Parents who are raising children and have aging parents, that need assistance, are known as the sandwich generation. In most households, both parents work full time. If you think this sounds stressful, just add menopause to the mix. As with all health challenges there is a continuum for how much menopause may impact a woman’s life. Some women will hardly experience any symptoms at all. Some will have severe debilitation. The rest of us fall in the middle.
I have several shiatsu clients in my practice that postponed becoming a parent for a variety of reasons. Many people choose to postpone parenting until their career goals are met. Imagine having teenagers, a dying parent and a full time job. I want to impress upon those of you who may be heading in this direction that there are many things you can do to make it easier on yourself.
Menopause is giving birth to yourself. If you have a positive attitude toward it you will have a much easier time. The process takes about ten years so you have time to adjust to having a complete chemical make over. The good news is you can come out of it better than ever. It seems that many agree that there is one year that is particularly challenging. Everything seems off balance and it is.
The first action to take is with self care. Back to basics with nourishment, movement, and rejuvenation. If you have good self care practices, they will support you through many challenging or just annoying symptoms. That is the time to seek extra support from the healing modalities. You can also cut back on responsibilities. Maybe even cut back your hours at work. Your health and well-being is more important. If you plan ahead this can be possible.
Remember: this too shall pass. I do not recommend medications (or in any way manipulating hormones), unless you have no other options, or your symptoms are very severe. Remember risks versus possible benefits is the rule. Menopause, like birth, is a natural physiological process. Much like birth, we often don’t have a positive point of reference for this experience. It is a great time to start taking care of yourself. For many that will require significant life style changes. Trust your body. It knows what it’s doing most of the time.