This natural 'season' of a woman's life can be challenging as hormones change, effecting both MIND & BODY.
From brain fog, night sweats, rages and itchy skin to fatigue and weight fluctuation and forgetfulness, the symptoms associated with menopause are endless.
'I just don't feel like me!' - said most menopausal woman at some point.
In menopause, our #Oestrogen and #Progesterone levels fall. These are our calming hormones that help to protect us from the stress hormone #Cortisol. As the Oestrogen and Progesterone levels come crashing down, the effects of cortisol heighten.
On top of these physical changes, the transition to Menopause often coincides with having teenage children or elderly parents who depend on us, while our careers are at their most demanding too.
Suddenly the super powers you have learnt from years of juggling and coping are being challenged by nature.
Our bodies and minds are asking us to Meno-PAUSE.
It can be tough when life is carrying on around you to allow yourself the time out for self care. BUT if you take the time out to de-stress and centre yourself, all those nasty symptoms related to menopause will lessen. In calming your mind and body and doing things for YOU, you can literally change your physiology.
Taking time for you to do something relaxing or something that lights you up will relieve stress and increase your positive energy.
Your Self Care Routine
Aim for 20 mins a day but if that's too much, start with 10mins!
Self care doesn't necessarily mean booking yourself an expensive retreat or an exotic holiday (although maybe that's a goal!).
Introducing self care into your life should start little and often by finding time for YOU.
Scheduling 20mins a day at a regular time, will help you commit to your self care routine. First thing in the morning or last thing at night are ideal times for journaling and meditation as our minds in a more suggestible state closer to sleep.
Hey, why not multi task (us ladies are good at that) and go through your gratitude list in the bath!
Set yourself a realistic goal of how much time you can allow yourself each day.
Start with some self reflection. Be honest about the stressful areas of your life. What is it that needs to change and what small step you can make to feel better about the situation?
Your Self Care Pick and Mix Menu
I have 5mins for Self Care
Practice Gratitude - Spend a few minutes each morning to acknowledge 3 things you are grateful for helps us to focus on the positive and moves us to higher energetic frequency. It may be you start with gratitude for your comfy bed, enjoying a hot soothing cuppa, or that the suns is shining. A regular gratitude practice teaches us to be present and to notice the positives around us.
Breathe - Deep mindful breathing calms a stressed nervous system. It brings us into the present and connects us with our bodies. Simply taking a few deep breaths and noticing how we feel can relieve symptoms of anxiety. The wonderful thing is, our breath is available to us at all times so this self care practice is always on tap.
Be Kind to yourself - Take a look in the mirror and tell yourself something wonderful about yourself. Talk to yourself like your own best friend as the words we say to ourselves are the most powerful words we hear. Congratulate yourself on an achievement. Appreciate your wisdom and beauty. Start with 'I am....'
Hug a loved one....or a pet. A hug of 20 seconds or more has been shown to increase the feel-good hormone oxytocin which in turn reduces stress and boosts the immune system.
I have 10mins for Self Care
Journal - Write yourself a love letter. When was the last time you appreciated just how perfectly unique and wonderful you really are? Start the letter with 'Dear........, I love you completely because.....' and let the kindness flow.
Meditate - Listen to a guided meditation or self hypnosis. When your mind is relaxed and focused, your physiology changes. Allowing your mind and body to take time out from whirring and negative thoughts is hugely beneficial for our mental and physical health. Even 10 mins can allow you to 'reset' and counter stress hormones in the body.
Laugh - Arrange a get together with your favorite people. The ones that love you for being exactly who you are and make you belly laugh. Laugh as much as you can. Happy hormones counter stress and are a tonic for your soul. Even remembering something that makes you laugh and turning up the corners of your mouth can change your mood for the better, and maybe even your day.
I have 20mins for Self Care
Go for a walk in Nature. We are a part of nature and need to reconnect to find harmony within our MIND and BODY. While you are walking take notice of the grass, the trees the sky. See the colours, smell the aromas, listen to the bird song. Ask yourself how it makes you feel.
Practice Pilates - Roll out your mat and your half way there. Even some gentle and mindful stretching and resistance can put us back in touch with our minds and bodies, ease tension and lift your mood. Building muscle strength is key to supporting the skeletal system so pilates is the perfect menopause companion. Check out the http://www.woodstockpilatesstudio.co.uk for some awesome classes.
Be creative - Creativity is within all of us. It can come in all shapes and forms. From spending time doodling or drawing or you can be creative just pottering around the house and moving some objects to create new spaces. Even digging into the back of your cupboard and choosing a different outfit combination or something bright and fun to wear can bring us into a creative headspace .
I have 60mins for Self Care
Have a bath. Make a bath your ritual. Light an aromatherapy candle, run a bath and add your favourite bath salts or oils. Adding a couple of drops of Lavender and Geranium can rebalance hormones leave you feeling relaxed and pampered.
Eat Well - make yourself a nutritious meal, filled with the nutrients your body needs. A diet based largely on plant food is best. Beans, greens, sweet potato, seasonal fruits, nuts and seeds will boost your vitamin intake and give your body and mind the essential oils and nutrients needed for your heart and skeletal health. Bananas, eggs, chicken, turkey, pears, celery, dates, and very dark chocolate will increase production of serotonin, our happy hormone.
Book yourself a Reflexology treatment. The deep relaxation induced by a reflexology treatment de-stresses and rebalances your body. When you relax the negative effects of stress hormones are reduced and your body returns to a rest and digest mode restoring a sense of calm.
And remember, you're not alone! Talk to friends, family and professionals.
Nurture & Shine has been created to support you on your journey of MIND-BODY wellness.
Book a free 20min call to discuss how I can help.