Techniques To Help Us Cope With Menopause & Chaos
One of the symptoms of menopause is the feeling of being overwhelmed. Something I think we feel quite often in life so it’s kind of hard to pin point that it is stemming from menopause. It took me six years to figure out what I was truly suffering from. I kept saying I was overwhelmed because of a lot of life changes that I was going through, but I think behind my inability to overcome was the physical changes my body was going through and my lack of progesterone. Even if I had realized early on what was happening I still would have struggled with changing jobs, leaving my church, having two kids leave home, and my husband’s life crisis. It was a crazy time. It’s still a crazy time.
I bottomed out in December when I thought I had all of life I could take. Little did I know a pandemic was on the horizon that would put a hold on my plans, set new priorities, and that my life crisis would be replaced by more pressing concerns like our jobs, health, and dying. Luckily I decided to take that pill the doctor offered. It’s as if fate lent me a hand I didn’t know I would need.
I drove home after my doctor’s appointment December 12 having been told I needed progesterone to get better. Everything hit me as I was driving back to work and I asked myself, as I gently swerved, if hitting a truck right now would be better. The idea came in my mind to get back to the office and text my daughter. I straightened out and did just that.
Around Christmas I still hadn’t decided if I wanted to take a daily dose of progesterone, but fate again lent a hand. We were going around the circle opening presents. I remember it was my turn, but I was helpless to take action. I remember staring at the packages and wondering what I should do. My sister noticed my confusion and gently asked if I was ready to open a present. I got back into things. I noticed people were looking at me. Wondering what was going on. I sat and stared at my new bag for a long time. Longer than I should. The room was quiet. No one knew what was going on, including me.
I was suffering from some noticeable symptoms of menopause. Symptoms I could no longer ignore. They were impeding my life in noticeable ways. I started taking the progesterone and noticed an amazing difference. It is like what other women have said, “They got their life back.” I still have noticeable days, but the medication takes the edge off. I can control myself and keep functioning, but it is still there.
With the current crisis I notice that a couple hours before I take my pill that my emotions are difficult to control, I feel overwhelmed to the point I can’t function, and get upset over small things. In order to cope with my current state and the current world crisis, simplicity, which is afforded by the quarantine, is the key to maintaining joy and my ability to get things done.
Quiet can be a balm like no other. Time to reflect and process thoughts. Time to enjoy and see. Time to gather ourselves and get a grip on what is right in front of us. Time to meditate, pray, or imagine. To think positive thoughts and get rid of negative ones. Time to listen and embrace silence. We need simple. We have had years of hard work and chaos and now our body is wanting us to take some time to heal from all that. To just be still. Be quiet.
Now is a great time to declutter and downsize. Use the time to clean out closets, basements, attics, garages, sheds, and rooms. All that stuff adds a lot of noise to your life. It puts a lot of things in view. Is a lot to manage and take care of. It is a good time to get rid of what you don’t need or want. We spent the past few years preparing to downsize and in the process threw away five dumpsters full of stuff. Coming home to a very organized and minimalist home takes away a lot of anxiety and gives our lives a sense of renewal. I feel less stressed when I get home after work because I have less to take care of.
Choose who you spend time with carefully. I think we do this naturally as we grow older, but if you are in a state of panic or feel overwhelmed, the last thing you need is a lot of opinions about your life. If you are dealing with adult children you have enough on your plate. Choose who you share with carefully. Be particular about who is privy to your information. This will cut down on the drama and complexity of our lives. We need a few close friends, but we don’t need a hoard. Too many people speaking into our lives can be the tipping point. Protect yourself, your mind, and your health.
Part of our downsizing included simplifying our lives. We are cutting ties in hopes of moving to a new state in the next two years. The process of simplifying our lives has helped us have a better life now. It meant quitting some good stuff. Saying no to new things. Getting some new things. Spending more time on self-care. Clarifying and focusing on what we want to spend our time on. Creating simpler meal plans. Setting up automatic payments. Talking more and eliminating conflict. It takes some time to get used to living an easier life, but it’s well worth it.
There might be other things you need to change. Maybe a different job, smaller house, or newer car. Maybe that old clunker needs to go and you need something more reliable. Maybe there are relationships you need to cut off. I did, it’s why I left my church. Identify areas in your life where taking away something or adding something to it will make your life easier. That is what you need to look at. Doing things in the simplest way for you.
If you raised a family you did some complicated stuff for a long time. If your menopause symptoms are forcing you to take things slow and make life easier consider this a reward for all your hard work and commitment. We spent a lot of nights taking care of babies and long days taking care of our homes. We have worked long hours at our jobs and had many sleepless nights because of our children. We got used to being overwhelmed for a long time and now our bodies are asking us to stop. Take things easy and make life simpler. It’s a good place to be. It is preparing us for a great future without so much hassle. Something I think we are all ready for.