Embracing The Change
Women - The Weaker Sex - How did that expression ever come about? I never understood it, when sometimes it feels like we carry the weight of the world on our shoulders. We juggle work, home, relationships, friends and family. We are true warriors. We can cope with anything!
Then for me, Perimenopause hit and the hot flushes, lack of sleep and anxiety began, I struggled to cope with the sudden and dramatic changes happening to me. I had to find ways to manage my symptoms and re-connect with the new me. For many women these changes can knock the wind out of their sails and the warrior soul that they once knew can get a little lost.
Menopause is sometimes described as “the window of vulnerability” in Western medicine. Fluctuations in hormones can lead to mood changes, a sense of loss, tearfulness and even depression. Life can begin to feel joyless and there can be a loss of confidence. If this sounds familiar, then it is vital that you begin to take extra care of your emotional, mental and physical wellbeing.
Added to this is a slowing down of the metabolism and digestion becomes sluggish. This can lead to weight gain, especially round the middle, a loss of energy and a lack of motivation. Women can end up in a rut, stop wanting to exercise and go out as much and so the cycle continues.
It is important to find ways to lift your energy and your mood
Get out and talk to others - ask for help and advise
Take a walk in the fresh air and connect with nature
Eat a balanced diet of seasonal fruit and vegetables
Find a local Qigong or Yoga class with like minded people for community spirit.
Begin a daily Meditation or Breathing practice
Connect with friends and family.
Take time for yourself to engage in activities that can help boost your mood.
It’s now more vital than ever to begin to exercise regularly - Start with small steps, just 15 minutes a day, everyday can be less daunting. Create daily habits that you can stick with. You will quickly notice changes in your energy levels and your mood. These can be used in conjunction with other treatments your doctor recommends.
Qigong and Yoga will improve sleep, which in turn boosts mood. They energise the body and release stagnant energy leaving you balanced, centred and relaxed, while strengthening the joints, muscles and ligaments and bones.
These gentle flowing movements, linked with the breath release endorphins and reduce cortisol (stress) levels.
Core strength exercises embrace the inner warrior to boost confidence as well as tighten and tone. Twists and Heart openers raise mood and energy levels, increase blood flow to the vital organs and keep the spine flexible.
Self Massage and Body Tapping increase circulation, release tension and promote the release of serotonin, your body’s natural feel good medicine. Meditation calms a busy mind, boosts immunity and create healthy sleep patterns.
Remember, it is important to listen to your body everyday and learn if it is asking you to rest and retreat, making time and space for yourself or when you need to energise, get moving and feel strong.
Your body is asking you to “pause” and prioritise yourself and your own emotional and physical needs, to reconnect with yourself again, to put yourself first. Menopausal symptoms can begin months or even years before your periods stop and last around 4 years after your last period. But Menopause is not just a list of symptoms that you have to get through. It is an exciting, amazing journey into the next phase of your life. In Eastern medicine, they call it Second Spring - It is an honour many do not have and a wonder to behold. So lets support each other and Embrace the Change.
Beverley Welch is a Yoga and Qigong Teacher offering 8 week courses to support women through perimenopause, menopause and beyond.