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Menopause is a blessing not a curse says Dr Lynda Shaw

menopause a blessing imageArticle by Dr Lynda Shaw

Duvet off, duvet on, duvet off, duvet on.  Most women going through the menopause will recognise this night-time ritual as the hot flushes appear out of the darkness in a nano second.  Or how about a bloated tummy or fatigue?  Or an unpredictable menstrual cycle?  All these are discussed at length by women around the age of 50yrs.  But the comments that cause the most concern are when women describe themselves as becoming grey and invisible.  When they believe that they are no longer of use, as if once the baby making years are over we are rendered useless and undesirable (even those who do not have children still seem to feel this way).

What a load of nonsense!

 The menopause is a signal for rejuvenation, growth and expansion

The menopause is a signal for rejuvenation, growth and expansion.  Getting rid of that last egg may be the end of one phase, but it is definitely the beginning of another.

In the womb female babies are hard-wired to become great communicators, talented relationship builders with enormous amounts of empathy and this is enhanced at puberty when she is exposed to yet another hormone surge.  She continues to develop and fine-tune her natural gifts until menopause.  And then life gets really interesting.  Not only has she become an expert at communication and relationships of all kinds including working relationships, but she is now no longer at the mercy of emotionally limiting monthly cycles.  She becomes formidable.

Some women can have a rough couple of years whilst this change takes place, but we can help ourselves to a certain extent.  We all know what a healthy life is, but most of us do not really follow these simple rules on a daily basis.  However, to get through this transition well it’s a good idea to revisit these ideas and make a conscious effort to incorporate them each and every day.  For instance, someone once jokingly told me that women are born with a certain amount of eggs and a certain amount of glasses of wine!  I thought this hilarious, but there is a valid point here.  As we get older it’s a good idea to stick to healthy drinking habits.

The latest government guidelines for drinking alcohol are no more than 2 or 3 units a day with 2 to 3 days of no drinking each week.  Here is a recap on what else we can do to help ourselves:

 Tips to be healthy post menopause

Drink 2 litres of water a day

Eat well.  Do you have a colourful plate?

Exercise daily at what you enjoy

Sleep well

Manage stress levels, try a mediation CD

Walking in the fresh air is wonderful especially with a friend

Get out there and be sociable

Learn something new

Give some of your time to helping others (outside of the usual family)

And have FUN

Menopause is a time for reinvention

The menopause is a fantastic time to reinvent ourselves.  We have been round the block a few times and picked up a few bruises which means that we sit back, listen and evaluate better, our experiences and knowledge base are superb, and there is a whole new found freedom to explore – freedom from rearing our young, freedom from all those insecurities and worries that come with youth and freedom from the ‘hormone fairy’ that messes with our head.

So menopause a curse?  Certainly not.  It could just be a blessing.  Bring it on!



Dr Lynda Shaw

Dr Lynda Shaw has lectured in Psychology and Neuroscience at Brunel University and conducted research on brain function and impairment, specialising in consciousness, emotion and the effects of ageing

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