What to do when menopause starts hitting hard

We’re all looking for answers in this time of change, everything is overwhelming… what do we do?

Firstly, please don’t suffer in silence! Don’t assume your symptoms are something else. They could well not be your other life circumstances, divorce, money, feeling challenged at work or your relationships. They might be impacting your wellbeing, but the hormonal changes your going through will also be part of it.

Get support and advice on how to help yourself. This can be via traditional medicine or via naturopath. Different things work for different people, it could be a juice detox for a week to start you off on fresh new foot and get the sugar out of your body. It could be supplementing your diet and bath time with magnesium to help you sleep.

Up your self care game. Create a toolkit to look after yourself. Learn self massage, create a cosy bedtime routine, it doesn’t have to be a big shebang.. just a little chill time before you turn in for the night.

Begin a menopause yoga routine, for mind and body. Yoga is perfect for your stiff joints, calming the mind and grounding yourself to find some sanity.

No is a complete sentence

Start saying NO to things! Say no to things that no longer serve you. If you’re a people pleaser, that’s TOUGH. But these boundaries are important, they leave you free to say YES to the things that right for you.

Replace your boundaries, this goes hand-in-hand with saying no. Figure out what is non-negotiable, what just feels right and wrong for you now.

Be kind to yourself. Don’t push yourself and don’t give yourself a hard time if your energy and enthusiasm isn’t there some days. Pushing yourself on low energy/drive days just makes it worse. Rest up and go again when you’re ready

Work on your mental fitness Learn and know the difference between your hormones playing havoc and your saboteurs messing with your head. This takes practice.

Be at peace with the journey of change. Find comfort in the refuge of wisdom, confidence and knowledge you’ve gained throughout your life and the things you will go on to discover about yourself.

Build your nighttime self care toolkit

This sounds indulgent and extra, right? I mean what business woman, mother or both has time for this?! It doesn’t need to be an influencer style routine… You can even get the rest of your family involved. Why not spend the evening winding down together. Turn to reading instead of devices, this one can be tough… so even if you start of with 30 minutes before bed and extend to an hour of no screen time pre-bed, it can make the world of difference!

There are even things you can do to prepare your evening routine. Having your bed pre-made, so it’s ready to jump into. Placing some essential oils and a journal on the bedside table so you can practice a some self massage for a few minutes and celebrate the days wins!

If you have time, a warm bath with Epsom salts for the body and lavender oil the calm the mind always help, specially on the chilly winter evenings. Light some candles, and relax, even if its just 20 minutes – give yourself some time.

Once you’ve stepped way from the screen, why not introduce a bedtime yoga sequence? Here are my top 3 yoga poses to help you chill out before bed.

Uttanasana – Forward Fold

Varvara demonstrating Uttanasana – Forward Fold, in her Lymington Yoga Studio

Relax into this, let gravity take you and release any tension in the head and neck. Hold this for 10-15 good, deep breaths, once you’re done, slowly roll upwards out of the pose with ease.

Forward fold is wonderful for stretching hamstrings and the back, it helps with anxiety and tension and most importantly for sleep – quietens the mind.

Balasana – Child’s Pose

Varvara demonstrating Balasana - Child's Pose, in her Lymington Yoga Studio

Either on your bed or a nice warm place on the floor, Balasana is about creating respite and taking care of yourself. In yoga it reminds us that non-doing is as important as doing – everything in balance. It is wonderful for stretching the hips (great if you sit at a desk all day!), as well as gently stretching the back of your torso – all perfect for reducing stress and fatigue.

While it is no substitute for sleep it can get you back to a place of restfulness. Take 10-15 big, deep breaths and sink into the pose.

Viparita Karani – Legs up the wall

Varvara demonstrating Viparita Karani – Legs up the wall, in her Lymington Yoga Studio

Either on your bed, with a pillow under your head, or on the floor. Lie on your back with your legs up the wall at 90 degrees. You can also place the soles of the feet together if you prefer. This pose is great for a gentle back and leg stretch as well as for your heart and nervous system. Allowing blood to flow away from the legs and back around the body, its wonderful for stress and anxiety, or if you just have restless legs from being on your feet all day.

Take 10-15 long, deep breaths and feel your busy mind melt away into the floor.

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