As I walk on this journey of menopause (or peri-menopause) I have discovered a lot about me. I discovered that I am a lot stronger than I give myself credit, but am also a lot weaker in other areas. This stage of life affects women differently, but we do go through similar things. These things or symptoms are foggy brain, sleeplessness, hot flashes, night sweats, fatigue, and weight gain. These are the symptoms I have dealt with.
I have blogged about how I have dealt with some of this (see A Confession). I allowed myself to wallow in my own resistance to this phase of my life. I didn’t want to be 50, I didn’t want to go through menopause. But I finally (with some help of some fabulous women) pulled myself out of it. I returned to what I knew best to take care of me. And with a lot of research I have also added a few things. So what did I do?
- EXERCISE: Not only does exercise get your blood flowing, it helps release endorphins that improve mood. Exercise helps with your energy levels…believe it or not it gives you more energy, and helps with weight loss too. I workout six days a week. I incorporate cardio and strength training. As the saying goes…you’re only a workout a way from a better mood.
- NUTRITION: I have researched how foods affect the body and its systems. I know what foods I need for this stage of my life. I also know that portion control with the right foods (whole foods) work. When your body gets the nutrients it needs and doesn’t have to process the bad foods, it works properly which in turn just makes you feel better and less sluggish. Foods rich in Omega 3, anit-inflammatory and anti-oxident foods, good protein, and vitamin C and D enriched foods are key.
- SUPPLEMENTS: I want to get through this stage without hormones. As I have researched what I need and what will help, I have incorporated the following supplements:
- Magnesium (to help with mood, bone health, sleep, and muscle function)
- Omega 3 (to help with hot flashes, brain fog and mood)
- Vitamin D (helps with mood, hot flashes, night sweats, and cognitive performance.
- MEDITATION: This may sound far fetched, but I do this and it helps. I meditate first thing in the morning to set my day up on a positive note. I breath in the new day and exhale out my frustrations. I tell myself positive affirmations to boost my own confidence.
- ORGANIZATION: Being scattered with no plan is overwhelming and will increase your anxiety (that is already increased from menopause). So every Sunday, I plan out my week – my meals, shopping, business tasks, and any other miscellaneous things. This keeps things going and I feel less overwhelmed, especially when something pops up unexpectedly.
- LAUGHTER: I know, seems silly, but laughter is the best medicine. I know that I have had the mood swings and still do (especially when I go through my closet to pick out something to wear and I hate how everything looks…it seems that it all clings to the muffin top). I have learned to laugh at myself and not take everything so seriously. When something negative starts to enter my thoughts I work to turn it around or laugh at it.
A final thought…surround yourself with people who will lift you up and laugh with you. If you find yourself with people who are constantly complaining about their situation – or other women going through this phase, maybe you need to take a step back. Venting about the woes of menopause doesn’t make it better, and if all you are doing is complaining about it and surrounding yourself with others who complain about it, then you are subscribing to misery. Don’t get me wrong, this stage of life is unpleasant, but we have no choice but to go through it. We do, however, have a choice how we respond to it. My choice is to combat it with knowledge and do what I know will work and not complain about it, but share.
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