Is menopause an event or a process? Of course there is an obvious sign when the process is complete. But, for a lot of us, we can experience many of the signs of menopause or perimenopause as early as in our mid-30’s. I am in my 50’s and still have a regular cycle. But I sure do feel differently from when I was in my 30s and 40s! Is it stress? Is it my diet? Is it …? Could it be… menopause or perimenopause? These can be looming questions.
Menopause can create a multitude of concerns: weight gain, stress, anxiety, depression, body image concerns, and loss of balance just to name a few. While we can’t control every aspect of what this stage in life throws at us, we can control how we respond.
At one time, I remember wanting to adopt a bit of an adversarial outlook toward the changes my body went through. I was ready to approach menopause with the fortitude of a warrior: “Bring it on Menopause! I am ready to take you on!” Well, this is a very Western response. And whenever we make our bodies our adversaries, we’re not likely to ease the transition.. Let’s rethink this…
Embrace All Life Has to Offer
I know your first reaction to something changing within your body that you have labeled as “negative” or “bad” is not acceptance because I’m right there with you. But allow me to share some wisdom that I have to reteach myself from time to time: The way to enjoy life—yes, even the hard parts—is to embrace it fully. I want to embrace every facet of life and every moment it brings forward. I hope you too will embrace and honor all that comes with it. Don’t resist it. Instead, honor and embrace it. This is the most natural and beautiful remedy to help cope with anything in life.
Embrace… The word of the week. Embrace it. Welcome it. Love it. Nurture it.
Movement Makes all the Difference
Now you’re thinking: “Embrace menopause? That’s A LOT easier said than done.” Well here’s something else I’ve learned, movement really helps us stay in touch with our bodies and to see our bodily processes as true allies, rather than adversaries.
Stop for a Moment and Try this Progression Exercise Video:
How did you feel watching it? Have you tried it? Studies have proven that if you continue to move your mind and body, your menopausal symptoms can be reduced dramatically. But, of course, we know that movement is far more beneficial when it is done mindfully. When we find a deeper self-awareness, as mentioned in the last blog, we engage more deeply with our movements and when we center ourselves before any movement, we will find our center awaken and spread an overall sense of calm.
When you find this deeper connection to your mind and body, you awaken the happy hormones that will begin to smooth out the roller coaster ride of emotions that often comes with menopause. No, you are not destined to feel emotionally out of control. No, hot flashes and night sweats are not an inevitable part of the aging process for women. These symptoms come about because of hormonal changes and the good news is moving your body really can make all the difference.
Scientific Research Shows
We have all read at some point in our adult lives that exercise is a mood booster. If we move our bodies we gain a number of health benefits. When you opt out of exercising for a long period of time, you will slowly (or it could be suddenly) begin to lose the unison of your mind and body. When this happens, all HELL has an opportunity to break loose. This is when we start to develop the “tomorrow I will start that” or “now is not the best time” attitude. Guess what? You’re only feeding the fuel.
When you’re feeling at your lowest, that’s when I recommend taking 10 minutes a day to center your mind and move your body. Maybe you’re bloated, but still hungry. Or you’re experiencing heart flutters. Or inflammation in your neck or upper back has triggered a headache. All of these are symptoms of menopause. As hard as it might be find the energy and will, this is when I recommend doing the Conscious Strong™ first several movements, ending with the double knee fold hold. Do this daily. By moving, stretching and engaging your core, you will find that your mind will respond quite favorably.
Always Start by Centering
The best and easiest way to center yourself is to use your breath. Anytime you begin to move your body, you need to allow time to get centered. If you enter a workout or activity in a stressful or distracted state, you will not only be putting yourself at risk for injury but you will also be wasting your time. An experience not remembered is not an experience. Make it count. Center before you move. Then you can start to slowly build your stamina.
Patience may be difficult, but the payoff is worth it.
Give Yourself Permission to Embrace You. Don’t follow the Outside.
We are inundated with media that glamorizes the unrealistic. There are women in the media who look (on camera) 40 when their true age is 65. This is all made up. If we went into that person’s bathroom at the end of the day, they will be addressing the very same concerns that we all have. We need to learn to let go of all the outside noise and learn to embrace ourselves.
Live in the Moment. And Move Your Body.
The way to let go of the noise around you and become fully present is to experience each moment in front of you. Honor each and every moment given to you – the good and the bad. When you find yourself going down a negative thought path (aka noise), stop and tell yourself that you are simply a guest here on this amazing Earth for a very short time. Why worry about what happened about the past or what just happened a minute ago. Those thoughts serve you nothing but suffering. Keep reminding yourself of this and you will begin to free your mind from the noise.
When you are able to tap into this deeper sense of awareness, menopause (and many other discomforts) will likely start to diminish.
Move Your Mind and Body to help find your balance.
How to Make Menopause Fun!
We don’t always associate fun with menopause… but let’s get crazy! Menopause is not our final breath. Let’s make this last half of breath count.
Get your journal. I will wait. Now, write down 5 things that made you feel so amazing and energized 10-20 years ago. Was it a play? A concert? A rodeo? Horse riding? Running on the beach? A drum circle? Create your own list. From that list, circle the one that you felt the most connected to. You will know.
Now, here’s your homework: Take that number one on the list and call the place or schedule the date right now to make it happen. If you can’t make it happen for financial or personal concerns, email me here and share what that passion is for you. We want to help make it real.
Life is beautiful.. Even more beautiful at Menopause.
Like this article? Read more.