Life’s unfair, in our culture it is the “curse of the first period”, the enduring “monthly misery” and now the “maddening Menopause”.
Only a few years ago “The change” was not discussed, but today there is no escaping it. The word is everywhere,
It is talked about on every radio show and features on day time TV on a regular basis. My question to you is: Is it being discussed for the right or wrong reasons?
In Western medicine, menopause is seen as “a physical process where menstrual periods have ceased for at least 1 year due to the ovaries producing decreasing levels of Oestrogen. This fluctuation in the hormonal system leads to a variety of menopausal symptoms including : hot flushes, night sweats, vaginal dryness and discomfort during sex, difficulty sleeping, low mood or anxiety, reduced sex drive (libido), problems with memory and concentration” – (source NHS UK).This is the message we receive, but it sounds awful, doesn’t it?
Inevitably and understandably, women begin to identity their symptoms against this list. As we can now share so much of this information there is a tendency by some to discuss every detail of their misery, discomfort and inability to function normally, and not just to their friends.
The younger generation is all ears too, this has become an acceptable subject for discussion in the workplace, regardless of who is listening. Everyone is talking about it: “it is scary”, “Just you wait” and “it will happen to you too”…
May I whisper something to you?
Do you think that all this hype is turning Menopause misery into some kind of a compulsory self-fulfilling prophecy? Presented with the constant barrage of vocal celebrities outdoing themselves in describing every single drop of a night sweat and foggy brain, do we feel compelled to join in “the Club”, because if we don’t, we are made to feel like outsiders?
I do not deny that there are women greatly affected by crippling symptoms. The question should be, can we really blame the Menopause alone for that? We can go to doctors to get HRT, as this is seen as the main solution to ease the symptoms and it might help us to function better.
However, we should be examining the possibility that our lifestyle and stress are huge contributing factors to our discomfort. Perhaps we should consider the possibility that the symptoms of this undeniable hormonal change in our lives are magnified due to our reaction to STRESS.
We are the “sandwich generation”: hardworking women, taking care of children and often their parents, working full time, barely having enough time to properly nourish ourselves with quality ingredients. Is it any wonder we feel the frustration and suffer the consequences attributed to the Menopause.
We cannot reverse the Menopause; hence we need to accept it. We are moving to another stage in our life, and this can be a very enjoyable and fulfilling time.
I cannot sort out your life, but perhaps I can share with you some methods which work really well for me and my clients. Although in Esperanza Holistics I treat every client as an individual and tailor their holistic session to their needs, these techniques can be used as a starting point for any of us.
- Start by taking a deep breath, and perhaps a slight pause to think.
- And then another breath, right down into your tummy.
- Now – exhale with all your might!
This will get rid of the stale air hidden deep in the bottom of your lungs, replacing it with fresh invigorating oxygen.
- Inhale as if you are breathing in a precious scent of a beautiful rose.
- Exhale as if you are blowing away the white seed of a dandelion.
If your mind is still busy, try asking yourself these questions:
- What am I grateful for right now?
- What is important to me right now?
- Or instead, just simply breathe.
Congratulations, you have started the process of mindful stillness, you have increased your ability to pause and take stock. Perhaps you thought about some of the following things
- When did I last laugh?
- When did I last take a walk to watch a lovely sunset?
- When did I last take time to read a good book?
- When did I last think about me?
- When did I last have a relaxing session of grounding Reflexology, or eased my aching body with a wholesome session of Shiatsu?
- Why not try it?
In the words of a Chinese proverb:
Tension is who you think you should be; Relaxation is who you are.
We cannot change our lifestyle overnight, but we can take small steps which when added together will get us to our destination. Happier times are ahead when we accept and enjoy the process of aging. Instead of dreading it, why not make these times something to look forward to.