Midlife and menopause is a time of many transitions. Changing hormones can produce hot flashes, night sweats, memory loss, insomnia, and mood swings. Our growing realization of life’s impermanence leads to taking inventory of our own lives’ successes and failures, how they have compared with what we expected, and what is next. Identity and esteem problems arise as altering roles, like kids leaving home, make us wonder”Who am I? Who would I need to be?” By these means, some of us will find greater clarity, strength and optimism about ourselves, while some will feel confused, lost, angry.
We’ll come face to face with our parents aging, ourselves aging, and numerous connection changes, quitting work, resuming work, and multiple situational influences which may destabilize our awareness of self and well-being. Cultivating great health, mind, body and spirit, will be paramount to living and flourishing all midlife and menopause brings. Here’s what I suggest:
- Being positive and open-minded. Viewing midlife as a journey, a chance to be fully present to your life and who you are, will permit you to better weather the ups and downs. Research indicates that women who embrace this mindset have significantly less intense physical symptoms, fewer mood difficulties, less esteem problems, and much more personal satisfaction. Be ready to forego preconceived ideas of your life and the way it was supposed to be. Marcus Proust said,”The true voyage of discovery consists not in seeing new lands, but in having new eyes”.
- Rediscovering you. Recall adolescence once you took those rickety steps to getting who you are. Consider who you were before you became a worker, spouse, mother, daughter, best friend, etc.. Deep down where functions fall away and your character emerges. This is a chance to reconnect with these parts of yourself you’ve concealed and breathe new life into being creative, adventurous, bold, sensitive, who understands. It’s up to you.
- Listening to your inner guidance. With estrogen declining and a deepening feeling of life’s impermanence, many women find a newfound freedom to loosen the bonds of being that they”ought to be” and getting that which they decide to be. When you can silence the voices of what others desire or desire for you, you are able to hear your internal wisdom. At first, it might be barely perceptible. But, the more you tune in, the clearer and stronger it becomes. It is not the voice of self-centeredness, but inner knowing which starts with self-compassion and goes to other people. Listen wisely.
- Choosing healthy relationships. At midlife, we may find that relationships we have been involved in for many years are not working well for us. Why? While it happens for many reasons like altering interests, often it’s because we do not feel emotionally nourished and there’s enough give and take. The bottom line is not to force yourself to remain in scenarios you have outgrown. Does she/he bring something positive to my life even if it’s changed over time? How much can I want them to remain part of my life” Respect what you need and want evenly. It is time.
- Slimming hot flashes. Now, for some body intellect. So, limit your consumption of alcohol, caffeine, spicy foods, and hot beverages. Dress in layers and also sleep using a foot or arm uncovered to remain cooler as heat intensifies them. Reduce pressure by shortening your to-do list, taking regular breaks, exercising, and practicing relaxation. 15-20 minutes of deep breathing or meditation daily was shown to decrease hot flashes around 70%. In case you have trouble sitting still, try yoga or pilates. Discover what works for you.
- Building bone and heart health. With declining estrogen, girls are at increased risk for heart disease and osteoporosis. Exercise and good nutrition are key. Twenty to thirty minutes of high-intensity workout, e.g. walking, weight training, circuit exercise, combined with cardio building, e.g. jogging, aerobics, swimming, several times weekly, is suggested. Daily calcium intake to get peri-and post-menopausal girls should complete 1200-1500 mg. Calcium and 800 IU Vitamin D for absorption. Choosing calcium rich, higher protein, and low fat foods will support heart and bone health.
- Enjoying sex. With hormonal and connection shifts, sex often changes at midlife and menopause. “It’s like going to a restaurant when you’re not really hungry, but your appetizer arrives, you see other people eating, and you start feeling hungry,” he remarked. Physical signs of vaginal dryness and decreased lubrication may lessen interest and pleasure. But, having sex frequently will counter these some. So understand what’s going on, do not take it , make adjustments, and have fun!
- Living on goal. Creating the life you want may be the biggest challenge and chance midlife women face. It involves finding and prioritizing what matters most people, then taking action to pursue those values and goals. For a single girl, it may be returning to school and finishing her degree which she interrupted to have kids. For another, leaving a union that has not been nourishing for years. To accept our duty for the life we create, and living our dreams.
- Developing a spirit-filled life. What this means is having a feeling of connection with something bigger than oneself, whether it’s God, nature, or even the universe. Spirit gives us a sense that there’s more to life than our bodily presence and at midlife when the reality of our mortality faces us, many of us long for this knowing. The ways we attain spiritual connectedness are particular whether through organized religion or person practice, but all have value.
- Embracing stewardship. As our connection with something larger than ourselves grows, we often find an interest in protecting and caring for our communities and our planet. We want our children, others we love and those we do not know, to be free of the internal and external obstacles that annoys us. In becoming more fully ourselves, we discover a respect and love for all that’s. Fixing ourselves aids the world toward a better tomorrow.
For me, the journey of midlife and menopause has been rich beyond words. This doesn’t mean it’s been simple, and each of us will have our share of ups and downs as we oppose this unexplored terrain. But this instant maturity affords us the opportunity to re-examine our lives with the wisdom, resources and strength, we’ve gained, and to decide, if we are prepared, what matters and what’s next. A time to dream and to live our fantasies.