Can you imagine waking early in the morning and before you’ve even opened your eyes you’re engulfed with feelings of anxiety? Not an easy thing to live with as it can almost rule your day, it’s even harder to comprehend if you’ve not struggled with anxiety in the past but it’s become a part of your life as you’ve entered the peri-menopausal stage.
You’re not alone there are one in four women are currently going through the menopause, not all will suffer with anxiety but its sadly a common symptom!
What are the signs?
You find it difficult to concentrate
You find it almost impossible to make decisions
Negativity is at the forefront of your mind and as you worry about things that are real, you worry too about things that may never occur
You may have headaches, feel exhausted, be irritable, feel achy and tense
You may feel tight chested and/or have difficulty breathing
Sleep becomes an issue, maybe you find it hard to get to sleep or wake in the early hours and unable to get back to sleep
Develop digestive problems such as IBS, these are just some of the symptoms!
So, why is this the case?
Your hormones are changing, the balance of estrogen & progesterone begin to alter, feelings of anxiety may fluctuate as the hormones peak and trough, some days feeling quite settled and happy, others not so! Quite often our family dynamics begin to change too, children leaving home, our elderly parents may be dealing with health concerns and in need of more of your time and care, work can become problematic as your energy levels dip and your concentration isn’t as sharp, internally battling to appear ‘as though nothing’s wrong’ whilst at work, this too can add to your anxiety especially when working in an environment where there is little understanding of the Menopause.
It can be quite distressing and depressing but when your periods finally cease, and you are post-menopausal these symptoms may disappear (fingers crossed). However, in the meantime It’s important not to suffer in silence, speak to your GP, maybe a female friend or relative they may be struggling too you, won’t feel as isolated and sometimes can have a good laugh about the trials and tribulations of being a female!! it’s so important to talk!
Working as a Holistic Therapist, I have several clients that are going through the menopause, we’ll chat about the ups and downs and share what’s working and what’s not. So, what can I do to help?
Reflexology is a lovely treatment to have, something to thoroughly relax, enjoy being in the moment, with soft lighting, cosy blankets, gentle music and peace!
During a treatment I target specific reflexes helping to rebalance the endocrine system which in turn help balance the hormones. I spend time on the respiratory system (helping you to breathe), the circulatory system (to stimulate the blood flow and circulation) and spine reflex (targeting the central nervous system), this can impact positively helping you feel calmer and less anxious.
If you don't like your feet being touched Facial Reflexology is an option. There's Reiki, Indian Head Massage, Crystal Healing and Emotional Healing Techniques (EFT) too.
Other things that may help - not all of which you’ll like 😊 - but surely worth a try
* Eat a healthier balanced diet
* Reduce or cut out caffeine
* Avoid sugary products and alcohol…. pfft I know!!! I hear you tut!
* Exercise, it helps to burn off nervous energy, boosting the happy hormones
* Setting a night time routine that could help with a good night’s sleep
* Take time out for yourself! This is so, so, so important, as your body goes through this dramatic
yet natural phase, it helps to improve your feelings of wellness.
* Other ideas…Focusing on making 'your' time you could also try
* Writing down your thought patterns, are there particular issues concerning you, for example
your job, family, seeing it written down can help you to rationalize your thoughts, especially last
thing at night, putting your thoughts to bed can help you sleep!
* Establish a routine focusing on your health, do meditation, take a walk. It doesn’t need to
take more than 15-30 minutes of your time
* Seek advice from a nutritionist about adding supplements to your diet
* Focus on being Mindful, using the breathing exercise (see below)
Taking large gulps of air quickly can lead to hyperventilating and we don’t want that to happen! So here are a few tips on how to create a sense of calm.
Sit or lie comfortably, ensure you’re warm and cosy with no external distractions
Let go of your breath by exhaling through your mouth
Then breathe in slowly through your nose, to a count of 4
Hold, to a count of 7
As you breathe out through your mouth try and make this longer, to a count of 8
It may feel uncomfortable to begin with but persist for two to three minutes and re assess how you feel, continue for a little longer if you feel the need.
Do you feel more relaxed and calmer? Hopefully you will as the parasympathetic nervous system begins to respond, helping your mind and body feel calmer.
You can book a holistic therapy session with me at R&R Therapy, Benton Park Road, South Gosforth, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE7 7LX, mention any issues you may be having at the time of booking so I can put together the right therapy session for you.