A.Vogel Talks Menopause: Loss of confidence during menopause


Eileen Durward
@EileenDurward


06 March 2017

Read the full video transcript below

Today's topic

Hello and welcome to A.Vogel Talks Menopause. And today, I’m going to talk about loss of confidence.

Now, this is a really common symptom in the menopause. It’s also a really horrible one. It can either creep up on you, without you really noticing, until you’re faced with some nervous situation, or else it can just hit you like a ton of bricks. You can be fine one minute, and then the next thing, you’re just absolutely in bits, doing something that normally you wouldn’t actually think twice of.

Experiencing an unease or fear?

What happens is that you start to experience an unease or a fear about doing daily things that normally don’t actually cause a problem at all. And it may be things like your workplace, you know, if you give a lot of talks, if you give presentations, if you give speeches, you might find that suddenly, you just don’t want to do it anymore. You just feel really nervous, you feel worried that maybe your memory’s going to give way as well. And situations like this, unfortunately, if nervousness creeps in as well, then that can actually trigger a hot flush or a sweat, and that will just compound the whole problem.

Just can’t cope?

It may well be that you are used to being very firm with people. Maybe you deal with members of the public, maybe you’re one of these people that deals with complaints and suddenly you find that you just can’t cope with any confrontations. You might find that, instead of, you know, getting the upper hand that you’re actually having to walk away in tears because you feel that you just can’t cope with the situation. And this can also occur within the family as well. You may be the strong one in the family and suddenly you find that you just can’t cope with the daily things that go on in any household.

Body image

It might be to do with your body image, you know, this is an awful one. You might lose confidence in yourself generally, about how you’re wearing your clothes, how you’re looking, whether your makeup’s right and, you know, this is one that can grab you, before you actually walk out the door to go to work or where else you need to go to.

Driving

Driving is actually a really common one. It’s amazing how many women actually say to me that suddenly the thought of having to drive through traffic just sends them into a panic. And this is a difficult one, especially if you have to drive to work or if you actually drive for a living. Suddenly finding that you really just don’t want to get into a car anymore can be very, very upsetting.

What is actually happening

What happens? Why does this actually happen? Well, this is not in your head. It’s not one of these that you’re imagining that, you know, you’re going mad or anything like that. There is a real, physical reason for this. And it’s all to do with your oestrogen.

Now, for those of you who’ve been watching for a while, you will know that falling oestrogen can really affect the nervous system. And your adrenal glands, which basically help to control your nervous system, they can get really wound up. They can get really jumpy. They can get really panicky as your oestrogen starts to fall. But because there is no real fear, this has all to do with the flight-or-fight situation. So your adrenals go into overdrive and you go, “Oh, there’s nothing really happening.” But your mind starts to take over. It starts to imagine these panicky situations. It starts to imagine these fearful situations. And what happens is you then find yourself worrying about all the day-to-day things that normally, you can cope with, and this, if it starts to happen over time, will lead to the loss of confidence.

What can you do?

Now, what can you do about this? It’s quite an easy one to fix in many ways.

Water

The most important thing, believe it or not, is water. Dehydration will make your adrenals even more jumpy, even more nervous. And one of the things that I found really helped me, because I do public talks and seminars, was to have a good drink of water about half an hour before I actually had to start. And I found it was really amazing how quickly it actually helped to calm everything down. So remember the water and if, you know, you’re getting hot flushes and sweats as well, then, it’s doubly important to keep your water intake up.

Diet

Look at your diet. Just make sure that you’re getting plenty of fresh foods. Your adrenals need just about every single vitamin and mineral that’s going, in order to stabilize them during the menopause. So anything you can do, diet-wise, to help them is going to be really beneficial. If you want to, you can add in a good general multi-vit as well. There’s certainly no problem actually doing that one.

Exercise

We need to look at exercise. Now, I know exercise can be a big issue in the menopause, especially if you’re very fatigued. If your get-up-and-go has gone, you know, you can’t actually get motivated. But we’re not talking mega exercise here. We’re just talking about a brisk 30 minute walk a day. It can be done in the morning. It can be done during your lunch hour, even before your dinner in the evening. And that can help to just stabilize your nervous system. It gets your circulation working well too, which is very important.

Breathing

We need to look at breathing and, you know, I’ve talked about this before, about how deep breathing can help to calm you down. So practice two or three times a day, some deep breathing exercises and especially, if you’re going to have to do something that’s gonna, sort of, take the edge off your confidence, then do the deep breathing maybe about 15 minutes beforehand.

Blood sugar levels

Keep your blood sugars level as well, because if you go through long periods without eating anything, your blood sugar levels can start to dip or fluctuate and that can set in the panic mode as well. So things like, you know, keep a little bag or a box of mixed nuts and seeds handy, and you’ll find that just snacking on them can make a huge amount of difference.

Remedies to help

The other things are things like the herbs you can go for calming herbs such as our Avena sativa or Passiflora. Personally, I prefer the flower essences because these really work well on the emotional sides of any kind of issue. And we have a lovely one called Confidence Essence, and this is the one that I actually used when I started to do public speaking. They’re great, as I mentioned the other week, they’re little bottles, you can keep them in your handbag. You can carry them around with you everywhere. And anytime you feel that you just need something on the spot, you can just put a couple of drops straight onto the tongue.

Pamper yourself

The other nice things that you can do for yourself is to pamper yourself. And do something nice for yourself that makes you feel good, you know, maybe get your hair done, go with some girly friends, and have a makeup session. Anything that’s just going to give you that little bit more confidence in yourself is going to have a positive effect all the way through.

One interesting point

Now, there’s just one interesting thing here. Although loss of confidence is a very common symptom in the menopause, some women actually find that they get bags of it, that suddenly their confidence goes through the roof. They start taking on things they’ve never done before. They want to try new things. They want to be adventurous. This can be quite frightening for the rest of the family. So, I know, myself, I decided to go paragliding and I think my daughters were absolutely horrified. So it’s one to just be aware of, if you find that you’re really coming out of yourself as a woman, just let other people know that, you know, this is still the real you, and this isn’t anything out of the ordinary in the menopause.

Send us your tips

So, hope you enjoyed this one and if you have any great tips for helping to boost your confidence, we would love to hear about them. And I will happily see you next week for another A.Vogel Talks Menopause.

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