Women going through the menopause often say they feel alone and isolated as they struggle to talk about their symptoms openly and honestly.
However, talking about the menopause, and breaking down the myths and taboos with everyone from colleagues and friends to children and partners, can make the process much easier to manage.
We talked to Jane Hallam of Esteem – No Pause about her experience and top tips for managing family life while going through the menopause.
Talking about menopause and family life, Jane said: “For women going through the menopause balancing a job, socialising and family life can become harder than ever. You’re often at the age where you’re still looking after your children, but now parents may also require more time and care. This additional responsibility, combined with changes in your mood caused by the menopause, can leave you feeling stressed, exhausted and often quite lonely.”
“However, like most things in life, being open and honest about the way you’re feeling and what you’re experiencing means others around you can be more understanding. The menopause isn’t anything to be ashamed of, it happens to us all, so don’t feel like you can’t talk about it, especially with the people who love you most – your family.”
Here are Jane’s top tips on managing family life while going through the menopause.
1. Remember you don’t have to be superwoman!
Yes you may have spent the last few years looking after everyone around you, but now is the time to accept a little help in return. The menopause can leave women feeling physically and emotionally exhausted, so don’t be afraid to ask for that extra support – even something as small as someone else making tea and doing the dishes, can give you the evening to relax and unwind.
2. Appreciate time alone
We all love our families, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t value our time alone as well. It’s OK to be a little bit selfish at times and find time to do something that makes you happy.
When hormones can leave you feeling depressed and anxious, find ways to combat this. Whether that’s half an hour on the sofa with a good book or an exercise session, this ‘me’ time could really help lift your mood, which will benefit everyone around you.
3. Re-connect with your partner
The menopause can put a real strain on a relationship as a lot of women talk about not feeling themselves anymore. Whether you’re childhood sweethearts or are in a new relationship, it is important you don’t let the symptoms of the menopause have too much of an impact on how you are towards each other.
Make sure that you are still having regular date nights, allowing yourself time for just the two of you, where you can enjoy each other’s company, away from the day-to-day stress of family life.
4. Be honest
A lot of women struggle to admit that they’re going through the menopause as they see it as a sign of getting old. But, as soon as you’re honest with yourself and those around you, you will be able to start managing the symptoms more effectively, meaning they have less of an impact.
For example, many women experience a change in their mood when going through menopause. If you’re aware of the symptoms and can put these changes down to the natural ageing process, then you could rid yourself of some anxiety you would feel if you don’t know what is causing it.
5. Knowledge is power
So take some time to research the menopause, its symptoms and what this can mean for you and others around you.
Visiting one of the many Menopause Cafes that are opening across the country will help you meet other women who are going through the same thing, discuss your experiences and share your knowledge with each other.
Hearing about other people’s experience will help normalise what you’re going through and in turn this will help you to deal with it and discuss it with others around you.
Keep an eye out for more menopause tips from Esteem’s Jane Hallam.
Esteem – No Pause, is a range of nightwear, loungewear and lingerie made specifically for women who suffer from night sweats, one of the most common symptoms of the menopause.
Created by Jane Hallam, the specialist clothing range uses performance tested, breathable wicking fabrics. Esteem – No Pause provide style and comfort to the millions of women who suffer from night sweats, helping to improve their sleep and boost their confidence.
Esteem – No Pause can be purchased exclusively from www.EsteemManchester.com.