Menopause is a life transition that no woman can avoid. American anthropologist Margaret Mead describes this time in a woman’s life as being full of energy, coining the term “menopausal zest” to describe what most women think of as a time of diminished energy and reduced vitality.
Clearly not every woman experiences this phase in her life as a time of renewal and freedom. The severity of symptoms, lifestyle, as well as cultural and social attitudes about menopause can severely impact how we experience this transition.
The years leading up to menopause do not just produce bodily changes, but they also have a profound effect on mental health. Shifting hormone levels can cause mood changes and muffle your libido. The very thought of menopause can invite an array of unwelcome emotions.
Many women can develop anxiety when they begin to experience the symptoms of menopause which can include, sleep disturbances, hot flashes, depression and weight gain, just to name a few.
While the list of symptoms sounds very discouraging we can’t lose sight of the fact that everything in life is a tradeoff. And with the proper attitude and self-care regimen menopause can become the impetus for many positive and meaningful changes in life.
Menopause..Learning to Let Go
Remember that menopause is temporary, and you will come out the other side, hopefully feeling better.
Menopause is not a disease. It’s a natural and healthy transition. It is not just about a woman’s’ hormones but also about a time of discovery and freedom.
However, the attempt at aging gracefully might feel thwarted by an urgent impulse to hold on more tightly: To hold on to your youth, your children and your self -image.
But by letting go of those things and allowing for nature to take its course, you are also letting go of all the anxiety and stress associated with those parts of our life. ‘Letting go’ allows you to move forward with a clearer, more ambitious state of mind.
Only this time around, your ambitions will be better directed towards the things that are more personal like your health, your goals, your spirituality, and your relationship with your spouse.
Sex is a Four-Letter Word Called Love
The discomforts associated with menopause can create a lot of distance between a woman and her husband. Not only do they have to deal with the physical challenges of menopause, but women tend to feel less sexual and attractive during this time.
But a lot of those feelings are just your perception. And by simply shifting your priorities you will be able to shift those perceptions.
This is a time to prioritize your marriage and to develop a more sensual and playful interaction without your mate without the stressors of child rearing weighing you down. It’s important to imagine a new life of courtship together that includes taking the time to enjoy each other’s company.
To be lovers, but also friends. This is a time when love and romance can become more profound and meaningful. One way to start this journey is to communicate more regularly and to let your spouse know what you need as you go through this challenging phase.
Since menopause is hormonal, it’s important for your life partner to understand the process. There are things that he can and should do to help ease the struggle. And it’s important for you to express your needs and not expect him to read your mind.
Let him know that you need to be heard. Explain that you need him to be more compassionate and to validate your experience and not dismiss it. Let him know that you need to be romanced and feel celebrated.
You will also need your family to accept that you are going to have to make some lifestyle changes like regular exercise and quality leisure time with your friends. Exercise is especially critical as it not only acts as an anti-depressant but it will make you feel more energetic and confident.Pages: 1 2