First published in July 2013 at: http://menopausemission.com/there-is-a-positive-side-to-peri-menopause-and-menopause
Often when women try to find helpful information on menopause they end up getting depressed or confused over the answers found. The “bad news” appears to outweigh the “good news.” Times are changing and women need to remember not to be hard on their self-worth at any age, we are entering an era where all women matter, no matter what their age. What is most important for woman during peri-menopause and menopause is self-confidence and the ability to know oneself enough to not care about what others are doing or what people think of them. Menopause is a rite-of-passage that needs to be celebrated as a woman’s self-discovery. After a lifetime of learning who you are as an individual, menopause is the final stage in a woman’s life that is challenging physically, mentally, and emotionally in a manner that sets the tone for the life a woman wants to live. The key to having all this is the support of other women experiencing the same stage in life.
Healthy Lifestyle is your priority
Generally, menopause forces a woman to look after herself in more detail. Women need to know that they and their health are the priority in their life. If someone is not 100% healthy it is more difficult to give of themself to family and friends, and all they end up doing is draining their body of energy even more. If your life never focused on the time to put yourself into a healthy lifestyle that focuses on a healthy diet, exercise and personal time, know that you need to begin your own personal life restructuring. Health issues that may have been overlooked in the past will become more exaggerated when you go through menopause.
This is not a time to feel guilty or selfish for looking after yourself, it allows you the ability to be present for your friends and family, as well as be in their lives longer. You are also allowing them the benefit of getting your knowledge and wisdom for many more years. Tackle your worst, most uncomfortable symptom first, and slowly look at how you can relieve yourself from any other symptoms you are going through. You are the only person able to take that first step towards feeling better during this stage in life. “Health,” says an ancient Chinese proverb, “is a person’s wealth.” And you deserve it!
Menopause is a woman’s final stage of self-discovery. All the life-knowledge and wisdom a woman has acquired until this stage gives her the status to be who she really wants to be. There an inner almost spiritual change that sort of clicks into place during menopause. It’s like there is this inner knowing and wisdom that turns on and makes a woman put life into perspective. Many women fail to give themselves credit for what they have learned at this point in their lives and they need to know that if they want to re-invent who they are, they certainly can, and no one is stopping them. The only obstacle in a woman’s life, at this stage, is themselves.
No one can tell a woman how she should be feeling at this stage in life. She can feel whatever she wants. The only thing she should not feel is fear, this stage opens you up to fearlessness. What others say about how you should be acting should not matter. Do what feels right for you. I’m not talking about putting on a mini-skirt and stilettos and turning into a cougar, it’s about not feeling like you lost any life opportunities in the past that cannot be compensated or tried at this stage in your life. Be daring and try all those things you wanted to try, and share your experiences with younger women to empower them to be better people too!
Connecting with your Girlfriends
Talk to and/or reconnect with your female friends for support. Even if it’s been a while since you last spoke to some of your girlfriends, a true friend is always a friend. If your friends don’t have time to talk, look for menopause support groups and blogs. Don’t be embarrassed or shy, but share your experience with a friendly ear that is also going through menopause, or you suspect is about to go through menopause.
If you don’t have friends going through menopause yet, connecting with any friend will make her aware of what to expect in her future and also show her how she can diminish symptoms before they get out of control. Not only are you indirectly helping your friend for the future, you have the opportunity to develop a stronger bond with her by sharing your experiences. All women will experience menopause symptoms at some point.
Know that if your best friend is having success with her methods of combating peri-menopause or menopause symptoms, it doesn’t mean her methods will work for you. Everyone’s genetics, body, lifestyle, stresses, and diets differ, which will most likely provide a somewhat different result from your body type. Take this as an opportunity to compare your lifestyle with your friend’s to see how your lives differ. This may help you narrow down the parts of your life that make your symptoms better or worse than your friend’s. Share your discoveries with other friends and now you have a team that can rally around each other for better health and encouragement. This is a time when female camaraderie strengthens this rite-of-passage.
The reason friendships are so important during peri-menopause and menopause is because many family doctors learn so little about menopause in medical school, and are too busy to keep up with the latest research that often they approach menopause as a natural part of life that women just need to deal with. Sometimes doctors turn to giving menopausal women a prescription for anti-depressants when their menopausal patients can’t cope with the natural changes caused by menopause. Most of the time women just need emotional support from other women at this stage in life, as well as lifestyle changes.
Anti-depressants numb emotions and don’t allow women to feel a sense of empowerment or encourage a woman to change bad lifestyle habits. A friend will sympathetically listen to you and provide you with the support and encouragement that will snap you out of dark thoughts. A friend will encourage you to make better diet choices, join you in a new exercise class, and tell you when you need a little personal time to decompress. A friend will also help you research all the options available to help you through your symptoms, and share their own personal experiences on how they cope with menopause.
Peri-menopause and Menopause are a time in a woman’s life that doesn’t need to be negative. Don’t fall into the trap of believing all the negative information in the media. It’s a time where women can focus on their health and not feel guilty about it. It’s a time where a woman’s life lessons begin to come together and are shared with other women. The key is having other women behind you like a good support group, friends, and menopause blogs that will have your best interest at heart and prevent you from becoming confused, overwhelmed, and depressed and keep you on a path of better diet, exercise, and personal time. Your chosen form of support will empower you and keep you positive to get you through the uncomfortable symptoms and encourage you to be the person you always wanted to be. This is your opportunity to respect yourself enough to go after your dreams and know there are no limits to your self-worth. You have earned it!
Photos courtesy of: stockimages, Rosen Georgiev, and Sira Anamwong at FreeDigitalPhotos.com