For some women, the journey towards menopause can be a tough time. And for those experiencing symptoms such as mood swings, decreasing sex drive, weight gain and hot flushes it can feel like a never-ending battle.
But there is hope and there is another way. By taking control of your symptoms, you can transform your menopausal years so they become the best of your life.
How? Take a look a these eight simple tips, my ‘menopause toolkit’, which will help you see the light at the end of the hormonal tunnel:
1: Find a fresh perspective
How do you view the menopause, the state of your health, the ageing process and your life as a whole? Do you believe that the menopause is the beginning of the end or a chance to enjoy a brand-new era in your life? Do you think you’ve been sentenced to suffer forever? Worse still, do you believe that you deserve to suffer?
When it comes to transforming your menopause experience, it’s vital to wake up your mindset and boost your sense of optimism so you can move forward with your life.
Think about how different things would be if menopause was a positive experience. What if you could feel better than ever before?
2: Get connected!
Women are generally fairly social creatures, and it’s important to have a strong network of supportive people around us, who we can turn to for advice, support and love. This can help to reduce reduce our stress hormones and rebalance our sex hormones.
What does this look like in your life? Do you have a strong support network of friends, family, partner, health professionals or other people who really connect with you and understand you?
If not, how could you work to foster these kinds of relationships?
3: Seek nourishment for your soul
It’s not only your physical body that needs nourishment – so does your soul. And lack of ‘soul nourishment’ could impact your health and lead to unhappiness or even depression.
It’s time to make pleasure and fun a priority. Take long leisurely walks in nature, have great sex, listen to music that helps to lift you, visit an art gallery, take up a brand-new hobby, notice the beauty in your life… whatever you do, make sure it’s what makes YOU feel good. Could you dedicate just one hour of your day to this?
4: Build a sense of purpose
No life can ever be complete without a sense of purpose. It builds our self esteem, lifts our spirits and gives us a reason to get up and live our lives to the max.
What’s your purpose? Do you jump out of bed eager to enjoy the day, or do you merely try to survive as best you can? Are you living your life aligned to a sense of your true purpose, or is it based on obligation and necessity?
Research shows that living your life for others without your own unique sense of purpose has a strongly negative effect on your health and also your happiness. It would be obvious to say that it has a strong impact upon your mood. But it also affects your levels of stress hormones, your menopausal symptoms and even can alter the choices you make in your life.
What would happen if you found your purpose?
5: Pay attention!
Your ability to focus and pay attention is one of the greatest indicators of happiness and life success. Because if you can’t focus effectively, how can you possibly operate at your best? How can you be a good employee, partner, mother, sister or friend if you can’t listen and focus on what is being discussed? How can you remember what you’re supposed to be doing? How can you let your creativity flow if you can’t allow yourself to focus on it? Sadly, brain fog and confusion like this is a common symptom of the menopause, but there is a lot you can do.
Monitor what you are eating and pay attention to how you feel after you eat for at least 24 hours to see if food is playing a role. Do you notice your ability to concentrate shift after eating certain foods? Do you have an energy crash after eating lunch or after exercising?
6: Get plenty of rest
Rest is essential for hormone balance and overall health. Without enough, your stress hormones can go into overdrive, your sex hormones can go haywire and you’ll look older, feel less energetic and fall foul of hot sweats, irritability and even food cravings.
There’s nothing overindulgent about resting. You’re not lazy for listening to the needs of your body and enjoying some ‘me’ time. Consider now how much time you spend resting. Is this really what your body needs? Or do you secretly crave some quieter moments in your day?
Why not give yourself permission to relax? Spend Saturday morning in bed (without watching TV or using your phone!) and read a book, listen to your favourite music or an audiobook. Sink into a warm bath with soothing essential oils. Or do whatever you need to feel relaxed and pampered.
7: Treat your tastebuds
What you eat doesn’t just affect how well you fit into your jeans, it also influences your hormone balance and energy levels. Clean up your diet and you’ll overcome many of your menopausal symptoms.
So what does your diet look like? Are you filling your tummy with nourishing plant-based foods that provide everything your body needs for optimal health, energy and hormone balance? Or are you grabbing something quick and heating it up in the microwave?
Do you rely on processed, pre-packaged sauces, ready mixes and other foods or do you create your own using whole ingredients cooked from scratch?
It’s time to start giving your body what it needs! Fill your plate with nutrient-rich wholefoods such as colourful veggies, lean proteins and healthy fats and notice how much better you feel.
8: Move your body
There’s no escaping the truth. Exercise is absolutely vital for optimal health. So even if we’re sworn couch potatoes, we need to be getting up off our bottoms and getting active if only for the sake of our hormones. Because exercise doesn’t just keep our hearts healthy and burn calories, it also helps alleviate menopausal symptoms and releases plenty of feel-good endorphins. Most of all, it helps us feel empowered, alive and strong so that we can face anything the world might throw at us, including the menopause.
So ask yourself, are you moving your body in the way that it deserves? Do you allow your energy to become stagnant and slow or do you keep it flowing? How could you add more movement into your day?