Do you find yourself in overwhelm, trying to deal with the stresses of life whilst also going through hormonal shifts?
It feels like the perfect storm: at a time in your life where you seem to have more responsibilities then ever – looking after elderly parents, grandkids (or kids!), a demanding job and home life, you’re also trying to manage the symptoms of menopause like mood swings, brain fog, weight gain and insomnia.
You may already be aware that chronic stress, particularly as we approach menopause, can have a huge impact on our health, as it encourages the body to produce more cortisol at a time when hormones are already fluctuating. This can lead to weight gain and a greater risk of diabetes and heart disease. Also, when your hormones are out of whack you can feel tired but wired, and it can be really hard to motivate yourself to do some exercise or prepare nourishing meals. Luckily there are some simple mindset steps you can take so you can feel more hormonally balanced, healthier and happier.
Create your own web of support
Think about areas in your life where you need more support, for example, childcare, and write down who you could ask to help you in those areas. If you can’t think of anyone, devote some time to thinking who you could ask, then chat to them about it. Perhaps you could help each other? When we feel more supported it can really help reduce feelings of anxiety.
Schedule some JOY
When you wake up, before you check your emails and texts, schedule in your diary at least 2 things which will bring you joy – a walk in the park, a Pilates class, whatever feeds your mind, body and soul.
‘Get into the (New) Groove’
At the end of a stressful day, replace ‘I must have a glass of wine’ with ‘ I’m going to try a different strategy which will nourish my well being.’. This might be a potter in the garden or an online HIIT workout. By replacing negative thoughts with positive ones you will be making a new habit forming groove which will serve you better.
Radical Self Care
Prioritise your own physical and emotional needs OVER those closest to you. You can’t pour from an empty cup.
Find a comfortable place to sit and take a few deep breaths. Slowly start to breathe normally. Keep your mind focussed on the breath. If it starts to wander, just bring the mind back to the breath.
Just say ‘NO’
Have a ‘no’ or ‘probably not’ ready for those situations where you know you’d be acting out of obligation if you said ‘yes’. This gives you time to consider whether you want to commit yourself. When we do things under obligation, our stress levels rise. When we do things out of pleasure, they don’t.
I’d love to hear how you manage stress in your life…