There are many different spectrums of menopause. We tend to associate menopause with a natural ageing process, but for some, it happens prematurely or coincides with other ‘lifequakes’, as Bruce Feiler coins in his book, “Life is in the transitions.
Natural menopause is a period of change that spans on average, for seven years (although everyone is different) and for those in surgical menopause, the ‘change’ can be even more abrupt.
Whilst some may sail through this transition, others may notice changes that may conjure up unexpected feelings. But with this comes insight into what nourishes and drives us. It’s a time for tuning into the body and mind, letting go of what was and embracing the new. A time for acknowledging truths and limiting beliefs that hold us back. A time for discovery and upskilling. A time for making time.
We realise that when change is uninvited and life feels demanding, it may feel challenging to feel positive about menopause. So here are my tips for unlocking this window of opportunity.
Accept your feelings - whatever they are
Avoidance, denial and repression may be tempting. We often use it as a defence mechanism to avoid dealing with difficult feelings. However, it is much healthier to accept our feelings, so we can move forward from them and not let them fester.
For example, if you are feeling overwhelmed by the onset of menopause, accept that. Then think about what you could do to reduce that negative feeling. Ignoring things does not make them go away, so approach menopause with an open mind and a caring attitude.
Many do struggle when transitioning through menopause. That’s completely normal and there are things you can do to make it easier.
Find Your Tribe
Luckily there’s a lot more conversation around menopause these days which is right, given it’s a completely normal process that every woman goes through. Surrounding yourself with trusted, strong makes a huge difference.
There are various types of support available.
Joining our private groups on Facebook or Instagram @overthebloodymoon for starters. You might benefit from a menopause buddy. A friend or someone you’ve met online also experiencing menopause can be a great person to talk to. They are someone who can empathise with you and talk freely to, knowing they understand what you are going through.
Find Your Team
Many aspects of the menopause experience can be eased through medical intervention and hormone replacement therapy. Not everyone can take it, but the majority can, and it can help get people back to a position of strength, to then go on and be empowered to make their lifestyle changes.
Your first port of call is your GP but there are other professionals as well. As there is a myriad of ways people are affected by menopause and numerous ways to approach wellbeing, spend some time, working out what options are right for you.
For example, pelvic health physiotherapists can help with incontinence and pelvic pain. Sexual health specialists for low libido, vaginal atrophy and painful sex. Whilst herbalists, acupuncturists, and aromatherapists offer functional or complementary medicine. Investing in a movement instructor, such as yoga or pilates is also helpful, as well as a mindfulness coach.
Now all this may seem expensive, which is why we’ve built The House. Over The Bloody Moon’s menopause wellbeing platform to give our community access to a team of specialists where they can learn, laugh and share experiences with others.
You could also find a coach helpful, especially someone that specialises in the menopause experience. Coaches can take a holistic approach and recommend what you can do to improve your life during this period of time. They are an objective individual with who you can be honest.
Build the power of knowledge
We all have the potential to become a Change Maker, someone who embraces change positively, takes it by the hand and then leads it.
Take time out to read up on menopause from trusted sources and independent specialists. Arm yourself with knowledge and step on the shoulders of giants to get prepared. I often hear “I’m not there yet” but why wait when you can be ahead of the curve?
Whether we like it or not, the world is always changing. Our life never stays the same for too long. Menopause is often a catalyst for change in all aspects of life. So, let’s curate our life to make us happy. Let’s put time and investment into our health and wellbeing now, so we can make the most out of our future decades.
If you are reading this and stuck in the mess right now, remember this is common with transitions. The way out might not be obvious, but it will shine soon.
Over The Bloody Moon. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written