What is Menopause?
Menopause effects nearly every women, yet it is a subject that my mother could never open up about. For her and her generation, it was a taboo subject and something you just did not talk about. When it came to my turn, I did have some embarrassment and feel a little stigmatised about what I was experiencing, however, there is a sea of change and it seems peri-menopause, menopause and post menopause are spoken about now, without shame or stigma.
The first time I came across the word peri-menopause, I was in my mid-forties, in the doctors surgery and explained that I had been suffering from dry eye and I was also having difficulty getting a full nights sleep. The doctor took a blood test and mentioned peri-menopause, now I am a worldly women and I thought I knew a lot of things, but who knew that dry eyes could be linked to changes in hormone levels!!!!!
Symptoms of dry eye are itchy, runny, red eyes and sometimes you feel like there is grit in them. You can get over the counter treatments for dry eye, which have helped me a lot. These treatments include Hylo Dual Eye Drops, Optrex Acti Mist. ( I find this one particularly handy as you can spray it over your closed eyes and somehow it works and gives instant relief). I also like Murine, for dry and tired eye.
In my mid-forties, I was vey energetic, with a young family and a busy full-time job. I was waking up in the middle of the night, clearing the ironing, finishing reports for work or even doing the garden. Looking back now, had covid lockdown not happened, I would have headed for burn out. Covid lockdown rescued me. Now I had to sleep, I was not working, my kids wore tracksuits every day and life was easy, too easy. I became agitated and awake night after night. I googled sleepless nights and the link with peri-menopause.
Mindfulness & Routine
What I read was like a revelation. I began to practice mindfulness and I researched some natural remedies that would help me feel calm and relaxed. I got a routine going, including taking a bath or shower and I used lavender shower or bath products. I love the Elysium Epsom Salts Lavender Shower Gel. I also started taking the Solgar Stress and Sleep supplement or Solgar Ultimate Calm. I found both products really helped me, but the routine was a very important part of getting my sleep back on track.
In November last year, I turned 50, and by Christmas I had decided to accept an offer for a new job. I knew the job would suit my skill set, but fear, anxiety and feelings of not being good enough crept in. The feeling of not being good enough, or not being able began to really affect me. Had I let it take control, I am not sure, I could have stayed in the job (a job I love). I had read about symptoms at this point, so I realised, this was a symptom of peri-menopause. I was always confident and capable and now I was not. I turned again to mindfulness and after some thought, I decided to try some menopause specific supplements.
I have been taking Revive Meno Active daily and I find I am returning to myself. It is a drink with a citrus flavour which has the benefit aside from everything else of helping me increase my fluid intake. I like that it is a drink and it has a refreshing morning taste. I have also tried Solgar Meno Prime, which is handy as it is a tablet. This supplement is meant to have a calming effect and support emotional wellbeing.
There is an old saying, “Life begins at 40”, I am happy to tell you, an even better fulfilling life can begin at 50. People have said to me that following menopause, there is a sense of freedom. I am not sure what that means for me, but I certainly feel like a free and youthful spirit and I am glad to report, I feel I have returned to myself.