Today on A.Vogel Talks Menopause, I take a look at five ways menopause can affect your everyday life.
How does menopause affect a woman's life?
Although menopause is a natural state for women to go through, the physical and emotional symptoms can negatively affect your daily life, including impacting your work and sex life, as well as making you less social, less motivated, and exercise less.
So, I thought today, I would have a look at each of these areas of your life, explaining how can impact it and helpful habits you can adopt.
1. Menopause can make you less sociable
A lot of women tell me that they feel less sociable. They can't be bothered to meet friends. They get extra irritated with their family. They get introverted. They feel that they just can't be bothered. They lose the social needs. They just don't want to cope with anybody. Sometimes, they just want to hide away and hibernate for a few months.
This situation can also cause social anxiety so you can start to feel separated from everyday life, maybe you don't want to even go out to the shops. You can find that you get panic attacks when you're meeting lots of different people.
2. Menopause can make you struggle at work
This is a huge one. I can't believe the percentage of women who, going through menopause, have had problems at work.
It could be to do with forgetfulness, memory, lack of concentration. If you're having poor sleep, it can cause fatigue which can have a huge impact on your working life, especially if you have more of a physical job or you have to be on your feet a lot of the time.
It can be due to embarrassment if you're in front of other people and you're getting hot flushes or sweats, you might just not know where to put yourself.
It can be due to bladder control problems during menopause, so you might find the need that you've got to run to the toilet twice as often as normal. And, if you're front of house, if you're dealing with the public, very often, you can't even get away to go to the toilet, which can be really uncomfortable and sometimes, even very painful.
3. Menopause can affect your sex life
We know that low oestrogen can affect libido. There can be vaginal dryness which can cause pain and discomfort during sex. It can be due to losing body confidence.
A lot of women tell me they don't want to have their partners see them naked.
It can be fatigue as well. If you've had a really busy day, the last thing on your mind is being intimate with your partner. You just want to sleep, never mind anything else.
4. Menopause can make you feel unmotivated to do everyday tasks
It can be a loss of motivation. It can be a complete disinterest in life. You may find that you can't even be bothered. You don't want to get out of bed. You can't be bothered to clear up. You can't be bothered to go out. You don't want to do maybe the things that you used to get a lot of enjoyment from.
A lot of women tell me that they can't be bothered with hobbies that they've enjoyed for years and they just want to sit and do nothing. They can also find that just general, daily tasks can be a real struggle to get through.
5. Menopause can also affect the way that you exercise
If you've always been really active before menopause, this can especially affect you. You may find, again, fatigue sets in. The lack of motivation I mentioned above can affect your exercise routine.
It may be due to the fact that you're starting to get joint aches or muscle aches. And obviously, if you're getting a lot of discomfort during exercise, then that can be really off-putting, too.
And again, it's the factor of being less sociable. You might find that you can't be bothered to go to the gym. You can't be bothered to meet friends for a run in the park.
Helpful habits which can lessen the impact menopause has on your life
So what can help you? If you find that menopause is starting to impact your daily life, try to incorporate these helpful daily habits:
All of these symptoms can be caused because your body is needs extra nutrients. The changing hormones drain you of energy so your nutritional needs go up. There's so much research now from all quarters, saying that a healthy diet can make a huge impact on how you go through menopause (1).
So it's worth even having a little bit of an overhaul. You can easily get into the habit of having a biscuit at coffeetime and maybe, if you're tired at night, you can't be bothered to cook a proper meal, so end up slipping from time to time. But just having a little bit of an overhaul now and again can make a huge amount of difference.
Sleep, for so many, is an issue. If you're not sleeping well, that's going to affect you both physically, and emotionally, and mentally the following day. So, it's about getting a good sleep pattern going again.
Drink plenty of water
Remember the water! Dehydration affects the nervous system and that will affect all symptoms one way or another.
Relax and have "me" time
I recommend this again, and again, and again. Thirty minutes "me" time is worth its weight in gold because relaxing the body, allowing the body a little bit of time to recuperate, and re-energise itself can make a great deal of difference for all menopause symptoms that you may be experiencing.
Don't shut yourself away
It's not easy because when you get into that less sociable mode, it takes a great deal of effort to try and be sociable and meet people, even talking to people, or phoning people. You know, sometimes, you just don't want to feel like it but it's really important.
This is one of these phases that goes at some point and the majority of women find that it will ease off at some point. And if you've got into the habit of not communicating with other people, sometimes it can be really difficult to get back into that normal kind of lifestyle, if you like.
Talk about it – ask for help if you need it
Don't be ashamed of going through menopause. It's so important to ask for help. If I had one wish, it would be that women could feel comfortable talking about menopause to anybody, to make it less of a taboo subject or, you know, a dark secret.
If you are struggling in any way, then it's so important to talk to family, to talk to friends, even to talk to your doctor if need be. Once you start to share how you feel, it really can make life that little bit easier because people would be willing to help you in some way.
Find solutions to ease your symptoms
So, any kind of symptom that you've got that you are struggling with, there are solutions out there for it, including natural ones.
I've been doing these videos for several years and we have a huge playlist on YouTube. I've covered so many subjects so over the years, such as tips on how to ease hot flushes, ways to beat menopausal fatigue, advice on reducing menopause weight gain and more! So, there may well be something there that can be of benefit for you so do have a look if you're struggling in any way.
If you're struggling, then please speak to your doctor or your healthcare practitioner because there may be things that they can do to help you as well.
I hope you found this one helpful. If any of you have found the menopause has played havoc with any area of your life and you wish to share it, then please do.
Key points to take away from this blog:
- Menopause can impact your day-to-day life, from making you less sociable and impacting your work life, to making you less motivated to do daily tasks
- It can also affect how you experience and your sex life
- There are lots of simple things which can make a big difference to your quality of life during menopause, including eating and sleeping well
- Remember menopause is a phase in your life, it doesn't last forever!
Until next week, take care.