What it is all about the menopause which has us running in the opposite direction trying to grab our youth? You’d have thought my home was under attack when I first started to experience it several years back. Fearful of the symptoms it brought with it, I fought against it, leaving myself in a constant state of anxiety, feeling drained and emotionally out of balance.
Why do we resist an inevitable part of life, a transition to another stage? How many other girls out there were experiencing the same problems as me? Something I had dreaded had came if I was ready for it or not, I feared losing my looks, my shapely figure, stressed my husband could trade me in for a younger model, as this appeared to be the fashion today. The biggest fear of all was the inability to have a child, being not able to bring another human being into this world.
The cessation of periods meant the end of my childbearing years, a tough one to come to terms with. I was aware that within this process, life had taken that choice for me. The reality was this, I could cry about it all day for another twenty years or I could learn how to accept it. Once I realised this was going nowhere, I stopped fighting against what was a natural part of my life and started to go with the process of change.
The main question I asked was what can I do to help myself? I started researching and talked to other girls who were in precisely the identical place, most if not all were on HRT. Determined I did not want to go down the path of HRT myself I decided to practice what I preached and took a great look at my life. Sexy flashes and mood swings were a regular event. On one occasion when out for dinner with my husband as I tucked into roast beef my face became redder and redder. In the center of the restaurant I found myself peeling off the jumper I had been wearing to reveal a somewhat skimpy see through vest underneath, much to the entertainment in the other diners.
My husband just ignored it and carried on eating to save me additional redness of face. This was a breakthrough, then I’d always go out armed with many different garments tucked away in my bag, so if the wipes hit me I could slide to the women and change into something cooler. We chose to sitting at opposite ends of the living room to have our evening discussions; I was in the throws of hot flushes at the moment, so whilst my husband sat huddled over the radiator for heat, I was sat through an open window breathing a sigh of relief.
We had been in the depths of a Yorkshire winter and the freezing air blasted into the area creating a sort of North Pole effect. Bedtime triggered even more hilarity as I pulled the covers off and on all night kicking my legs in and out based on the seriousness of heat I was feeling. He on the other side of the bed was wrapped up snugly in an apple pie style, terrified I’d take the sheets . I went through my linen cabinet donating all of my old flannelette sheets to charity and replacing them with crisp cool cotton ones, bliss! I was beginning to search for other positive ways to enhance my quality of life. It took a while but I eventually realised that by labelling what I saw as the dreaded menopause I was making it.
So I changed my attitude towards it, stopped calling it the dreaded, and recognized it as part of life, rather than pushing it away. What a step ahead this was, yes I was still using the temptations but due to my change in attitude I suddenly did not mind anymore. As opposed to seeing them as the enemy, I enabled the senses to just happen. If it scares you believe me there’s nothing to fear, I had embraced a yes solution to the menopause which I found worked. Once this happened I wanted to make additional improvements.
Being a life coach helped me to reevaluate where I was in my own life. I started focusing my energies on what other positive measures I could take and made a few lifestyle changes that were of enormous benefit. I loved been outside in nature so I would go for a walk, sometimes I’d take the car to someplace beautiful and simply sit in the fresh air. I took a picnic with me so I could spend the day there. I had a favorite book to read and gave myself the- me time I wanted. Having worked with women for several years I knew from experience that we could be guilty of not allowing ourselves time and space to cultivate our own requirements, as we tear about looking after children, spouse and pets.
It’s important to do things you enjoy, whether it’s gardening, walking, dance, whatever feels best for you. It’s time for listening to the wisdom of your body, in other words allowing your body talk to you; it will inform you by how you feel, and if you listen it will pay dividends. Never be afraid to try something new, the menopause has been a period of exciting change for me. I’ve written a novel, started Pilate’s and tai chi began to grow my own veggies, and rescued chickens, all things that have given me great satisfaction and enjoyment.
I discovered a new interest in food and what it was doing to my body. I spend time at the supermarket reading labels like I wish to understand what I am eating as far as budget will allow I buy organic vegetables, especially in winter when I can not grow my own. I need to minimise any chemicals in my body. I sourced a local box scheme which introduced me to seasonal veggies as opposed to eating out of season, this motivated me to get creative in the kitchen. Roasted butternut squash with garlic and herbs sprinkled with sunflower seeds is a firm favorite. I’ve experimented with pulses, introducing new ones into my diet slowly.
Far from being dull, they livened up dishes, which I test in my husband, who frequently raises an eyebrow, muttering under his breath about where his steak and kidney pie is! I was adapting to my new life, finding confidence in my skills. I was realising I could possibly make it harder on myself or I could see it as it was, the start of something new in the book of life. There are lots of things out there to assist with a few of the discomforts of the menopause, homeopathy being only them, I found it to be of excellent help.
Make sure it feels right for you and you opt for a professional you feel comfortable with. Among the best ways to help yourself is to try and have a positive mental attitude, not necessarily easy I know. Try and concentrate on all the good things in life, be thankful for what you have, it is the tiny things which make the difference. Don’t lose sight of this fact you can still live life to the full. Take the chance to turn it into something great.
Speak with friends who can empathise with you, speak with your partner. If you’re feeling uptight about things, be fair; do not be afraid to express yourself, you may be amazed at what happens. A word on relaxation or meditation, do not underestimate the power of it. This can be a excellent way to help yourself if you’re willing to give it a go. I’ve been meditating for a long time and would not be without it, the health benefits are enormous, and very positive indeed.
For me it’s as much part of my everyday life as putting on lipstick before going to work. If you hate the concept of sitting in your home to do this you will find a few excellent groups around, and they’ll provide you the support you will need to get you started. Last but not least be kind to us, we do not get it right all the time, and we do not need to be perfect, but we could learn how to live with the menopause, and make it a positive transition, as opposed to seeing it as the end of our lives. Invest in the support of a mentor who can help you make the changes you need to make. As someone very near me always, says. It’s work in progress.