How can I learn to ‘Embrace the change’ in the Menopause?

There is only one certainty in life, and that is that everything changes.

So, why is this so difficult to accept, and why is it that so many of us resist change so much?

The truth is we are hard-wired to choose safety at all costs. Change can feel uncomfortable and scary, so we would rather avoid it than embrace it.

However, if change is inevitable then it is crucial that we learn how to adapt and embrace it, because if we try and resist or fight against it, it is ultimately us who will suffer.

It is also true that when we learn to adapt and embrace change in life, we have so much to gain, and our lives will be all the richer for it.

This is especially true of the Perimenopause. The Peri menopause is an inevitable process of change that will happen to all women.

However, the key is how we approach this ‘change’. Clearly ignoring challenging symptoms, and the signals our bodies are trying to tell us, is not helpful. Instead, allowing our bodies time to adapt to the decline in hormones and embracing the ‘change’ rather than ignoring or resisting it will be undoubtedly far more empowering.

There has been many people campaigning recently to increase awareness of the Menopause which is great. However, much of the focus has been on sharing the challenging symptoms, and I imagine that this might cause many women to be fearful of what awaits them…

The term Menopause actually describes one day: the last day of Menstruation. However, the years leading up to that; the Perimenopause can occur for many years, and how we approach this time is crucial. There is so much we can do to support ourselves with our lifestyle choices and this can help us to embrace ‘the change’ in a much more positive and empowering way.

To enable women to feel truly empowered, it is actually really important to start talking about the Perimenopause….

As Dr Lara Briden explains in her brilliant book ‘hormone repair manual’,

‘The menopause is not a single event. It is a sequence of events where massive physiological changes occur over several years. The proceeding years are called the peri menopause which can last anywhere from 2-12 years, and can occur to women in their 40’s, and even late 30’s….’

Her advice is also very clear:

‘Your body needs to slow down, and if you can’t find a way to do that, your body will find one for you.’

Whilst reflecting on my recent 6- week Perimenopause/ Menopause group coaching program, I was delighted to stumble upon this beautiful bitesize podcast with psychotherapist Julia Samuel sharing her wisdom on how to adapt to change…

She explained how important it is to be able to express our feelings in a safe place, and to learn to be more gentle, self-compassionate to ourselves. She feels that developing love and connection with ourselves and others is key when facing any change in life.

This to me describes so beautifully what occurs during my program. I share helpful health information, and wellbeing tools, but the magic that occurs is due to the seven women taking time each week to reflect and prioritise their own needs, and to connect with themselves and other women,

When women come together who are going through similar experiences, it can be so powerful, and it is a real privilege to be able to create that space each week.

This particular group really demonstrated to me for the first time this very deep-seated fear of change… One of the ladies said, ‘We are changing and becoming different people.’, as another was brought to tears by this very idea…

It is not surprising because the idea that we might lose the very essence of ourselves I imagine would be scary for everyone. and I think for many women, the biggest impact of the Perimenopause is simply just not feeling like themselves at all!

However, it is also important to recognise that our spirit will remain despite the physical changes that are happening, as another member of the group demonstrated so beautifully.

This particular lady came to the group feeling like she had lost her joyful self. However, by the end of the program, on her final 1:1 session, she had me running down the hills with her, clearing having rekindled her love for life, shouting:

‘ Let us get out the Wedgewood and put on the sequins. What are we waiting for?’

What an absolute transformation, and a total pleasure to witness.

Given the time and space to reflect and prioritise our own needs we can all find the wisdom and spirit within us again.

I called the course ‘Find the Pause in the Menopause’ because slowing down & creating space is crucial at this time to enable us to check in with ourselves and listen to what we need. It is an absolute privilege to witness what happens when women commit to taking tiny actions each week, whether that is making time to create small habits around food, movement, sleep or relaxation, or simply making time to do the things they enjoy or spend time with people they love.

It is often when we ignore and override the body’s signals that we become overwhelmed or unwell. When we create space, we allow ourselves time to access our own inner wisdom and intuition…

One of the ladies in the group said she previously hadn’t stopped to consider that she was peri-menopausal yet had intuitively been making herself Epsom salt baths and embracing meditative sound healing and instinctively slowing down for quite some time.

She also regularly encouraged everyone to embrace and try new things which I really loved. Looking at change as an opportunity to try new things is certainly a beautiful and empowering approach, and one from which we all have so much to gain.

If you would like any support navigating the Perimenopause or Menopause, I would be delighted to help you. If you would like to book on for a gifted 1:1 coaching session to find out more, please click on this link.

In the meantime, thank you for reading.

Take good care of yourself,

Harriet x

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