Menopause is a time in a woman’s life cycle that all of us women will experience. With it comes many changes to your body. It happens in the lead up to menopause (known as perimenopause) during menopause and also beyond menopause. Our mission is to help women understand what happens during this time, why it happens and empower you with knowledge to thrive beyond it.
We’ve all heard the many negative things about menopause from women who have been there before us. You may have heard women complain about hot flushes, changes to libido, state of mental clarity and so much more. And yes, while there are many symptoms women experience during perimenopause it’s what you do and the actions you take that will have a significant impact on how your body and mind copes with the changes.
In this article, we’re going to help you understand why women go through menopause, how to embrace this time in your life and how you can thrive beyond it. We want women like you to live your life to your greatest potential.
The majority of women begin experiencing perimenopause symptoms somewhere in their 40s. At this time your ovaries will begin to produce less estrogen which has a flow on effect to your monthly menstrual cycle. You will begin to experience some minor changes initially. As time goes on and your body produces less and less estrogen there will be other changes which may include:
- Heavier, lighter or missed periods
- Hot flushes and night sweats
- Brain fog, headaches and memory issues
- Mood swings, confusion and irritability
- Stress, anxiety and fatigue
- Weight gain and lack of energy
It’s important to note that you will not necessarily experience all the symptoms at the one time. It may begin with one change and you’ll probably start to identify more as time goes on. At this time, you might feel completely out of control and not understand why you’re feeling the way you do
You may visit your doctor thinking there’s something wrong with you without being able to pin point exactly what it is. It’s when perimenopause is explained to you that you will begin to put all the pieces of the puzzle together.
What is crucial at this point is what you do with this knowledge. You can try to ignore it, but it will not go away. The reality is that your body is changing. It has a cycle and is naturally progressing through it. Don’t fight it. Instead, embrace it. Embrace it with your whole being because your body has got this far and knows exactly what it needs to do.
Once your estrogen production declines, the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and osteoporosis begins to increase. So it’s imperative that you look after your body and mind, and nurturing yourself through perimenopause to minimize impacts not just now but into your future.
Menopause is defined as not having a period for 12 months. This is the day you officially reach menopause. Just one day. It’s the lead up to it (perimenopause) that can cause havoc. So, let’s take a look at some strategies that you can use to embrace it.
How to Embrace Menopause
Firstly, you must acknowledge what is happening to your body. There’s no denying it, menopause is a natural phase in your life. It’s something you are certain to experience, yet your journey will be your own.
What you experience may be completely different to what your bestie experiences, it will differ to your sister or what the women in your inner circle experience. It’s absolutely nothing to be embarrassed or ashamed about. In fact, the more we talk about it, the more we’ll be able to shed light for others who find themselves at the same stage of their life journey.
There are 3 key principles that you can control. Following these principles will change the course of how your journey plays out. Looking after you now, will have long-term benefits
Follow a healthy, nutrient rich diet that includes a good intake of healthy fats and lots of fresh, seasonal fruit and vegetables. This will help lower your risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke, while maintaining your blood sugar balance to avoid diabetes later in life.
Include healthy fats such as sardines, extra virgin olive oil, walnuts and avocados. When you’re choosing fruits and vegetables, opt for locally grown and seasonal produce that includes a variety of colours, especially lots of green veggies. Incorporate natural phytoestrogens to replace the estrogen your body is no longer producing – foods such as flaxseeds, lentils, fermented tofu and soy products are ideal. The more natural your diet, the better you will feel.
Avoid highly processed foods and foods high in sugar. Also reduce your alcohol and caffeine intake as these can mess with your hormones and increase hot flushes.
Opting for good nutrition allows your body to take in all the nutrients, vitamins and minerals it needs to function at its best. It also helps regulate your mood and overall health.
Ensure you’re moving your body regularly. Choose something that you enjoy and incorporate it into your daily routine. If you find this challenging, start off with just 10 minutes a day and build this up over time. The more you move, the better you will feel.
You can choose any number of movement based exercise such as walking, pilates, yoga, running, cycling or even weights. If you sit at a desk for most of the day, get up as often as possible and move around. This can be as simple as getting yourself a glass of water every 30 minutes or every hour.
Daily movement is vital at this stage and will help you maintain bone density, manage a healthy weight and decrease your risk of cardiovascular disease. It will also assist your body release happy hormones, providing you with a sense of wellness and vitality.
3. Stress Management
Stress can have a huge impact on your life. We all experience stress and stressful situations and this is the reason it’s so important to develop strategies to manage and minimise your stress. When you are constantly exposed to high stress levels it is damaging your physical health and has a negative impact on your mental health.
Identify what is stressful for you and find ways to minimise these events. Ensure you include rest and relaxation into your life. Try to slow things down and take things off your ‘to do’ list that don’t need to be done today. Try incorporating a meditation into your daily routine or practice mindfulness and gratitude.
When you can effectively manage stress, it supports your health on a holistic level – it has a positive impact on your mind, body and soul. You will feel calmer, more focussed and able to deal with whatever life throws at you. So it really is worth making some time to nurture you.
How to Thrive Beyond Menopause
When you reach menopause you will have experienced ups and downs throughout your life. It’s a time of incredible change for your body. It’s a time to decide you want to thrive by assessing your life and exploring ways you can maximise your health and lifestyle.
Reclaim yourself on your life journey. Harness your experiences, wisdom and all that life has to offer to become the woman you want to be. To help you in your journey we have created Peri Menopause Power for women just like you to live your best life.
Peri Menopause Power provides you with access to holistic health education, life nurturing strategies and most importantly connection and community with other women. The potential to live your best life, no matter what life stage is within you. We simply empower you to embrace it.
Click here to learn more about Peri Menopause Power.