As we celebrate World Menopause Day every year on October 18th, I wanted to take a moment to have a personal heart-to-heart conversation about something that is as deeply personal; menopause. Until recently, it was a topic that was not discussed as openly as it is today, but it is a vital phase in our lives, a shared journey that every woman goes through. It's a natural biological process, signaling the end of our reproductive years, and though many who are in the throws of it may feel differently, know that it's a transformation we should embrace with open arms. We made it! We have lived to embark upon yet another stage of womanhood. Menopause isn't something to dread or be afraid of but celebrated for the wisdom and strength it brings.
Here are a few things I want to share that may help with your mindset, debunk some myths, and give you the confidence and charge to become the ambassador of your health as we enter this part of our womanhood.
The Menopause Mindset:
For our generation, we have just accepted the symptoms and effects of menopause as "well, you know we are older now," or just suffer the impact it has on our lives as if we have nothing to contribute. Many have become prisoners of the changes happening in our lives as if we have no say. This is the archetype of Eyeore, one of defeat.
A Chapter of Self-Discovery
I consider my birthday as my New Year and this year my motto is "Try Something New!" and I have done just that. Menopause is a transitional phase; the opportunity to color outside the lines can be both freeing and empowering. Heck,, I'm participating in DWTS-Charlotte, having never taken a dance class (please pray). This is a time to explore new interests, passions, and talents, embracing the unique wisdom and experience that come with age.
No More Monthly Cycles
White pants any time of year! Think about over the years how many times you had to change a vacation, a romantic rendevous or even plan your nuptials around that time of the month. No more tracking the 28-day cycle! This newfound freedom can be liberating, allowing you to enjoy life without the worry of periods fully. It's a chance to embrace a more carefree and spontaneous lifestyle. #winning
Wisdom and Confidence
They say with age comes wisdom. Menopause is your superpower awakening! It's like proof of your incredible strength and resilience. As we tackle the ups and downs and adapt to these changes, we're unlocking a vault of wisdom and self-assuredness we didn't even know we had. As the young folks say, "We have receipts!" And when you don't care what anyone else thinks of you.... it is priceless! That, my friend, is worth its weight in gold.
This newfound confidence that is both genuine and authentic is what younger women admire about us. It's your secret weapon. Let's embrace this phase with a high-five and a smile because you're a superhero in the making!
II. Menopause- Don't Believe the Hype
Myth -1 Menopause Only Affects Older Women
While menopause typically occurs in the late 40s or early 50s, perimenopause can start as early as mid-30s. Some women experience early menopause due to factors like surgery, medical treatments, or genetics. It would be beneficial for the conversation about the cycles of womanhood to start as early as the onset of the menstrual cycle.
Myth - 2 Menopause Means the End of Your Sex Life
Many women believe that menopause signifies the end of their sexual satisfaction. While changes in hormone levels can lead to vaginal dryness and reduced libido, there are so many treatments and strategies to address these issues. Be sure to speak with your doctor before scanning the overpopulated social media ad campaigns and listening to the woes of others who've become ambivalent. Communication with your partner is essential. This can be the most sensual time of your sex life, as you know your body and what satisfies you. Your sexuality is yours to reclaim. Menopause doesn't mark the end of your intimacy or sensuality. It's a new chapter where sexual health and self-care become even more critical. Explore what makes you feel confident and desirable.
Myth -3: Hot Flashes Are the Only Symptoms
Hot flashes are a well-known symptom of menopause, but they are not the only one. Women may experience various symptoms, including mood swings, weight gain, insomnia, brain fog, and a host of not-so-common symptoms. It's a diverse experience; not every woman will have the same symptoms.
III. Your Body/Your Friend Superwoman of YOU
Being your wellness ambassador during menopause is essential. As there is no one-size-fits-all during this phase, you are with yourself 24/7, 365 days/year. Here are a few ways to champion your health during this transformative phase of life. A holistic approach to your health is so important. Find a tribe of support. This means addressing all aspects of your health: mental, physical, emotional, sexual, and spiritual health. You cannot keep doing what you have previously done and think that you can successfully navigate this phase.
First and foremost, make self-care a non-negotiable part of your routine. This means setting aside time for activities that nourish your body and soul. Whether meditation, yoga, reading, or a leisurely bath, dedicating time to yourself helps reduce stress and enhances your overall well-being.
Stay Active: Regular exercise is your best friend during menopause. It helps manage weight, promotes bone health, boosts mood, and reduces the intensity of hot flashes. Whether it's brisk walks, dancing, or a favorite sport, find an activity you enjoy and make it a part of your daily life.
Nutrition is Vital
You are what you eat, which has a more substantial meaning during this phase of our lives. What we ate 5-10 years ago may not agree with our system. Gut health is essential to how our body processes foods. Make a note of what you put in your mouth. This is the time to eat with mindfulness. Actual health starts on the inside, as someone who has previously tried so many diets, etc. It boils down to rediscovering what my body can take and what it can process.
Create a Tribe of Support
Menopause brings unique changes to your body, and it's essential to have a healthcare provider who understands your needs. Regular check-ups can help monitor your health and ensure you receive the proper guidance and support, whether through lifestyle adjustments or specific treatments.
Remember, you are the captain of your health ship during menopause. If you feel uncomfortable with your doctor's answer, continue to find a solution that works for you. All doctors are not created equal, and many don't specialize in women's healthcare and wellness. By prioritizing self-care, staying active, and seeking professional advice, you become the champion of your well-being, ensuring that you navigate this phase with grace and confidence. Design this as a new lifestyle that will work for you in the long run.
World Menopause Day is a time to honor our unique journeys and the beauty of aging gracefully. It's about celebrating the woman you are today and the woman you're becoming. Let's embrace this change together with love and acceptance.
In my role as your life and wellness coach, I extend my unwavering support to you, assuring you that you need not undertake this transformative journey alone. I am here, and always accessible, to offer my guidance and assistance as you navigate the uncharted waters of this new and exciting phase in your life.