So many women tell me they lost their confidence as they approached menopause. For some it's a sudden omg, stop in their tracks moment, often accompanied by a panic attack. For others it's a gradual wearing down, a slowly dawning realisation that everything they had been certain of before suddenly isn't so certain any more.
Sometimes, there seems to be no apparent reason for this loss of confidence. Anxiety, depression, a feeling of being lost can come out of nowhere. So what can cause this loss of confidence and what can we do we do to arrest it? How do we get our mojo back?
1. Physical appearance. Slowing metabolism often results in weight gain, especially around the middle. Facially, we lose collagen and start to notice a softening in the jawline, wrinkles, eye bags - if we feel we don't recognise ourselves in the mirror any more it can knock confidence.
In the third of our three week series of blogs on dealing with the difficulties of peri-menopause and menopause, I want to focus on natural remedies - some of which are regarded as "alternative" or "complementary".
Below is a whistle stop round up of some of the things we can try, with case studies and advice from a variety of therapists:
Personally, I found cutting back on sugar and eating a diet abundant with fresh vegetables and fruit really helped to reduce hot flushes and night sweats.
Here's what Shannon Howe, Nutritional Therapist at I Cook, You Serve has to say:
"The changes that our bodies go through in a lifetime are far reaching, it is remarkable how some women breeze through these changes whilst others feel like they are wading through treacle. And whilst you can’t control these changes, you can use...
Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT)
Guest Blog by The Equilibrium Clinic, UK
Hormones are chemical messengers that circulate through the blood stream and control every function of our body. Bio-identical Hormones have the same molecular structure as naturally occurring hormones (such as testosterone, progesterone and oestrogen) produced in the body. They are derived from diosgenin which is sourced from the Mexican yam plant.
Synthetic hormones used in conventional hormone replacement therapy, have a chemical structure that may be similar to, but not exactly the same as, the hormones produced by the body. These chemical differences can mean that synthetic hormones act differently in the body and can produce different effects.
Bio-identical hormones can be very beneficial to patients who are experiencing hormone imbalances and are looking for treatment, or alternatively may have tried synthetic hormone treatments but had unwanted effects as a...
What is the difference between Peri-Menopause and Menopause?
It’s important to understand the difference between peri-menopause and menopause. I’d like to say that peri-menopause is your body's way of gently leading you into the next stage of life, but let’s face it, there is nothing gentle about it!
Peri-menopause can start as early as ten years before you are in full menopause, which is why it’s so easy to misdiagnose. The menopause itself occurs when the ovaries finally stop producing eggs altogether and is judged to be complete when a woman has not had a period for 12 months. The symptoms that cause so many women difficulty generally occur during the peri-menopause - the years leading up to full menopause.
We often hear stories where women feel they are too young to go through the menopause which makes it easier for us to accept it when a doctor diagnoses us with simple depression or anxiety, mistaking the symptom for the problem.
To the woman who has seen and seized the opportunity of midlife, this is for you too!
To the woman who is excited about her life now and wants to make the most of it, this is for you!
To the woman who wants to celebrate her life with friends, old and new, this is for you!
We are coming to the end of Launch fortnight and I am delighted that so many of you have taken advantage of the opening offer and joined us for the year! Whilst I welcome you on a rolling monthly contract, I think that a year is a good period to really dig in and achieve tangible results from the courses and resources in the Membership.
As part of my marketing efforts over the past few days, I described several scenarios that might prompt you to join this wonderful community of women. (READ "I SEE YOU!") I was talking to a lovely lady recently who was clearly one of the 25% of us who sail through midlife. She's vibrant, confident and excited about what midlife brings.
"What's in it for me?"...
How well do you breathe?
If you're anything like me, day to day you breathe from the chest as you rush about "doing" stuff. Yoga Teacher, Teacher Trainer and Midlife Movement Coach, Dawn Wright, talked to me live about the importance of taking a moment to breathe properly.
Dawn has a wonderful course in the Midlife Movement Membership with four nourishing breathing practices that will make a real difference to your life. Members have full access to all the courses and resources in the Membership. You can have a taster "breathing pause" here, at 10:44.
To the woman who woke up this morning and had to fight the urge to put her head back under the duvet. Who maybe groans a little when she rolls out of bed because everything aches.
To the woman who doesn't recognise the face in the mirror, who feels a little sad as she watches as the water runs down her body in the shower, whose hair is losing its colour and whose clothes suddenly feel a little tight around the middle.
To the woman who dashes about to get her family off to school/college/work, who puts on the radio while she works around the house so that she doesn't feel lonely. The woman who feels strangely invisible as she walks along the street.
To the woman whose career has lost its shine, who feels overlooked as younger colleagues are promoted above her. The woman who has a hot flush as she's giving a presentation and wonders if anyone has noticed, who struggles to concentrate at the end of the day:
To the woman caring for elderly parents, constantly...
...that is the question!
How do you feel about your hair right now? As we age, our hair gradually shows changes in colour and texture and is one of the most visible signs of ageing.
Hair changes texture with age, just as our skin does. The received convention amongst trichologists says that by age 50, 50% of the population will have 50% grey hair.
Some of us also experience hair loss, which can be distressing.
"The sudden, diffuse loss of hair from all over the scalp is called ‘telogen effluvium’ and can be the result of improper nutrition, stress, hormonal upsets and pregnancy. A reduction in your hair’s diameter can also be influenced by these things, but is most often due to genetics, follicle sensitivity to hormones, and to age." Philip Kingsley
If you have noticed your hair thinning significantly, it’s worth seeing a doctor to rule out other underlying problems such as a dysfunctional thyroid.
If you are just starting to...
Whether you believe in a Higher Power, God, the connectedness of all things or nothing at all, your relationship with yourself is inevitably going to be the most enduring human relationship of your life! If we can't find love and compassion for the flawed yet vulnerable essence of ourselves, what hope do we have of loving others... or being happy?
This Valentine's Day my Facebook feed is filled with posts about
But what does that mean, exactly? (Don't be rude, you at the back!)
First of all, what is "Valentine's Day"? Let's have a quick look at all the elements that make up this annual festival of love and misery: St Valentine, Cupid, roses, hearts and cards.
One of the most insidious barriers to achieving the life we want to lead has to be self doubt. Can I do this? Do I have the skills, the confidence, the resilience - do I dare?
Self doubt has been my nemesis for as long as I can remember.
I have always been full of big ideas - creativity and "big picture" thinking comes naturally to me. My excitement and enthusiasm can sweep me away to the point where I can create, fund and organise a project and then - bam! - I am paralysed by self doubt. Progress from then on can be slow and painful as I am crippled by those unconscious thoughts of "not good enough" and "who do I think I am?"
Those old familial mantras from the 1960s: “People like us” don’t do great things. We should “know our place” and “let our betters” get on with running the world, writing our books, producing our plays, creating our art.
“Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing...