It’s here. For me, at least. and most of my friends.
So what to do about it?
Most of us women in our 40s are either starting to go through it, have gone through it, or will go through it soon enough.
During this section of our lives, our hormones are transitioning and fluctuating in levels we’ve not experienced before. As we go from having periods to no periods, this in-between time can be full of surprises.
For one, our menstrual cycles can shift in duration and we can be caught off guard without supplies. Surprise!
While I personally cannot wait for my periods to cease forever, I am choosing to see this time of surprises as an opportunity to be kinder and softer with myself. As an opportunity to prioritize myself, to take better care of myself, so I can move through this transition with as much ease and grace as possible.
Remember, aging is automatic. It’s happening. Don’t resist it. Flow with it (ha!).
I’ve started to see all of these hormonal shifts as toxic.
Toxic. I get it!
Toxic to my physical body (feeling sick, nauseated, bloated, crampy)
Toxic to my mental being (mood swings, grumpiness, irritability)
Toxic to my relationships (less kind and less patient)
Toxic to my spirit (as I self-judge myself to how I react in the world).
Toxic is a word I can identify with. I have an arsenal of ways to deal with toxicity.
It just so happens that when you google peri menopause and how to deal, most methods suggested to help, happen to be detoxifying.
So if I can think of my 40s as the decade to detox, I can wrap my head around how to manage my fluctuating hormones so I can function better in the world.
When I get off balance or fall off the detox wagon, my symptoms worsen. I don’t get angry or sad, I simply decide to make detoxing more of a priority. When I’m better at the detoxing, my symptoms lessen.
Keep in mind that detoxing is a daily practice that when implemented becomes a habit.
Ways to detox:
1. Hydrate (drink at least half of your body weight in ounces each day and start in the morning).
2. Exercise (get your heart rate up and sweat, most days of the week).
3. Fiber (try to eat 9 cups of fruit and veggies each day).
4. Steam, sauna, turn the heat up as often as possible (reduces stress, regulates body temperature and helps sleep)
5. Sleep (more important that ever before in your life. Never skimp on sleep. Be in bed at least 9 hours to rest and sleep so your body/mind can heal from the day and rejuvenate for the next day).
6. Eliminate processed sugar (as much as you can at least). Have dark chocolate when you need a little sweetness.
Other practices that can be helpful are meditation and yoga, eating soy products, and scheduling in more rest.
When my cycle hits, I commit to clearing some stuff off my calendar so I can rest more on that day, if possible.
You can also look up yoga poses to do during your cycle as the Eastern sciences and philosophies have lots of wisdom to offer.
Get professional help.
Seeing an acupuncturist and taking Chinese herbs can really help manage the hormonal shifts.
Use essential oils that smell good to you. They uplift your mood and make your space smell good
See a medical professional and start on a low dose birth control pill or a low dose anti-depressant. Don’t have any shame around this. It’s a chaotic time so take the help and support. You’re worth it.
If you’re having a hard time sticking to an exercise or nutrition program, hire a personal trainer or nutritional therapist to help you.
Spend time with other women going through it. It can be fun to find out what has worked for others. It’s also fun to laugh about all the surprises with a friend.
Get to know your limits and get good at saying no to others so you can say yes to yourself.
Remember, it’s a part of being a woman and having hormones. It’s temporary. Someday it will end.
For now, embrace the journey and take good care of yourself.