Why you're struggling to feel like yourself when you hit menopause (and what you can do about it!)
Peri-Menopause can hit you like a steam train thundering into you
Our menopause symptoms can range from none (oh yes about a fifth of us will sail through peri-menopause and into post menopause with hardly a bother) to severe effects.
For the rest of us the symptoms can range from mild to severe. Symptoms include; anxiety, mood changes, e.g. low mood or irritation, sleep difficulties, painful sex, loss of self, loss or thinning of hair, hot flushes, night sweats, aches and pains, joint stiffness, palpitations, urinary tract infections, brain fog, loss of libido, vaginal dryness. (Ref:1) When I discuss these with other colleagues the list is much longer than this. So if you don't see your symptoms above don't despair.
You may even be angry as you feel too young to be menopausal.
Couple the impact of the symptoms with our hectic lives can cause havoc in our day to day world.
Along with these menopausal symptoms, you're;
- in midlife, sandwiched between caring for elderly parents, rearing your children and couple care, there's very little time for you so you end up knackered by the end of the day.
- childless, whether from illness or circumstance, and you're heartbroken that your hope to have children is fading fast, if not gone.
- dysfunctional childhood or other trauma suffered when young is rearing it's head
- holding down a career but you're not on top of your game as much. The hot flushes, low self esteem and lowering confidence are beginning to wear you down
- juggling symptoms and being a full-time carer or a stay-at-home mum
- at the end of your tether with symptoms and don't know where to turn
- dealing with drenched clothes from hot flushes and having to change into dry clothes at least once daily.
The list could go on, you know where you sit best, even if not listed above.
At night, sleep eludes you. The menopause transition could leave you with aches and pains, night sweats, insomnia, palpitations and the like.
Night sweats are a nuisance as you can wake drenched, including your pjs, sheets and pillows? You more than likely have to get up from your slumber, with a jaded head to change pjs and bedclothes just so you can get back to sleep.
Insomnia could result in going to watch TV and end up watching movies or eating due to lack of sleep. Next morning you are knackered and dragging yourself into the day tired, groggy and an endless to-do list for everyone else. All the while you're at the bottom of this to-do list. Or if awake, end up on your phone googling menopause symptoms and solutions, such as looking for a symptom checker or how long do you have to endure this.
Along with your hormones in chaos a sleep disorder may be the problem, it's best to sort any medical issues with your medical team as they could be the major cause of your sleepless nights.
Yearning for the old you back
You have got lost in juggling peri-menopause symptoms and your hectic life. So much so that your hobbies, self care, fun joy, along with couple care can go awry. Couple care (if you've a partner) has fallen away thanks to libido or vaginal issues or having no time due to the demands of work and others. You're too busy and tired at the end of the day to make space for you.
You've no headspace for meeting up with friends, not only because you're tired but all the chat is on menopause. Your symptoms are different or worse than theirs and you feel alone, and hate it.
You used to be the kitchen queen, now meals are lack lustre and you're reaching for quick fixes that are leaving you feel rubbish. You so long to be back in the kitchen cooking your favourite meals again.
With all this in mind - is it any wonder you don't feel like yourself right now? I hope you can see when it's written out like this what exactly you're dealing with and how incredible you're doing. But where to begin when it comes to feeling like you again?
Where to begin? It's time to empower you for menopause and beyond
Take a pen and paper, jot down all your accomplishments each day for a week. Note what you can change or remove. Spot where you can make time for you for rest, fun and relaxation. See where you can make space in your busy schedule for you, enjoying old hobbies, going on holiday, returning to your old favourite hobby and the like. Whatever helps you to unwind and recharge. You'll notice that you're doing far more than you realise and/or dealing with a lot at this time. So give yourself a clap on the back and show some self compassion. In menopause we should be able to have out own island where our every need is catered for until we the menopause transition symptom onslaught is managed and you feel more like yourself. We can dream but it's not going to help to empower us now. Work from where you at, get the help you need right now, as symptoms change your toolbox may change. So be adaptable.
Want to feel more like "You' again in menopause?
Over 40? I'm running a free webinar showing you how find 'You' again in menopause on Wednesday, 2nd November at 10.00am. and start to reclaim your day so you can jump out of bed to live in it again.