By: Guest Author
Published: October 10, 2017
Contributed by Katie Uniacke- Guest Contributor
Let’s be honest, it can often feel like us women get a pretty poor lot in life. From our adolescence, we have to do monthly battle with a period. Pregnancy, if we go through it, isn’t exactly an easy ride. Then, when that’s all over, comes the menopause.
Everyone will experience the menopause differently, and for some women it will last an awful lot longer than for others.
But it comes at a time of life when most of us tend to be running around like headless chickens, thanks to the crazy modern society we’re living in. We’re juggling growing families, jobs, and all other kinds of responsibilities that we seem to accrue over the years.
In western culture, self-care gets a bit of a bad rap, although we are getting better. The idea of taking time out to do anything for ourselves is a strange one, and we’re scandalized at the idea of such indulgence.
But however foreign the idea of taking time for yourself might be, when it comes to the menopause, it’s nothing short of vital.
My mother is a case in point. Her mother and her two sisters really struggled with the menopause. It knocked them for six and lasted for years. She, however, quite by chance, began to do something quite out of character just before the menopause hit.
She started running, and she says that she ran straight through the menopause, barely feeling the effects, especially compared to her less-fortunate sisters.
We should be looking after our bodies and minds at all times of our lives, but we usually don’t. Why not take the menopause as the perfect excuse to finally start putting yourself at the top of your own priority list?
Don’t panic, that’s not as selfish as it sounds. Taking time out for yourself will mean you’re happier and healthier, and so able to give far more to the people around you, and be much better company!
They say charity begins at home, but I reckon that charity begins on an even smaller scale. Treat yourself kindly, and you’ll treat other people kindly.
Here are a few ideas for ways you can take some time to pause during the menopause and thrive during this time of your life rather than just coping.
- Dance classes
You might not be feeling particularly sexy at this time of life, but dance can be a great way to get back in touch with your feminine side.
There’s nothing like learning to salsa for a confidence boost, and it’s so much fun! You’ll be so sweaty anyway by the end of it, that hot flushes won’t matter!
If dancing with a partner isn’t your thing, a dance aerobics or Zumba class, or even a line dancing class can really help you cut loose and stop taking life so seriously. Try something you’ve never done before.
Take a leaf out of my mother’s book and invest in a pair of running shoes. Even if you’ve never done it before, running isn’t as hard as you think, and it’s liberating!
Spend some time with your thoughts or listen to your favourite music or podcasts, or find a running buddy.
- Or any other kind of exercise
Running and dancing (and jumping for joy) aren’t your only options! Whatever it is and however out there it might be, any form of exercise is wonderful at this time.
Find something you really love and stick to it. It shouldn’t be a trial, it should be something you can’t wait to do!
- Learn a language
It’s not just your body that could use a new challenge. Why not challenge your mind? Have you always dreamt of spending time in Italy? Now’s the time to sign up for a class, and book a holiday.
- Take a break
On the subject of holidays, now is the time to see all those places on the bucket list. Push past that desire to spend your days closeted away and get out there and discover a bit more of the world.
- Take a course
It’s not just languages you can learn. Learning any new skill will give you a focus that can really motivate you and give you something to think about.
Whether you take a pottery class, a writing class or even go back to school full time, challenge your mind and do something you’ve always wanted to do.
Depending on your experience of menopause, a massage not might sound that appealing, but investing in regular massages could help you glide through the experience in a totally zen state. Think about the amount you spend on groceries in a week, and the price tag won’t seem too painful.
If you really love it, you could even do a massage course!
If you have a family, cooking has probably come to feel like a chore over the years. Now’s the time to reclaim it as a hobby, start thinking more carefully about what you eat, and enjoy the process.
There are certain foods that can really make a difference when you’re going through menopause, so experiment and see how they make you feel. Take an afternoon out every so often and just bake, if you find it restful.
You might not be feeling that great about yourself right now, but a great way to put your own concerns to one side is by doing things for others.
If you have the time, volunteer for a good cause. It shouldn’t be anything too demanding, just a great way to get out and about, meet new people, and keep your mind on other things.
- Something extreme
Not willing to take the menopause lying down? Why not do something a bit more radical to help yourself push through it. Try an extreme sport, do a long distance hike or cycle…
Focus your energies on doing something you’ve always wanted to do, and proving to yourself that menopause is only the beginning of a fulfilling, exciting life still ahead of you!
Katie is a wellness expert who spends most of her time trying out new plant-based recipes, trail running, and travelling. When she’s not doing that she’s writing for Sleep Health Energy (https://www.sleephealthenergy.com/), a one-stop shop for everything you need to know about enjoying top-to-toe health and getting a restful night’s sleep, which will leave you bursting with energy. Follow along on Twitter (https://twitter.com/sleephealthnrg) and Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/sleephealthenergy/).
The views expressed herein this article, written by a guest contributor, do not necessarily represent those of the Red Hot Mamas organization. The content is for informational purposes and should not substitute the advice of your doctor.