Beauty and the menopause. Two words which you don’t often see together.
Does it sound like someone’s twisted idea of a joke or the perfect way to mock you? Because the menopause is a time when everything shuts down and stops working, right?
You’ve had your time, you’re over the hill, and you should just put up and shut up. Your ovaries stop kicking out those eggs, the weight piles on, grey hairs start putting in an appearance and you feel altogether awful.
Beautiful? It can certainly be hard to feel it sometimes, when we’re led to believe the menopause is so dreadful.
But in actual fact, this is simply not true. Ask any women who has already experienced this rite of passage, and they will recount an altogether different story. And the real version has a very happy ending.
You see, the menopause provides a wonderful gift. It gives us the opportunity to learn the truth about real beauty and what it means for our lives.
The menopause can undeniably damage your self esteem – but there are some very easy steps you can take to regain control and feel beautiful for the rest of your life.
The pressure to be beautiful
There’s a common belief that we have to be beautiful to have true value. And by society’s standards, we’re probably right.
We’re constantly bombarded with images of flawless – usually 15-year old – models who have been airbrushed within an inch of their lives, and we are somehow expected to live up to this artificial idea of beauty.
We need to be young, vibrant, fashionable and beautiful, or else we’re utterly worthless. It’s a looks-conscious world and we have to keep up. At least that’s what these images suggest.
The flow of the natural human lifespan doesn’t seem to make a blind bit of a difference to this idea. We’re led to believe that we have to fight tooth and nail against the ageing process. We have to dye our hair, wear the right clothes and fit neatly into a size 8 dress, or else we have ‘let ourselves go’.
And we feel that we have to conform to this idea, or we’ll be on the slippery slope to a blue rinse.
When the menopause approaches
The menopause can be a difficult time. It’s as if you’re holding a magnifying glass over your life. You become more aware of the perceived imperfections, and you’ll likely find yourself struggling with body issues, too.
Trouble is, if you don’t do something about it sooner rather than later, your self esteem could take a nose dive and you’ll end up feeling like a large percentage of menopausal women – unlovable, unsexy, and worthless. You might even slip into a mild depression if you don’t fight back.
And to top this all off, your sex drive fizzles out and you blame your changing hormones even though it’s actually your feelings that are responsible. Relationships can become strained and you start wondering if this is actually the beginning of the end. It’s a difficult place to be in.
We’ve got it all backwards…
It hasn’t always been like this. Women haven’t always suffered in this way once their bodies begin transitioning. In fact, quite the opposite. Traditional cultures and tribes actually viewed ageing as a really positive thing. To them, you don’t get old and lose your place in society, but instead you grow in wisdom and so you gain more respect.
There is no fight in any of this. There is no struggle. It’s just part of the beauty of life.
And that’s exactly as it should be.
You see, your value doesn’t depend on how you look, what you achieve or whether or not you can still have kids. It’s about the beauty you hold within, and not whether you meet certain artificial standards imposed by modern society.
How to feel awesome again
You don’t have to be a victim to the media, modern society, or even your own erroneous beliefs. You can reclaim your self esteem, breathe new life into your relationships and feel that life still has so much to offer. All it takes is a little effort in the right direction.
Here’s are four things you can do now to get started:
1 Say thank you
Since the day of your conception, your body has been working hard to keep you healthy, but you might never have given this a second thought. Like most people, you probably take this gift of life for granted, and waste time worrying about the stuff that really doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things.
But if you take the time to be grateful for the wonderful things in your life, your mental focus will change and you’ll actually feel happier and more positive as a result.
So say thank you. That’s all.
2 Stop comparing yourself
When you compare yourself to someone else, you’re fighting a losing battle. We’re all wonderfully unique so you’ll never ever be like that person you look up to, no matter how hard you try.
The only person you should ever compare yourself to is yourself. Are you really the best possible version of you at the moment? And if not, why not?
3 Conquer your inner critic
You might be the unlucky owner of a voice inside your head that criticises your actions or points out your mistakes. It’s always there, ready to seize any opportunity to drag you down when you’re feeling good, or point out your flaws when the time is right.
But you don’t have to listen to this voice or take any notice of what it says.
It’s not the voice of reason. It’s not the voice of truth.
But if you let it, it will carry right on limiting your life and keeping your self esteem low. Instead, when you hear those familiar mutterings, tell it that you won’t listen unless it has something kind to say, and then get on with the rest of your life.
4 Discover your true value
It’s time to learn to love yourself completely, based on your true inner value, not your thoughts on your appearance and achievements. You bring so much to the world and you really do make a difference even if you don’t realize it right now. People love you, and they love you for a reason.
So don’t settle for second best, don’t put up with unhealthy relationships and most definitely don’t allow yourself to believe that you’re worth any less than anyone else out there. You’re amazing, and you really need to start believing it.
Back to beautiful
It doesn’t matter whether you’re sporting the odd grey hair or wrinkle. It doesn’t matter if your knees have started to play up, or if your fertile years are coming to a close. You are still the same wonderful person you always were. Time will never change that.
So start appreciating yourself for the person that you are and understand that real beauty really does come from within, not the pages of a magazine.