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How to improve your menopause journey

How much do you know about the menopause and what you could expect? As a woman you will go through the menopause at some point in your life and there’s no getting away from that. It’s quite simply a natural part of our life, yet it almost feels embarrassing to admit this is where we’re at. And this is simply because it isn’t talked about enough and we haven’t been educated in it. It’s more than just moodiness and hot flushes!

Now, the issues we do encounter will however vary from person to person, but we can help reduce/ alleviate some of the symptoms by managing the changes and not letting them manage US.

So how can we get through it as unscathed as possible:

1) Change your mindset. Don’t dwell on what others have said about their own ‘awful’ experience with every symptom under the sun. This may not happen to you (again, everyone is different), so don’t let yourself fall into that negativity trap. Don’t see it as the end of the world – see it as a new beginning.

2) Look at your own symptoms, monitor them and work out what it is that you need help with. Do your research. Is it manageable or do you need to speak with a healthcare professional about other options. It may be a case of having a hormone test to see where the deficiencies lie, which will then dictate what your plan of action should be. I’m not qualified to talk about HRT, but maybe this is the path you take, but equally you may manage with simple changes to your lifestyle.

3) Get active. As we age we lose muscle mass and bone density. This combined with changes in hormones and us typically being more sedentary (too many of life’s chores to do, that exercise time is at a premium), means that we also seem to attract fat around the midline. This can lead to other issues such as diabetes if we don’t keep on top of it. That and no-one likes to look pregnant 10 years after they had their last child! So, sort yourself out a routine that incorporates weight training, HIIT and some stretching/flexibility work.

4) Practice self care. Take some time out just for you. Maybe a bit of meditation for mindfulness. Maybe some yoga/Pilates to work on the mind body connection and getting to know your body. Maybe just a good book and a cuppa for some escapism. We spend so much time looking after others (yes, kids, I mean you!) that this can lead to resentment and feelings of low self worth. By giving yourself this important ‘me time’ (in whatever format that might be), you’ll feel better able to deal with everything else and feel much more in control. Don’t feel selfish or guilty about taking this time – you need it!

5) Get gut healthy. If your gut isn’t happy then it can result in an unhappy body, so ensure you’re getting the right nutrients and eliminating the foods that don’t work for you.

6) I know it’s hard, but try and stress less. We all have such busy lives and our brain is a whirr of ideas and thoughts, so we find it difficult to switch off. I especially find it hard to relax and go to sleep. Stress doesn’t help though as it affects our hormones which then results in some lovely menopausal side effects! As mentioned above, invest in self care, exercise and eating well, as well as improving your time management and set limits so you’re not at the beck and call of others.

7) Above all, remember that this is a natural process and it will ultimately get better. You managed puberty and some of you will have managed pregnancy and childbirth, so you can do this! And don’t forget, you are definitely not alone, so get the help and support you need.

This is clearly rather simplistic and there’s a lot more to it, but I hope it helps in some way. I haven’t gone into specific exercises you could do or foods you could eat (it could end up turning into a book if I did!) but if you need some help in these areas then I offer online and in-person packages specifically targeted at women who are starting their journey. Get in touch if you’d like more info.

Caveat: I will be honest here, I think I'm only just at the starting gates in my journey, so it’s easy for me to give these tips - I therefore apologise to anyone who is having difficulties where these tips just don’t cut it. Please go and speak to a medical professional.


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