World Menopause Day
Today is World Menopause Day, which is held every year on the 18th October. Change is inevitable; the seasons change, the leaves turn from green to red, but when it comes to us and our bodies, sometimes change can be something we aren’t always prepared for. We caught up with Lesley Salem, founder of Over The Bloody Moon, (certified health and menopause coach, accredited member of UK Health Coaches Association, and member of the British Menopause Society), to bring you some expert guidance around this topic, and to show you that life doesn’t have to be put ‘on hold’.
Menopause is a spectrum of shades
There are many different spectrums of menopause. We tend to associate menopause with a natural ageing process, but for some, it happens prematurely or coincides with other ‘lifequakes’, as Bruce Feiler coins in his book, “Life is in the transitions.”
Natural menopause is a period of change that spans on average, for seven years (although everyone is different) and for those in surgical menopause, the ‘change’ can be even more abrupt.
Whilst some may sail through this transition, others may notice changes which may conjure up unexpected feelings. But with this comes insight into what nourishes and drives us. It’s a time for tuning into the body and mind, letting go of what was and embracing the new. A time for acknowledging truths and limiting beliefs that hold us back. A time for discovery and upskilling. A time for making time.
We realise that when change is uninvited and life feels demanding, it may feel challenging to feel positive about menopause. So here are my tips for unlocking this window of opportunity.
Accept your feelings – whatever they are
Avoidance, denial and repression may be tempting. However, it is much healthier to accept our feelings, so we can move forward from them and not let them fester.
For example, if you are feeling overwhelmed by the onset of menopause, accept that. Then think about what you could do to reduce that negative feeling. Ignoring things does not make them go away, so approach menopause with an open mind and a caring attitude.
Many do struggle when transitioning through menopause. That’s completely normal and there are things you can do to make it easier.
Find Your Tribe
Luckily there’s a lot more conversation around menopause these days which is right, given it’s a completely normal process that every woman goes through. Surrounding yourself with trusted, strong people makes a huge difference.
You might benefit from a menopause buddy – a friend or someone you’ve met online also experiencing menopause can be a great person to talk to, knowing they understand what you are going through.
Find Your Team
Many aspects of the menopause experience can be eased through medical intervention and hormone replacement therapy. Not everyone can take it, but the majority can, and it can really help get people back to a position of strength, to then go on and be empowered to make their own lifestyle changes.
Your first port of call is your GP but there are other professionals as well.
You may find a coach – who are able to take a holistic approach – helpful, especially someone that specialises in the menopause experience.
Build the power of knowledge
Take time out to read up on menopause from trusted sources and independent specialists. I often hear “I’m not there yet” but why wait when you can be ahead of the curve?
Menopause is often a catalyst for change in all aspects of life. So, let’s curate our life to make us happy. If you are reading this and stuck in the mess right now, remember this is common with transitions. The way out might not be obvious, but it will shine soon.
If you’re looking for support and guidance about the menopause, or to become part of a community, Over The Bloody Moon provides emotional and practical menopause support for both individuals and organisations.
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