Today on A.Vogel Talks Menopause, I take a look at five life changes that can impact your menopause.
It can be overwhelming at the best of times to cope with all the changes that are going on in menopause. But at the same time, some life changes can occur, which impact how you feel during menopause.
Life changes that can occur during menopause
So, let's take a look at a few life changes that can occur, how they can impact your menopause, and what you can do to support yourself better.
1. Empty nest syndrome
Children leaving home often happens at the same time as you're going through menopause. So, not only do you have to deal with your physical and emotional menopause symptoms, if your children leave home during this time you can also experience feelings of grief, sadness, and loss.
Not having them at home can change everything. You're not spending time with them. You're not looking after them. You're not communicating with them so much. And a lot of women can feel lost because of this.
Suddenly, their role has changed. They don't know who to be anymore because they've been in the caring role for so long. So, not having these things to do can have a huge impact on how they feel emotionally as well. And that can impact further on all the emotional symptoms that they may be feeling due to menopause.
2. Relationship changes
Very often, changes to your relationship come after your children leaving home, which can cause relationship problems. You may both have been busy and suddenly, there you are on your own. And you may not know how to communicate so well with each other.
Some women find that they don't understand the person sitting at the opposite side of the breakfast table. This can make it more difficult to get on with each other.
Communicating with other people can sometimes be difficult, especially if you are experiencing a lot of mood swings and anxiety.
There's also the fact that you could be feeling less attractive. You might have put on a bit of weight. And then there's the intimate side of things as well. For a lot of women, libido can change. It can decrease. And if they're suffering from things like vaginal dryness, then sex can be very uncomfortable and very unappealing.
This can further impact on relationship issues because partners may not understand why you don't want to be intimate at the moment.
This can follow on from suddenly realising that you may not care for your partner as much as you did.
For some women, there are also other changes. They feel more energetic. They feel that they want to do more. They want to go out and grab life and suddenly, their partner doesn't want to do that anymore. So, changes can occur that really can't be put back together.
It's quite interesting because there was a study by the AARP, which found that 60% of women who initiated divorce were in their 40s, 50s, or 60s.1 And this is the same age group of women going through menopause.
4. Aging parents
If you're experiencing things like fatigue, emotional issues, and you're worrying more about your parents and are responsible for their care, then this can have a big impact on your time, your energy, and your emotional self too.
If you still have children at home, if you're working, and also care for elderly parents, then this can drain your energy and your time further.
5. Work burnout
So, again, if you are having to cope with menopause and also having to work, it can be difficult. Fatigue, poor sleep, brain fog, as well as becoming more irritable and losing your confidence can all impact your work life and contribute to work burnout.
Some women worry that they're not doing their job well as they did before. And this can add extra anxiety to everything else that's already going on.
How to support yourself more during menopause
So, how can you cope with these things? There are some simple things you can do to support yourself better at this time, such as:
Talk about how you are feeling
It's really important to talk and it's important to try and get people to understand how you feel. I know it's not easy because you may not understand how you feel of what's going on yourself, so trying to explain to somebody else can be difficult.
But it's always worth trying to talk. And sometimes, when other people understand what you're going through, you will end up getting more support.
It's about having a good support network. And I will be talking more about this next week. So, it's about having good friends, perhaps who are also going through menopause, having a meetup or chat regularly to be able to talk. Sometimes having a good moan and even a good cry can make all the difference.
Or consider setting up a support network yourself if you know other women are struggling too, especially if you're at work and there's a lot of women the same age, that may be going through menopause too.
It can make a huge amount of difference to how you feel and how you can cope.
Stop trying to be superwoman!
Don't try and do it all. The menopause drains you of energy at the best of times. And so many women tell me that they're trying to battle through it and they're trying to do everything.
And all that happens is that symptoms get worse. You get more and more fatigued, and you're less able to do the things that you need to do. So, this is one instance where you need to ask for help.
There is nothing wrong with asking for a little bit of help. So many women feel that they have to do everything. They're the linchpin of the family and everything would fall apart without them.
But asking for help, again, can make a huge difference in how you feel and how you can cope through menopause.
Look after yourself
Don't forget to look after yourself. Where are you on your list of priorities? I bet you're not even on the list. So, it's very important to look after yourself well because that will give you both the physical and emotional strength to help you cope with everything going on.
Make sure you are doing the basics; sleeping well, tackling stress, drinking plenty of water, exercising regularly and eating a good healthy balanced diet.
Also, try to address the menopause symptoms you may be experiencing, don't ignore them!
Natural remedies can be helpful, such as taking Sage to help ease hot flushes and night sweats or a magnesium supplement to help support your nervous system and reduce tiredness and fatigue.
More menopause advice and tips
I've posted lots of other blogs, packed with more tips and advice on how to help yourself during menopause. Here are a few that might interest you:
How to sleep better during menopause
5 easy tips to ease hot flushes
Is it normal to feel like this during menopause?
So, I hope you found this one helpful. It's a difficult time, as I said at the beginning, at the best of times, and these life changes are without our control.
We can't control everything in our life. And sometimes, these things happen and we have to deal with them the best way that we can. If any of you out there have had any difficulties and you overcame them, please let us know.
We would love to hear your stories, how you coped, how you did to make yourself and your life better.
Some key takeaways from this blog:
- Life changes can overwhelm you more during menopause and have an impact on your symptoms
- Talking about how you are feeling is one of the best things you can do to help those around you understand that you need some extra support, help, patience and understanding.
- Don't try to be superwoman, it's impossible to take care of everything and everyone else if you can't take care of yourself!
- Take control of your symptoms such as implementing strategies to help you sleep better, ease hot flushes, relieve stress and other emotional issues, etc.
So until next week, take care