Menopause can make our joints, muscles, tissues ache or hurt. We often feel like we are losing our minds and our identity, we can become distant and less close in our relationships, we overheat like we are boiling in a cauldron, we may feel mentally, physically and emotionally dried out-literally! Insecure, not worthy, lost, unseen and all those horrid feelings.
But what if it could be different?
What if we can change our perspective, change the narrative, change the story, make some shifts, take some action and reclaim our control?
What if we tap back into our feminine wisdom and intuitions, to help guide and support us, this is not mystical talk this is reality talk!
What if we tap back into our sexiness, we do not have to be young or thin or “perfect” (whatever the f😳ck that means!!! ) or even have to have sex, to feel sexy!!! Right?!!!! YES YES YES, sounds a little when Harry met Sally!
Menopause is a time to PAUSE, to restock, recharge and redefine our new world.
First though, let us remind ourselves how far we have come!
Reflect on all the amazing things you have achieved. Now write them down, enjoy the process and own them!! Some hints to help you.
❤️Your wisdoms; mainly gained through struggles, heart aches, losses, strive and hardships
❤️Your talents; yes you have them!!! how well you love, how infectious is your laugh, leadership skills whether running a business or a family, giving birth, how well you care for your loved ones or self, year after year showing up for work, friends, family, able to peel an orange with your one hand and blindfolded, who knows! Our talents do not have to be big!!! remember ladies its quality that counts not quantity! 😁
❤️What makes you you? you uniqueness? Is it Your humour? Your empathy, compassion, fierce loyalty, protective qualities, ability to seek fairness, your dogged determination, you ability to laugh in adversity, your ability to keep surviving through hard times?
❤️What adventures have you been on, manifested through hard work or impromptu passion?
❤️What ideas or creations have you birthed?
This is a chance for us wise old crones to step back into our brilliance and reclaim our honour. Remember crone is an archetypal figure, a wise woman. So why do we take on the distasteful meaning of hag? let’s take back the beauty of its truth!
Its time to stand up for ourselves, our wellbeing and put ourselves at the top of the list for self preservation!
Why? because it bloody matters! We matter!!
Stress is the number one domino, if it falls then it impacts our body and minds in so may ways. Stress suppresses certain hormones, interrupts our digestive system, impairs our immune system, it is why we do not heal fully.
Stress impairs ours cognitive function, we can’t think straight or make wise decisions.
Stress can impact our sleep quality and quantity, so we are tired all the time rather than rested and energised.
Stress undermines our desires. We experience a lack of energy, drive, motivation, aspiration, inspiration, we then over eat, under eat or just make poor food choices.
Stress impacts our emotional control, it is why we switch off to connection and relationships. It can be why we get angry, vacant, run away, shut down or even melt down. It messes with the regulation of our temperature so over heat, get cold and can be within seconds of each other.
Have you noticed that these symptoms correlate with menopause? Stress makes menopause so much more uncomfortable – but it doesn’t have to always be like this
So, how do we start?
Firstly we have to recognise we all encounter stress, whether that is, or was from childhood, work pressures, money issues, loss of loved ones, no time to answer the never-ending stream of emails that bombard us, we worry about our kids, our parents, our friends, our health, our MENOPAUSE, we can’t mingle due to covid, we worry now about war!
I mean, it is never ending list from little things to huge things but they ALL effect us!
Stress affects important parts of the brain, including the hypothalamus, pituitary gland and amygdella, which impact our chemical balance, e.g. hormones, which in turn impact our emotional states and the quality of the conversation between all our vital organs through the vagus nerve.
Stress produces cortisol, which is made in the adrenals, and there are cortisol receptors in almost every cell in the body. These spikes of cortisol, can keep us in fight, flight, freeze if we don’t let go of the stressors,The we can experience all the above. Reminder, mental fuzziness, emotional imbalances, memory loss, and motivation and drive drops.
Hypothalamus, is in the centre of the brain and is the connector between the endocrine and nervous system. It’s function is to try to keep homeostasis, balance, in the body. Body temperature, hunger and thirst, appetite and weight gain, emotions, sleep cycles, sex drive, blood pressure, circulatory system, digestive tract, and balancing body fluids are to name a few. The hypothalamus reads the information that it receives and responds by releasing the right hormones to try to regain back balance. The hypothalamus and pituitary gland control many of the glands that produce the bodies hormones (the endocrine system)
Can you see why we need to manage our stressors? By managing our stress we can help manage our menopause.
What can we do, what are the controllables?
it is not ONE of these things it is ALL of these things you need to consider!
Nervous System resilience is the key!
⭐️1/ Stress management and mental hygeine- we need to add practices like meditation, sound therapy, breathwork, mindful practices like Yoga, Pilates & Thai Chi. We need time out, walk in nature, garden, listen to relaxing music, have a massage or Reiki to help us reduce stress, reduce cortisol production, and help regain balance to our nervous system promoting the function of regulating hormones.
⭐️2/Emotional balance– learn how to control our emotions through breath work and meditation, acknowledging where we are emotionally, noticing the triggers, doing something about it. Rhythmic breath work will help us to move away from fight, flight or freeze states and reduce cortisol, helping reduce stress and you know the rest.
⭐️3/Exercise – we need to add strength training,HIIT, weighted workouts, Power 45, use weights and body weight for bone health, but also practices like stronger Yoga Flow, Pilates and Garuda Flow, that can also be weight bearing, but are also fabulous for hydration of your tissues helping keep you supple and mobile.
Love your exercise as it releases serotonin, dopamine, and DHEA. Positivity for your body!! Necessary for feeling good and being healthy.
Do NOT overtrain !! if you are forcing yourself to do a HIIT class or go running because you think you should, but hate, it will only raise your cortisol levels and promote the problem. Chose exercise that makes you feel satisfied, happy and alive and feel good in your body and mind. And that may well be a Power 45 class, HIIT,run – It‘s what you do and how you feel about it that counts!! Enabling your body to create DHEA, a positive neuro transmitter, helping boost the immune system and build your body, and make you feel better. Do something you love, you don’t want to feel broken after class, you want to feel happy, fluid and positive with a Sense Greater Peace!!!
Remember – “It‘s what you do and how you feel about it that counts!!”
⭐️4/ PLAY– laugh, be silly, have fun being curious. Go to a comedy show, watch stand up. Surround yourself by people that make you feel good, smile, pick you up!
⭐️5/ Nutrition and blood sugar balance , we need to look after our gut flora (microbiom) avoid caffeine, alcohol, sugar and refined carbs, get enough nutrients, supplements. Eat plenty of leafy green veggies and cruciferous veggies. As this is not my speciality I recommend you see a professional nutritionist or functional medicine doctor.
⭐️6/ Hydrate– definitely my weak point and something I am really trying to work on. Drink plenty of fluids!
⭐️7/ Sleep Hygiene – help yourself by removing blue lights, stay away from computers and mobile phones in the evenings or at least change the light settings. Have soft lighting in the evening. For me personally, magnesium has helped before going to bed, this has helped me change my sleep dramatically. Be mindful what you watch or think about before sleep. Have your bedroom space clean and uncluttered, dim lights, avoid watching the TV in your room, bedroom is for sleeping! Do try to find your sweet spot time to go to bed- I find that if I go to bed before 10pm, I sleep well, if I go to bed after 10pm, it’s much harder to go or even stay asleep. Give yourself enough time to wind down before you go to bed. Go to bed at the same time every night and get up the same time every morning, create a rhythm.
⭐️8/ Environmental toxins– think about what are you putting on your skin? your creams, body gels, shower gels, make up, hair dyes and products, what’s in your fabrics, the dyes and paints in you home, workspace, the cleaning fluids you use, how much time you spend on your mobile phone, computers. This is definitely one I need to reduce. What do you watch – news, movies, tv etc are they cortisol elevating? or soothing your nervous system. And this is a tough one-Toxic people/ relationships – watch out for those too!!!
We are product of the information we feed ourselves, even if you are unaware!
⭐️9/ Be mindful– of what you say, what you hear, what you watch, what you do or don’t do!!!!
⭐️10/ Lifestlye– Be positive, reframe your narrative. Go outside, go for a walk, forest bathe, listen to the birds, the ocean, the wind- connect to nature and be present to what’s there, taking you in the present moment and find appreciation and gratitude can help mental fatigue, and gratitude helps us turn what we have into enough !
Give yourself a hug, give others more hugs, get a massage, stroke your dog, all these things raise the oxytocin!! Also known as the love drug, which plays a role in social bonding, it makes us feel love, connected and safe which reduces stress and again our systems can function optimally and hormones can be regulated.
Surround your self with things that make you happy, buy yourself nice flowers, or pick some from your garden and put them where you can see them. Use your favourite cup for tea or coffee. Use your favourite plates and cutlery- don’t wait for a special occasion- YOU ARE the special occasion! Wear your best workout pants, dress, shoes, hat! who cares! Go out in your comfy joggers and trainers or your smart dress! What makes YOU feel good?
Stop comparing what you used to be, look like, size you were, how many minutes you could plank!!! Stop judging other women for what they do also.
⭐️11/ Ask for help – whether that is from family members to delegate chores, speak to a professional to help with any or all the areas above, including myself. Get help finding coping strategies or for motivation and inspiration. If you are going down the HRT route then please consult a Doctor or professional that is trained and experienced in Menopause and one that really listens and creates something bespoke for you and your needs, we are all different and need different things. ⭐️Communicate, don’t expect anyone to know what you are feeling or thinking, tell them, make sure they understand, don’t presume your words go in, get them to play back what you have said to make sure it has landed.
Let us be the women, who will show up and rise up. Start believing in ourselves and take action. Let us be the ones who are wise, who are grateful, who are proud, who are willing to change the perception and narrative about ageing and menopause and how we approach it and manage it. Recognising menopause is an evolution. We are going upwards and forwards into a new stage. Let us be the wise women who will counsel, model and support our fellow women, mothers, sisters, daughters on what ever part of the journey that they are on.
Let us own our Divine Goddess, let us show the world we matter, the we are willing to put ourselves at the top of self care, self love, self preservation lists, and without guilt, may I add!
Let us find patience, acceptance, forgiveness for ourselves. May we learn to say no or yes when it comes from our heart.
We can be the change, we can set an example so others will follow.
Lets do this!!!!
Start where you are, small steps but make yourself a priority!!! If you are running on empty, what is there to share? You looking after you is gifting others too!
Let’s find our freedom, let’s commit to moving forward.
I am so excited to be implementing many of these actions into our Menopause RETREAT DAY on Saturday. I truly hope somehow you have been inspired, felt hopeful, changed your perspective, and have come away feeling a little more in control and happy knowing you have some plans to implement. If this helps you, I would love to know how? If you wish to be part of the next menopause and stress workshop or Retreat please get in touch.
Other workshops you may find beneficial, Pelvic Integrity, Embodied Breath for Wellbeing and Restore & Reset which are an integration of Yoga, Pilates, Franklin Method, Body and Sound Work.
My SGP online studio package uses these frameworks to help you
Sense Greater Peace through Soul Gratifying Practices.
Please share with the ladies in your life that may find this information beneficial
More menopause blogs coming soon.
love and deep resonance Sue xxx
#menopause #menopausal #stress #stressmanagement #wellbeing