Menopause

Sophie-Birgan-64

The fiery awakening when we lose our obligations and rediscover our passion

It’s the topic which has been historically hushed about and is a deeply personal experience for every woman. It’s the time in a woman’s life which can make many women feel like they are going crazy. Only 50 years ago women were being taken away and institutionalised for severe mental illness when it was actually menopause they were going through.

As natural as this process is, women have a tremendous despondency to aging, and often report as no longer ‘being seen’ and can feel sexually broken from the onset of changes to their body. Each woman’s journey is unique and individual, however many share in common similar experiences as they navigate this new territory of being a woman.

You’re not going crazy

From night sweats, brain fog, memory loss, crying at the drop of a hat, aching feet, weight gain and vaginal dryness leading to a sleepy sex drive. Grief and resentment drop in on your door and some days don’t leave. Partners and family members are often affected and confused. Slowly and almost silently changes occur which leave us feeling exhausted, weak and overwhelmed. A blanket gets thrown over our vitality and we daydream for the lost youthful strong body we strutted around in all those years ago.

Live authentically and put yourself first

For some, marriages end, living arrangements change, relationships become strained, careers are impacted and friendships fall away due to the debilitating symptoms of menopause. Through these external changes a reorganisation occurs, safe familiarity and lost family traditions are often craved.

If a woman hasn’t been living authentically, often a major overhaul can take place. Many women give so much throughout their life and sacrifice their own needs for the sake of others. A lack of understanding of what is truly going on in this stage of a women’s life can lead to a misdiagnosis of depression and anxiety.

Choose what’s right for you

Hormonal balance is a very complex issue and there are many options ranging from HRT, to bioidentical hormones to natural herb supplements and nutritional remedies. Many women have experiences wonderful results from one of these options or a combination of them. Your best barometer of what does or doesn’t work is how you are feeling. If you feel good, whatever you are taking, just keep taking it. Learn to trust your own body.

Therapy can help throughout this emotional and overwhelming stage.

As a therapist I see many women during this unfolding stage of their life who have been on a difficult journey of self -confidence and often discuss feelings of low self-worth, lack of self-love and despair. They have lost connection with their body and the innate wisdom it provides in the way of signals, messages and impulses. Accessing important information about menopause is crucial to every woman as they transit this change with ease.
Do not go down the rabbit hole of thinking you are failing as a woman if you don’t have any interest in sex. It’s very common and you are not alone. Rediscovering your body and your breath will be vital to reigniting your level of desire as well as clearly communicating with your partner what is going on for you.
Sometimes also at this period of your life, unfinished business or unresolved issues from the past may be tapping you on the shoulder. Therapy can support you through these uneasy times which will make way for a happier you.

Celebrate your freedom

Despite the difficult changes which engulf a woman in menopause, it is also a time of renewal. A time of liberation and celebration of our increased awareness, wisdom and self -acceptance which comes with age. It doesn’t have to be a lonely and isolating time for you. Our ancestors honoured and revered the wise sage of the tribe and her contribution was valued. She was initiated as the crone of the tribe. Women who explore these ancient shamanic practices can move through the change with ease. Obligations get lost, which is a good thing, you rediscover your core being and freedom is felt. It can potentially be the most creative and fruitful periods of a woman’s life. A wonderful feeling of empowerment, independence and expression becomes a fundamental foundation.

Tips to support your mind and body

Here are a few crucial tips I stand by as I embrace menopause.
Tie up loose ends
Sort out any hormonal imbalance
Morning dry body brushing
Zero sugar
Fast between 12-16 hours daily and try only eating in 8 hour window for longevity.
Avoid caffeine from lunchtime
Eat dinner early and lightly
Keep stress levels low and your body calm to reduce cortisol levels at night
Remove technology from your room
Sleep is sacred and foundation for restoring your energy levels
Reduce your body temperature before getting into bed. Have a cool shower and keep the fan on.
Stretch/yoga routine for 10mins prior bedtime.
2-3 litres of water per day
Pilates
Hold on tight to treasured female enlightened friendships
Wear lipstick everyday
Spend lots of time in nature
Spend an hour by yourself everyday
Enjoy dark chocolate
Wake up with the sun
Belly laugh every single day
Swim in the ocean
Read and study
Learn something new
Follow moon cycles
Garden
Let go of resentment and negative thoughts
Have a purpose