Menopause is the time in a woman’s life when her period has ceased to exist for at least 12 months straight. It can be a mixture of relief and sadness. Relief that monthly cycles have ceased with the inconvenience of pain and pads as well as the risk of becoming pregnant. But also sadness, knowing that the dream of having a child is impossible without the intervention of medical procedures or hormone treatments. In any case, there are many strange things that happen to the body.
Physically, there is an increased risk of weight gain––particularly in the middle––headaches, back pain, and changes in armor and skin. Hot flashes, joint pain, stiffness, and urinary incontinence are also common. Emotionally, someone going through this is at times irritable and has trouble sleeping anxiety, and lack of concentration. Sexual desire also lessens during this period. Gastrointestinal problems, including bloating, may also occur.
There are many remedies someone going through this time in their life can take. First of all, realize this is normal.
Emotions: Laughter is the best medicine. Find a funny comedian to laugh with.
Inability to concentrate: Keep a pad of paper or your phone to record things that are important for you to remember later.
Embrace the change: When feeling stressed or out of control, lean into the feeling and think about why you feel this way.
Prioritize: Order your life and try to eliminate or control the non-essentials.
Prayer or meditation: This helps you to focus and concentrate on the important issues at hand and gives you time to refocus to find a new path to solve the situation.
Exercise: Try something new that gives you joy. Exercise at least 150 minutes per week. Yoga, running, biking, walking, or a fitness class can give you not only the stress relief you need but also help you to see things from a different perspective.
Medical Intervention: Sometimes, it helps to have essential oils like eucalyptus, peppermint, lavender, or medicine to help with anxiety.
Coffee: Coffee with a friend is also helpful. My best therapy sessions were either running or having a cup of java with a friend.
Nutrition: Eating healthy at any point in your life is essential, but at this time, it is critical. I have noticed that any unhealthy foods with sugar affect me adversely. Some healthy foods that I would recommend include:
Seeds, fruits, leafy greens, tomatoes, soy, vegetables, and whole grains.
Lastly, I have decided that the best way to conquer it is to realize you are not alone. I openly talk about my menopause and realize it is just a part of life. I still marvel at what I can do and am grateful for it.
Despite all that is changing in my body, I use this time to remain more focused than ever before and take life each day at a time.
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