If menopause is generally chaotic what does a “healthy” menopause look like? In the 20 years I have been working with women in transition, here’s what I notice.
The women I work with use the chaos of midlife and menopause as a time to pause in the space; take stock of their lives, challenge their beliefs, let go of old habits and change the conversation they are having – with themselves, their friends and family.
Here are the top five attributes of a healthy transition in menopause.
- Pause -Stop and take the time to understand the changes happening in menopause and make choices to support mind, body and spirit now and for the future.
“[At menopause]..a woman’s health is both more vulnerable and also more accessible to positive change. Her health can alter for good or ill at these times, depending on how well she cares for herself and on the quality of any medical care she receives.“
Lara Owen, Menstruation Researcher http://laraowen.com/articles/menopause-the-wise-way/
- Talk – Menopause is still taboo and talking about it uncomfortable. Women who navigate a healthy menopause, share their story with their partner, friends, family and workplace. In doing so they help to destigmatise menopause for the next generation. Key themes emerging are: it’s not an illness to medicate away, it;’s going to end and it has its own wisdom.
- Ask for help – its’s hard for women to put their hand up for help. Learning to be skillfully vulnerable, enables women to get the support they need. It may be a trusted medical, allied health or spiritual advisor. However, many women are still looking for group support to share their experiences and feel that they are very much alone in the menopausal transition.
- Change – It’s easier to start eating more vegetables, move your bedtime earlier or take supplements. One of the biggest blind spots is resting more and taking stress and overwhelm seriously. Women facing challenging menopause symptoms choose to organise work around their life rather than the other way around, take more time off and let go of roles and responsibilities that drain them physically and emotionally.
- Connect – Women who make the time to connect with themselves know that menopause can be a place of deep healing and a portal to living more in the present. They can access a newfound creative energy. It is a process of coming to terms with loss of youth and fertility but on the other side, creativity, freedom, maturity and wisdom.