How To Empower Your Perimenopause
Before we read on, let me introduce to you our lovely guest writer,Pamela, whom I've know now for several years.
Pamela is nationally and internationally recognised women's health coach, and hypnotherapist and expert specialising in perimenopause and menopause.
She brings a suite of evidence-based tools and techniques to support women in this phase of life, using diagnostic testing, functional nutrition and lifestyle medicine to help you in areas such as low energy, brain fog, anxiety, sleep, mood swings, migraines, hair loss, fibroids, libido, thyroid health, cardiovascular health, diabetes and so much more. She believes that women can age feeling vibrant, sassy and strong, physically and mentally.
Take it away Pamela....
What is the absolute worst thing about perimenopause?
Is it the unbearable hot flushes? Night sweats that overwhelm you unannounced and turn your body into a burning, sweating mess? Or the forgetfulness, the moodiness, the loss of libido or those terrible headaches?
No. The very worst thing about the perimenopause is the disempowerment that we feel.
It’s as if we’ve lost power over our usually compliant bodies and minds.
So, we battle on and try to make it through whatever way we can, whether that means just putting up with it all, and hoping things will improve, then turning up the air conditioning, taking a huge amount of supplements or turning to artificial drugs treatments like HRT.
It’s a sorry state of affairs. But here’s the thing. There’s a third option in all of this; the natural approach. Done well it can help reduce your symptoms, improve your self-image, and also boost your overall health leaving your feeling strong, positive and empowered. Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it?
Here are my 5 simple steps to empowering your perimenopause.
1. Optimise Your Lifestyle
The first step towards taking control of your perimenopause is to take a good hard look at your lifestyle and fix the things that are preventing you from enjoying amazing health.
This means investing time and effort in really caring for yourself properly, getting both the quantity and quality of sleep that your body really needs, giving up smoking (I know, it might be particularly difficult), minimizing your alcohol consumption and also reducing the amount of plastic you use in your day-to-day life.
Yes, that’s right- plastic can be one of the worst offenders when it comes to disrupting the natural hormonal balance within our bodies.
Research published in the Journal of Neuroendocrinology has shown that certain plastics can actually mimic oestrogen in the body which can induce early menopause, worsen perimenopause symptoms, increase levels of breast cancer and affect heart and bone health.
So ditch your harmful plastic lunchbox in favour of a stainless steel one, carry a stainless steel or glass water bottle with you, and reduce the amount of pre-packaged foods you are eating.
2. Get the Right Dose of Exercise
The myth about exercise, is that even the gentle type, is beneficial when it comes to boosting your health and easing your perimenopausal symptoms. However, we really need is to get our hearts pumping, get that blood flowing and break into a sweat in order for exercise to have its full impact upon our body and hormones.
But we also don’t want to over exercise as this can backfire and impact our sleep, energy levels and of cause hormones.
Now if the mere thought of all this effort breaks you out in a cold sweat, don’t panic just yet- it can all be done in a maximum of 20 minutes three times per week.
The perimenopause is the time when we really need to pay attention to the nutrition and the food we eat. No longer are we able to cram whatever we like into our mouths without it interrupting our sleep, brain function and mood, we need the additional support that optimal nutrition can provide.
The easiest and most effective way to do it is to embrace food. That’s right- absolutely adore every single item you put into your mouth. Value yourself enough to avoid those high-sugar processed foods laden with additives, preservatives and trans fats and turn to beautiful real food instead.
Cook from scratch like your mother used to do, enjoying plenty of fresh green leafy vegetables to provide extra minerals and micro-nutrients. Also, low-sugar fruits, healthy fats, nuts and seeds, plenty of proteins and if you eat them, grass-fed meats, if possible.
Additionally, try to eat foods with a low GI level to help stabilise your blood sugar to support your overall health.
4. Do Your Life Laundry
During periods of transition like these, we often step back and reflect upon where we are and where we want to be.
Sometimes we realise that what we have now is even better than our wildest dreams, but other times we notice that we don’t feel entirely content with the way things are.
Now is your opportunity to have a spring clean! Throw open your internal windows and take a good look at your life. If there’s something that’s not working, fix it or move on. It’s that simple.
Have that conversation that’s long overdue, reassess the things that really matter and begin to live the happy life you deserve.
5. Relaxation for Stress Management
For many of us, perimenopause can be a stressful time of readjustment and resistance, when we experience a whole host of both physical and emotional symptoms.
It’s the time when any long-standing emotional issues of self-worth and self-image rear their nasty heads, so there’s no better time to really get to grips with them, boost how you are feeling about yourself, reduce that stress and move forward as a brighter and more confident woman.
There are countless ways that you can take positive action to reduce the stress and anxiety in your life. These include relaxation techniques, positive visualisation, meditation, art and music therapies and hypnotherapy.
Take your time to discover something that really works for you, and reap the benefits.