5 Important Lessons I Learnt Going Through Menopause

September 16, 2020

Life can get pretty crazy.

The current state of the world, making sure we’re on top of paying bills, how our kids are growing up, plus the hormones getting out of whack...can leave us curled up, screaming into our pillow in a fit of stress and worry.

Here are 5 important lessons I learnt going through menopause and hitting the big 5-0.

Lesson #1. Calm the anxious mind

Lesson #1. Calm the anxious mind

Our mind can be our greatest asset or our worst enemy.

Actively seek solutions to first calm the anxious mind so we can be stable and psychologically resilient to the challenges life throws at us.

Some of the things I did that saved me from going nuts:

  • Stocking up on lavender, peppermint and lemongrass essential oils and running them in a diffuser in my living room & bedroom. You don’t have to get fancy ones, there are cheap ones on amazon that work fine. $20 for a diffuser and $6-7 for oils should get you a basic setup. I’d run this at the start of my day with a cup of coffee and I feel focused and calm (yes, I still take caffeine even though I still experience hot flashes...bite me!).

  • Breathing exercises. Every time I feel stress or anxiety piling on, I stop whatever I’m doing and take 3 deep breaths (in through the nose for 3 seconds, hold for 3 seconds and out through the mouth until there’s no air left). I noticed my vision getting sharper, my mind more alert during this exercise. Most importantly it got me feeling more in control. Repeat if necessary as many times as you like. Note: If you start to feel a little dizzy, it’s normal. Just stop and chill out. Your body might not be used to the amount of oxygen your brain is getting, especially if you have blood sugar/ pressure issues.

 

Lesson #2. It’s not all about the kids, re-prioritize what’s important to you.

Lesson #2. It’s not all about the kids, re-prioritize what’s important to you.

You’re in a different stage of life right now.

The kids are starting to grow up, maybe in their teens or early 20’s. Give them the permission to be independent and start focusing on you.

Believe me it was insanely difficult to let go.

I’m a little bit of a control freak with my kids and sometimes it bites me in the ass. Rebellious streaks, 1 or 2 bad influences and suddenly I was finding myself apologizing to principals and having the compulsive need to check on them every hour.

It’s not healthy.

And honestly, a lot of it is not in your control.

Learn to let go slowly and have them make their own decisions, help them reflect and learn from their actions both good and bad, they’ll appreciate you more as a parent and confide more in you. Trust me I have 2 boys (18 and 19) and they are a handful, lol.

My 9 Step, Big 5-0 Re-prioritization Checklist

Here are the 9 things I asked myself to help me find clarity in my life. I’m brutally honest in what I want. Some things might be embarrassing and others, a little too real. But I felt that it really helped me cut the fluff and allowed me to focus on what’s important to me now. Hopefully this checklist might help shed some light on what matters to you.

What Are 3 Things I Want In My Relationships Right Now (With my partner, family & myself)?

  1. I want a more regular sex life with my husband and respark that intimacy.
  2. I want to travel to iceland and see the blue lagoon (probably when this situation finally blows over)
  3. I want to have weekly catch up sessions with my kids (instead of forcing awkward dinner conversations daily). We’ve switched to a weekly catch up instead and I feel like my boys are closer to me. They have dinner with their friends or individually during weekdays but we do a grill every sunday. It’s magic ladies, when it comes to understanding how they’re doing in a more casual setting.

What Are 3 Things I Want In My Finances Right Now (Income, Debt & Investments)?

  1. I want to pick up a new skill that I like and earn some side income from my desk job (ta-da, I’ve done this already by the way, as a content creator for Better Body Co, I love them very much and thank them for this opportunity).
  2. I want to save at least $200k cash for my retirement by the time I’m 55 (I’m currently at $120k).
  3. I want to teach my kids how to earn side income and get them to get their first gig online (the internet is amazing, I never thought I’d ever learn to make a dollar online, but through sharing a lot of my experiences on ads and comment, I got picked up by one of the content creators at Better Body Co. My eldest has photoshop skills, hoping he can do something with that instead of playing games all day).

What Are 3 Things I Want In My Health Right Now (Weight, Sugar, Energy)?

  1. I want to work out and lose weight despite my bad joints in my knee and arms (still working on this).
  2. I want to cut sugar from my diet to prevent extra inflammation from my arthritis (I’ve successfully cut sodas and replaced them with chilled green tea, lifesaver. I still eat cakes and muffins once a week haha).
  3. I want to sleep at least 8 hours a day (I’m horrible without sleep and the night sweats/ insomnia is real. I blame Netflix a little for that).

I actually have this written down and placed as a sticky note on my laptop. My husband always chuckles every time he sees that walking past. Our relationship has really improved (;

Lesson #3. Set aside a fixed budget for health

Lesson #3. Set aside a fixed budget for health

It’s crazy to think that we fuss over monthly budgets but never set significant money aside for our health.

After a close friend of ours passed away from diabetes, my partner and I decided to set aside a small fund for taking care of ourselves.

It’s a small budget, $300 split between the both of us.

I spend my share ($150) purely on supplements.

I take Provitalize & Previtalize, Better Body Co’s flagship probiotic & prebiotic supplements that have really helped with getting my tummy flatter, less bloating and getting better sleep.

Was really surprised that it worked well for me because I’ve tried so many different things that just never worked. A girlfriend of mine recommended them after I was constantly complaining to her about low energy.

First month in and I was already experiencing the benefits. I’ve lost close to 10 pounds and my energy has shot way up. I’ve been a fan ever since so this opinion might be a little biased.

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As for the price, it’s just over $60 in total if you opt for their subscription plan, $79 for one-time purchase. I’m currently on subscription but I used to be a skeptical one-time purchase customer.

The rest of my $90 from my health fund goes into other basics like topping up my essential oils, magnesium, collagen and iron supplements. Simple, basic ones from Amazon work for me. But I’m stricter with my choice of probiotics because of the clinically studied strains that Better Body Co uses.

As for my husband, he takes a blood sugar and prostate health supplement as well as protein powder. He’s started working out more (weights), but still has a belly hahahaha.

Don’t be cheap with your health!

I’ve paid the price in the past :/

Lesson #4. Eat Happy

Lesson #4. Eat Happy

I’m not a calorie counter.

And have never been.

I enjoy life by going through experiences and FOOD is one of those things I could never compromise. At the same time, I’m planning to live till at least 70 and juicy ass steaks, tubs of ice cream and bottomless bags of chips aren’t likely to get me there.

After trying out tons of weird diets and getting lied to countless times, I’ve found something that works for me.

It’s not based on some crazy science, just some basic principles. This is my 2.4.4 everyday meal.

Breakfast

  • Nothing, just black coffee with a dash of milk (no sugar either).

Lunch

  • 2oz carbs (mash, rice, noodles, pasta)
  • 4oz protein (chicken, beef etc)
  • 4oz veggies (broccoli, cauliflower, peppers)

Dinner is the (same)

  • 2oz carbs (mash, rice, noodles, pasta)
  • 4oz protein (chicken, beef etc)
  • 4oz veggies (broccoli, cauliflower, peppers)

Now it might seem REALLY boring. But the magic is in the sauces! Exciting sauces are what makes these enjoyable. I make mean ones like:

  • Sofrito (spanish tomato, garlic & onion sauce)
  • Creamy sesame and ginger
  • Lime & chilli butter (since I started taking Provitalize, my hot flashes have subsided dramatically. Would not recommend this sauce if you’re still going through multiple hot flashes a day).
  • Curry mayo (this one is sinful but sooo tasty)

And many more. If Better Body Co wants I can definitely share some of my recipes with you (hint hint). I usually cook 2-3 main dishes and freeze them every week. I whip up about 3-4 sauces at the same time.

All during my Sunday grills. We don’t make a lot of money, but I’m thankful I’m leading a healthy and happy life (:

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Lesson #5. Water, Water, Water

Lesson #5. Water, Water, Water

The fact that I’m dedicating an entire section for drinking water should give you an idea how important it is.

In general, having at least 6+ glasses of water per day is essential for us to have better function. A significant group of Better Body Co customers also reported in a group that those who drank 6+ glasses of water lost more weight, had less hot flashes and bloating.

Ladies who are dehydrated tend to gain more weight, have higher water retention around our face and eyes.

This common knowledge, unfortunately isn’t as common.

So I’ve created a simple process to get you to drink more water.

I have glasses everywhere around my house.

  • Bedside
  • Desk
  • Kitchen island
  • Coffee table next to the couch (where we watch TV)
  • The table near my main door

as well as other areas.

Working from home makes it a lot easier too. I typically get myself to finish a glass every time I see one and I top them up before I finish the last one at my bedside.

A lot of surviving menopause/midlife is creating structures and processes around your environment.

Having these “rules” help keep order and health up. It also helps you in instances where willpower is low. It might seem odd at first, but over time it’ll become natural and part of our routine.

Summary:

  • Lesson #1: Calm The Anxious Mind
  • Lesson #2: Reprioritise Your Life
  • Lesson #3: Set Aside A Budget For Health
  • Lesson #4: Eat Happy
  • Lesson #5: Water, Water, Water

Menopause can be tough, frustrating and confusing, hopefully some of these lessons are helpful and can help give you control of your life again! Stay strong sisters.

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