I’ve never met a woman that has said, “Wow, I love menopause!.” Of course, it’s a struggle for many women, and even if it’s not, most will still attest it’s unpleasant. I mean, lets’ face it, hot flashes, vaginal dryness, cold sweats, does any of this sound fun? That’s a hard no, right?
But, while every woman’s menopausal experience is entirely different, there are a few symptoms that remain consistent. For those who have experienced it, I’m positive you’ll find yourself relating to at least a few of the following:
The one when we struggle to get quality sleep.
Menopause is a time for change – major change. These are occurring on an emotional, hormonal, and physical level all at once. This can make sleeping nearly impossible at times. A few everyday sleep struggles are insomnia, hot flashes, and developing sleep-disordered breathing. Getting a good night’s rest is the best start to a day, and even basic tasks can get challenging day after day of not sleeping.
A few things that might improve your sleep are sticking to a bedtime routine, exercising during the day, limiting caffeine, especially around bedtime, and avoiding napping during the day. You can also try drinking chamomile tea before bed, having a warm bath, or listening to a sleep meditation soundtrack.
The one where we cry about everything.
Okay, maybe not “everything,” but it might feel like that to those around us! Because menopause is such a hormonal journey, you might find your emotions a bit harder to control.
Try self-calming techniques like meditation, yoga, deep guided breathing, or going for a walk to practice control over emotions. The most common sentiment reported is irritability. A few things that might help this are daily exercise, a healthy diet, and talk therapy.
The one when our periods are irregular.
This is common for many women. In fact, some women never have a regular menstruation cycle. As ovulation shortens through menopause, the flow and length of your periods change, and menstruation cycles may not be consistent from month to month, or some monthly periods might be missed. It’s common for cycles to shorten during menopause, and eventually, your period will no longer occur. Unfortunately, that usually takes several years, so your period might be irregular for a while!
The one when we’re tired.
When aren’t we tired? Many of us are mothers or maybe even grandmothers. Tired is our middle name! Hormone fluctuations in menopause can be exhausting, making even daily tasks very difficult. In addition, massive changes in estrogen, progesterone, and thyroid hormones can directly impact sleep and cause fatigue.
To boost your energy naturally, try incorporating exercise into your routine. Limit caffeine intake, embrace relaxation, don’t overwork yourself, and stay aware of your energy and time.
The one where we’re moody.
Okay, this is a no-judgment zone, right? Being moody is tough, and as women, we already have so much to go up against. It can get very discouraging. It’s common to feel anxious, depressed, and experience episodes of crying.
Remember, menopause is a massive shift in the body and involves several chemical and hormonal changes. Many women describe themselves as being very irritable and having little to no patience. During menopause, hormone levels of estrogen drop, which has an impact on the entire body. Hormone shifts can also intensify feelings like anger, rage, anxiousness, and much more.
There isn’t a way to eliminate this symptom, but a few things that might help you deal with it are journaling, meditation, and daily exercise. Positive self-talk and daily affirmations are also tools that can help inspire and motivate you to get through difficult times.
We’re All in This Together
Menopause is most definitely not a walk in the park. Though every woman’s experience is unique, common symptoms are an almost universal part of the change of life. Menopause is a time for significant change in your body and has hormonal, chemical, and physical manifestations.
Symptoms can leave you feeling frustrated and alone, but you’re not! Society has taught us it is a private topic we shouldn’t talk about, that it’s something to hide. But that’s not accurate. Let’s talk about menopause and all the pleasant (JUST KIDDING!) symptoms together and celebrate all it means to be a woman.