. Good nutrition is critical for motivation. Focus on whole, natural foods, stay well hydrated with water and herbal teas, and avoid alcohol, caffeine, and added sugar. This is a good opportunity to buddy up with someone who can help keep you motivated to eat well.
When to see your doctor
If you have not been able to manage your lack of motivation, it begins to significantly affect your lifestyle, and is accompanied by other symptoms of depression, such as anxiety, fatigue, suicidal thoughts, excessive crying or irritability, social isolation, lack of concentration, or changes in sleep, contact your doctor. You may need more techniques to help you overcome these challenges.
Many women in perimenopause and menopause experience a lack of motivation. You can get your mojo back by adopting some lifestyle changes and reaching out for support.