When I realized it was Menopause, I thought I am now that woman.
You know the woman; some people refer to as crazy, overly emotional and sometimes unstable. I realized then I had to make some changes in my life because the option of taking hormone pills would not be available to me. My family has a history of breast cancer on my mother’s side and with that information; I knew I would have to take this journey the all-natural way.
So I decided early on that I would not feed the ‘Menopausal Monster’.
What that means to me is to control my emotions to the best of my ability, to educate myself on what I can do naturally, and to maintain who I am without having a nervous breakdown. I am able to apply this to my life by following these four points: Understand my body is changing, Accept the change within my body, Don’t allow total domination, and to Maintain my normal life. Of course these points are not totally inclusive to everything you may consider when dealing with menopause because some people may be able to or choose to take advantage of the various medications that are available to women during this pivotal time of their life.
Now to my points, understand my body is changing; it is really in my best interest to know and understand that I am going through a natural change. There is no reason fighting it because nature has to take its course but I don’t have to resist it by acting like nothing is going on and turning into a raging ‘Menopausal Monster’.
While I understand it is a natural process, I also understand that it affects every woman differently. This change is noticed by increased mood swings, irritability, and vaginal dryness (for some), change in sex drive (increase or decrease depends), insomnia, and the irrefutable hot flashes.
I try not to feed into the emotional changes I may have at any given moment.
You may ask how you know. Well, I can tell. I begin to feel impatient and irritable at first. My irritability increases when I am tired, bored, stressed or restless. When the irritability sets in the hot flashes will soon follow. When I start fanning I will leave the situation by walking away, checking out mentally, or talking to myself to calm down. Yes, I said “talking to myself”. I will talk myself down from the emotion that begins to rage from within like a storm building ready to devour whatever is found in its path. The ‘monster’ Ha… ha… ha. Yes, it feels like a storm brewing and I must deflate it before it gets into full swing because ‘ the monster’ will take over.
My understanding of this natural process allows me to accept the changes of menopause. Yes the acceptance of this process allows me to maintain some sort of control. The degree of its effects in my case is measured on my ability to educate myself on what I can do and what will just happen. I can do things such as:
- Getting plenty of exercise
- Eating healthier
- Increase my intake of vitamins
- Include minerals and herbs that promote hormonal health into my lifestyle
- Sleep in cotton clothing (under a fan for me) to combat night sweats
- Know when I need “me time”
I also have friends that are also going through menopause so we are able to counsel each other if that is what you want to call it. But most of the time it is just venting about what is going on and how each individual copes with her personal change.
One thing I must not allow is total domination and control over my life. I realize menopause is taken over the hormonal control of my body but I don’t have to give into it. I don’t necessarily resist it; I have learned to allow it to happen while taking minor precautions so I will not go into melt down.
Things I am learning to do are:
- I have learned to eliminate some of the caffeine from my diet and incorporate more herbal teas. Caffeine is considered to be a trigger of stress that causes hot flashes.
- I am learning yoga and I take long hot soaking baths at night to increase my level of relaxation.
- I keep meditation tapes at my bedside to assist me with falling asleep on occasion.
- I say no when needed. I am not super woman so there is no need to over extend myself or over promise for the needs of others.
- I let go of the need to control everything. This decreases my stress level which decreases my chances of having hot flashes.
- I wear cotton undergarments to catch the sweating that happen on occasion under my clothes.
- Since I still have a monthly cycle and it is very unpredictable and very irregular, I regularly use panty liners for the unexpected. I only needed to experience this once and once was enough.
- Anytime I am required to visit a doctor’s office or any place where waiting is a requirement; I always have a distraction from the time such as a book on hand or now my trusty smart phone. My phone serves many functions such as, playing music, playing games, searching the internet etc. to pass the time.
This list is not all-inclusive of all the precautions but it is a strong beginning of my daily rituals to maintain some sort of normalcy of my life.
It is most important that I maintain a normal life while menopause is taking place. I do not give into the changes. I am just learning to manage it all while doing the things I love to do. I continue to eat the foods that I love but I keep them to a minimum and I incorporate exercise daily. I love Coke and Pepsi but I know it is not best that I drink them too often.
Life is about change. It is when you resist change that makes life more difficult and challenging. Change can be scary but good at the same time because of the unknown factor.
I tend to view menopause as an inevitable change that takes place in every woman’s life.
It is a process that will discontinue some bodily functions and change others but as long as I adapt and manage as much as possible I know I will get through it.