By KLTV Guest Writer
Experiencing menopausal symptoms while being in a lockdown can make this a particularly difficult time for many women, and can affect each one in different ways both physically and mentally.
Women from all walks of life, all cultures, and all over the world are experiencing this reality day in and day out. It creates many challenges for such women just as much as it throws up a different set of challenges for partners, family members and employers who may not fully understand the effects it can have especially whilst experiencing lockdown and all the concerns and worries that come along during these strange times; financial pressures, unemployment, being furloughed, isolation, working from home, ill health, or strained relationships. The list goes on.
For some, adding to these challenges are the pressures of juggling homeschooling whilst trying to keep the peace and missing the vital support network from grandparents, carers, and friends.
Menopausal single householders also face challenges, living and/or working in isolation can be a tough and lonely place to be day after day, month after month. It seems the boundary between home-life, work-life and social life is getting more difficult to distinguish, the element of physically being in the workplace or mixing socially has largely dissolved and loosing that social spontaneity coupled with limited freedom can be very intense and debilitating, even for people in the best of health.
Not only do menopausal women navigate day to day responsibilities at home and at work, but they will also more than likely be navigating through some of these symptoms; brain fog, low mood, and mood swings, anxiety, poor concentration, night sweats, sleep disturbance, insomnia, memory loss, and hot and cold flushes, and of course each one of these symptoms can feel intensified in lockdown because the support network of simply talking has been disrupted.
Whilst experiencing menopause, no matter at what stage, it is important to recognise that looking after our mental health and wellbeing is vital and to strive to be the best we can be. Reach out and talk to others who understand and on the flip side of that try to educate those close to you and your employers about your symptoms and how they are affecting you.
Sharing how you feel will widen your support network and, in some cases, help to stop behaviours and actions being misinterpreted. Listen, share stories and coping strategies, talk about hints and tips on diet, exercise, medication, herbal remedies, and most of all, give yourself permission to take time out for ‘self’, and to re-charge frazzled batteries.
Take control even if it is for only 30 minutes a day and do simple things to remind you that you are still you, it is ok to look after yourself as well as everyone else. Take a long hot soak, arrange a socially distanced walk with your friend, read a book, try a new activity, do your nails, cook a new recipe or do some baking, or practice mindfulness. All these are tried and tested and will definitely boost the inner feelgood factor.
As the great Oprah Winfrey says, “So many women I’ve talked to see menopause as an ending, I’ve discovered that this is your moment to reinvent yourself after years of focussing on the needs of everyone else”.