They say that some people sail through the menopause, and others really struggle. Around 8 out of 10 women experience symptoms in the run up to the menopause and of those 45% find their symptoms difficult to deal with.
My mum was one of those that struggled! Looking back though, all I really remember was the hot sweats and sleepless nights she had to deal with, the visible signs. And that’s still the most common symptom that people associate with the menopause, probably because you can’t hide it. And most women suffer silently.
Sure, it’s a biggie, but there’s a lot more, as I discovered when I found myself in the ‘peri-menopausal’ stage. And for those of you that don’t know that that is, it’s the period leading up to menopause, which can last a few months or up to 10 years, in which your oestrogen levels start to drop. And because up until recently menopause has been one of those things we just get on with and don’t talk about, I didn’t recognise that lower oestrogen could be the reason my hips ached in the night. I mean who knew that oestrogen had anything to do with your joints? Or that it could be causing the frequent urinary tract infections I was getting. Or make me forget words (which we jokingly call word salad) and lose concentration?
But the thing that really took me by surprise was the anxiety that just seemed to pop up out of nowhere. I mean, one minute I was fine, doing my thing and being happy about it and the next thing I knew I was weepy and anxious, panicking about the slightest thing. It was like PMS but on steroids!
Thanks to those women who have recently started talking about it, like Meg Matthews and Andrea McLean, I had an inkling of what it could be and started to do something about it. But I have read about women who were convinced they had dementia because of the memory loss and brain fog. That’s not right!
I’m also seeing an increasing number of clients who are struggling with rising anxiety levels and who can’t understand why. Well ladies let me shed some light on that. When those oestrogen levels drop your body compensates by releasing more noradrenalin, a hormone which increases anxiety. Great! And not only that, but you’re typically going through the menopause at an age when you might be caring for parents as well as children and have a lot on your plate. You’re also dealing with the fact that you’re entering a new phase of your life; it can feel like a loss of sorts as you lose your fertility and you’re faced with the fact that you’re not getting any younger! And if that wasn’t enough, you’re going red faced and sweaty in meetings and losing your confidence! No wonder it can feel like an anxious time – that’s a lot for us to deal with.
So, I’ll tell you what I tell my clients; this is the time when you need to focus on yourself. You need to put some strategies in place to be healthier in body, mind and spirit. Some of these might include:
• Exercise – we need more weight bearing exercise at this age to strengthen bones, plus it makes us feel good!
• Eat well – magnesium,(no not Magnums – I wish), is a mid-life health game changer so look into it!
• Take time out to relax, your brain needs this time to process (daily) any stress and anxiety you have accumulated. You might want to try and app like calm, headspace or clarity, specially designed for women!
• Prioritise sleep and if you’re not getting enough, rest during the day is even more important
• Make time to see your friends. Let your hair down and have a laugh. Spa day anyone?
To help all you menopausal women out there relax, I’d like to give you free access to my download. Go to my website www.stepaheadhypnotherapy.co.uk, look under the hypnotherapy tab for the relaxation CD and use the password stepaheadhypnotherapy2018
Also, this is a period of transition; so why not use it to make some changes? Now’s a great time to reflect on where you are and refocus on where you want to go next. You’ve got so much knowledge, life experience and power, so why not use it to make your mid-life your best life?
Come on ladies, let’s do this!!