What to do with Menopause

What can we do about this invading, insidious thing that has taken over our body and has us feeling so vulnerable.

What catastrophic surprises await women entering their fifties. Seriously weird changes start happening. Maybe for some it began earlier but by our fifties we all start to notice changes. Changes in our metabolism, in our body shape, where’s my waist gone; once we could eat whatever we liked but now as soon as we look at food, we pile on the kilos. So, what’s happening??

Our changing body shape makes us feel less attractive, even if our partner says, I love you, you’re beautiful… the thing is, we’re not feeling the love for ourselves.

We’re starting to feel invisible… we seem to go unnoticed by waiters and shop assistants who always seem happily engaged with some woman, younger than ourselves.

And then things get worse … Hot flushes!  Something happens to our body’s thermostat. It becomes completely faulty; one minute we’re boiling hot and can’t get our jumper off quick enough, then we start to shiver and can’t get our jumper back on quick enough; then we repeat the whole process over and over and over again and again and again… This makes eating in restaurants and movie going very difficult and we never know what to wear anymore.

Now decision making becomes really, really hard… where we were once so decisive and sure of ourselves, we now lack confidence. Please don’t ask what I want for lunch.

Next, we’re waking at night with what is known as “The Night Sweats”, yep that’s what they are… for some crazy unexplained reason our body has decide to drench us in sweat at regular intervals throughout the night. Enough times to deprive us of any good sleep. Now we don’t just hate the way our body shape has change, we can’t stand the way we smell either… It’s leg in under the sheet, leg out, leg in under the sheet, leg out… Hot, cold, hot, cold.

Sleep deprivation is something else. How do we cope with all these changes when we aren’t getting a good night’s sleep? We feel emotional all the time and I mean ALL the time.

Libido… what libido; yep, you guessed it… we’re too tired for sex and anyway we look, feel and smell horrible, so why would anyone want to be intimate with us. I certainly wouldn’t want to be with me. I think I’ll just lie here and cry. The truth is that two important female sex hormones, oestrogen and progesterone are drastically reduced or no longer being produced by our ovaries and this brings with it a whole lot of issues. No more babies, reduced libido, a drier vagina (oh great) and often a sense of melancholy and loss.

Arhhh, yes emotional… we now find ourselves crying for every and no apparent reason. A kitten stuck up a tree, an engagement, people getting married, people getting divorced, people arriving at airports, people departing at airports, babies, old people, pensioners, sad movies, happy movies; it really doesn’t matter why; we just cry.

Now there’s something I’ve been holding back from you, we also become a little, tiny bit aggressive… the once sweet, kind, gentle Mother Teresa turns into a confronting, angry, volatile person. Angry and pissed off with everyone from the supermarket check-out girl, her boss, her work colleagues, her husband, her children, the postman. Not to mention her friends, they’re really getting on her nerves. And then she CRIES.

So, what is this invading, insidious thing that has taken over our body and has us feeling so vulnerable? It does have a name, it’s called Menopause.

And if you think we’re confused by what’s going on, just for a moment consider our loved ones. They have no idea what to say or do because for sure, whatever they do or say will be REALLY annoying and likely to send us off to our rooms, yes you guessed it… CRYING.

Here are 6 things you can do to ease the symptoms of Menopause: –  

  1. Be a priority. It all starts with making time for YOU… You probably have been in the habit of leaving yourself last. Now is the time to be proactive and schedule activities that are going to prioritise your wellbeing.
  2. Reduce your stress. Your ability to cope is greatly reduced when you are stressed and anxious. Audit your day and week and see where you are triggered into high stress or anxiety. Create a plan to reduce exposure and visualise yourself reacting in an empowering way, where you have a balanced perspective, you don’t take things too personally and you’re resilient.
  3. Regular and steady exercise. Yoga is ideal with so many benefits for our overall health and wellbeing. It is a great form of exercise too. However, just adding a daily gentle walk will make such a difference. A healthier body calms the mind and boosts confidence.
  4. Eat well. A balanced healthy lifestyle of eating choices that include plenty of vegetables and a big reduction in processed is the way. Notice I did not say diet. It really needs to be a lifestyle of good healthy eating habits rather than following diet fads.
  5. Be kind to yourself. It’s now time to pamper yourself. Have a massage, listen to soothing music while surrounded by beautiful fragrant candles. Certain fragrances have the benefit of affecting our mood. For example, Lavender, can be so comforting and relaxing.
  6. Breathe deeply. Simple, yet so effective and helps reduce stress as well. Deep steady breathing will bring you to the present, ground you and help you engage the challenges with clearer thinking.

In extreme cases there is help in the form of Hormone Replacement Therapy and many natural remedies may help ease some symptoms. If you’re struggling please seek professional advice from a Women’s Health Professional. There is no reason to suffer in silence, you are not alone, it’s all part of the cycle of life.