Menopause and me - 5 lessons I have learned
From HCA co-founder Ann Garry, also a Health Coach, Nutritionist and Business Mentor
My key message is that when you reach menopause, life has only just begun! It is the beginning of a very exciting and fulfilling time and many would say they are their best years! This is what I have learned in the 10 years since my menopause.
Lesson 1. Menopause is so much more than a biological process!
Even with a degree in Nutritional Therapy, my understanding of menopause back then was limited to what happens biologically and the impact of hormone levels plummeting!! What I now know is that the changes we experience affect our mind, brain and body in a much bigger way!
Lesson 2. Our brains are rewired!
When I learned that women’s brains go through a rewiring process during menopausal years, shifting priorities from nesting and nurturing to personal growth and equality,
everything made much more sense. It’s no coincidence that all 3 co -founders of HCA, plus our core academic team, were in our ‘transitional years’ when we set up the company! We all had a strong shared sense of purpose and wanted to make a difference, and we reinvented ourselves to achieve this.
Lesson 3. The transitional years are full of possibilities
My personal menopause experience was one of denial and soldiering on with symptoms of low energy, low mood, and anxiety. Back then, menopause was not dinner conversation nor covered on prime-time TV! If help had been available to navigate this phase (a Health Coach perhaps?) I am 100% sure that I could have seen menopause as a mind-body transformation that brings the greatest opportunity for growth since adolescence! This opens up a very different mindset!
Lesson 4. Eating, drinking and moving well REALLY help
What you eat and drink and how you move your body really do have a significant impact on your menopause experience. I discovered this by being my own guinea pig and can report that my energy and mood all improved when I made good decisions about all three consistently.
Lesson 5. We are stronger than we think.
We are far from the weaker sex – especially as we get older! For me, menopause coincided with my children leaving home, losing my parents and big changes in my career and yet I not only survived but thrived! Although I can only appreciate this with the benefit of hindsight and experienced extended phases of “just getting on with it”. I know this to be a very common experience for many women. Menopause can knock us, but I have often thought, it comes when we are emotionally strong enough to cope with it.
I am delighted to observe the significant changes in the last 10 years in the way that menopause is now viewed. No longer is it seen as a series of symptoms that have to be managed, whilst pretending nothing is happening. There are many sources of support for women, including GPs and Health Coaches and you don’t have to do this on your own anymore. My very best advice is to reach out for support and not struggle on your own and of course my first choice would be to choose a well trained Health Coach!
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