Fifty and Fabulous

The thoughts, loves, rants, interests & inspirations for Gen X


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Menopause Monday – Baby Steps to Improve my Wellbeing

Hello Everyone,

Welcome to another Menopause Monday post, can you believe this is the final one in April!

If you are one of my nice new followers Hello! I would like to take a moment to explain to you what Menopause Mondays are all about. I feel that Mondays are typically quite a depressing day for a lot of people – we’re back to work after the weekend and the next weekend seems so far away – so one Monday evening back in January, I shared a post about being perimenopausal; my experiences, my symptoms and what I had found online about the causes and remedies. I found it quite therapeutic getting it all out there and decided to do it on a regular basis. Hey presto! Menopause Monday was born. If you are interested in reading any of my previous post, just search the tag #Menopause Monday or click here.

I have been on HRT for almost a month now and although my menopausal symptoms have seen various degrees of improvement, I’m still feeling overwhelmed, stressed and anxious all too frequently for my liking.

Last week, I re-blogged a very helpful post by the lovely Shaz about how to deal with stress and anxiety. I loved the advice that she included in her post so much that I started her Mindfulness Challenge the very next day! Shaz created a daily task check-list in the form of a calendar that can be downloaded from her blog; I downloaded it, printed off a copy and stuck it on our fridge.

What I like, is that none of the tasks are daunting – apart maybe no.8 Turn your phone off for 2 hours which I have to do tomorrow and no.26 No gadgets for at least 2 hours (and I don’t think switching it off when I’m asleep counts)- eek!!

I’m hoping that Shaz’s daily tasks will help eliminate my anxiety, stress and feelings of being overwhelmed; I will let you know if I notice a change.

Have you tried any mindfulness techniques? Have they worked for you? At school we use mindfulness colouring sheets to give the children periods of calm. I used to love colouring when I was young; perhaps I should allow myself time to do a bit of colouring down the week…

x


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Menopause Monday – The Demons of Stress and Anxiety

Hello Everyone,

Welcome to another Menopause Monday post.

If you are one of my nice new followers Hello! I would like to take a moment to explain to you what Menopause Mondays are all about. I feel that Mondays are typically quite a depressing day for a lot of people – we’re back to work after the weekend and the next weekend seems so far away – so one Monday evening back in January, I shared a post about being perimenopausal; my experiences, my symptoms and what I had found online about the causes and remedies (you can read it here). I found it quite therapeutic getting it all out there and decided to do it on a regular basis. Hey presto! Menopause Monday was born. If you are interested in reading any of my previous post, just search the tag #Menopause Monday or click here.

I have been on HRT for almost three weeks now but it hasn’t stopped my feelings of  being overwhelmed, stressed and anxious. Do you believe in fate? Well I was having a particularly bad day today – Easter goodies surrounded me while I’m trying (and failing) to stick to the Slimming World plan – but while I was checking my email and visiting some blogs I follow, I saw a wonderfully helpful post by Shaz talking about stress and anxiety. How did she know I needed this, now? I wanted to share it with you, so I’ve copied & pasted the whole thing, including her links which will open in a new tab.

I love the advice that Shaz includes and although I haven’t read all of her related posts that she mentions (yet), I’m already feeling more positive that I’ll be able to find a range of strategies to help with these blasted menopausal symptoms. I’ll let you know next week.

x

Source: How to deal with stress and anxiety – Jera’s Jamboree

 

How to deal with stress and anxiety

Stress is an important part of life.  We do need it! However, it becomes a problem if we’re continually on high alert and we perceive a threat where there isn’t one.  There are different ways to deal with stress and anxiety and, in my experience, we all have favourite activities that help us to unwind and step away, giving us time to look at a problem logically (rather than our primal instinct to survive).

My long-time favourite de-stressor is reading in bed.  I can’t just slip into bed and fall asleep straight away.  Thoughts whirl round in my head and make me restless.  I’ve tried making notes before going to bed but that just seems to focus me on the problems I want to solve!  We all know that a good night’s sleep goes a long way towards functioning appropriately the next day and reading is my panacea.  The good thing is that I step into another world.  Not so good is when I tell myself ‘one more chapter’ and before you know it you’ve lost a couple of hours of sleep 🙂

Crochet is another activity that helps me wind down.  The rhythm and movement are meditative and often a solution will just pop into my mind (even when I think I’m not focused on an issue).  Walking does that too!

Resilience is something we talk about a lot in my team at school.  We share different strategies with children helping them to build a tool kit in the hope that when life throws them challenges in the future, instead of reacting with fight or flight they can be in control of how they view the challenges and react in a different way.  Resilience is not innate, we’re not born with it but we can improve it.

April is National Stress Awareness Month so I thought I would take the opportunity of gathering together the articles I’ve already written on the blog.

A mixture of tips and resources on how to deal with stress and anxiety (mostly for adults but a couple for children too) I hope you’ll find something useful to help you.

How to deal with stress and anxiety

Articles on Jera’s Jamboree

Gratitude Challenge : Journal a positive mind

30 day Mindfulness Challenge


How to identify emotions and make a change

How to find your silver lining

How to turn a negative into a positive

How to find peace in a frantic world

How to take control of your life


Natural Mood Booster

5 tips to relieve stress and anxiety

Mindfulness Resources


Children and Emotional Health

How to help a child with anxiety


I recommend you check out the National Stress Awareness website.  It’s a fabulous resource for:

  • Explaining stress
  • Resources and guides
  • 10 step stress solution
  • Stress at work

What do you do to de-stress?

Do you have any tips to share?


Giveaway

Last summer I gave a shout out to my blogging buddy Kate’s new venture, Book Spot Box, a subscription box which has gone from strength to strength.

With reading being one of my favourite ways to de-stress, I’m giving away to one of my UK readers the April Book Spot Box.

Rivals theme from Book Spot Box giveaway in the article how to deal with stress and anxiety

The ‘Rivals’ box features some of Kate’s favourite fictional rivalries and is perfect for fans of ACOTAR, Shakespeare and The Wicked King. Each box contains 6 items (5 of which are exclusive to the April box), a paperback book, signed bookplate and a bonus item from the publisher.

The featured paperback was published in 2018 and is the first in a series. Set in a dangerous broken world, it represents the ‘Rivals’ theme beautifully with its split narrative and tension of all kinds. Kate literally could not put this book down! (Please note, this book is not suitable for younger readers)

Easy entry on the Rafflecopter below.  Please read the Terms and Conditions before entering.

Good Luck!

 


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Menopause Monday – Trying To See The Funny Side

Hello Lovely Followers,

If you are one of my nice new followers Hello! I would like to take a moment to explain to you what Menopause Mondays are all about. I feel that Mondays are typically quite a depressing day for a lot of people – we’re back to work after the weekend and the next weekend seems so far away – so one Monday evening back in January, I shared a post about being perimenopausal; my experiences, my symptoms and what I had found online about the causes and remedies (you can read it here). I found it quite therapeutic getting it all out there and decided to do it on a regular basis. Hey presto! Menopause Monday was born.

So on to this weeks post.

A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned that I had an appointment with my GP to discuss all these symptoms I’ve been having – read about it here. He booked some blood tests and scheduled an ECG which I have now had and tomorrow I find out my results and his diagnosis.

In the grand scheme of thing, I suppose I haven’t had to wait long but we all know that when you’re in that position, a couple of weeks feels like years! So tonight, to help pass the time, I thought I’d just share some funny memes that I’ve found…

That’s better, I’ve actually got a smile on my face now. 🙂 I’ll let you know next week how my discussion with my doctor went as well as what he and I have agreed to do next.

In the meantime, I’d love to hear about your experiences; I’m continuing to feel less of a freak after joining the Facebook group for women in the UK going through the menopause and it certainly helps to talk to others in the same boat or to just vent.

Hope you have a good week.


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Menopause Monday – Relief In A Box

Hello Lovely Followers,

Here we are again, another Menopause Monday post.

If you are one of my nice new followers, (hello) I would like to take a moment to explain what Menopause Mondays are all about. I feel that Mondays are typically quite a depressing day for a lot of people – back to work after the weekend and the next weekend seems so far away – so one Monday evening back in January, I shared a post about being perimenopausal – my experiences, my symptoms and what I had found online about the causes and remedies (you can read it here). I found it quite therapeutic getting it all out there and decided to do it on a regular basis. Hey presto! Menopause Monday was born.

This week, rather than ranting or complaining about being perimenopausal, I wanted to share with you a wonderful little set that I bought from EtsyUK. It’s it a beautiful little Menopause set, sold by Wish U Well – a Southampton based company owned by wellness consultant, Karen Debra Lendon – that is supposed to help relieve those most common menopause symptoms; Hot Flushes and Mood Swings.

I have certainly been enjoying the benefits of using the sprays and oils that came in my box. The sprays give me an instant cool down that I need during a hot flush and the aromas help to keep my mood calm and relaxed; I keep the Peppermint Water Spritz next to my bed while the Camomile Water Spritz comes with me to work in my handbag and then sits next to me each evening in the lounge while I watch telly.

The beautifully scented linseed eye pillow not only helps to calm my mood as soon as I place it over my eyes but when I put it in the freezer and then use it, it’s coolness also works miracles at easing my headaches too.

Karen’s philosophy of looking at the whole picture rather than just the symptoms is something close to my heart which is what drew me to her Etsy shop in the first place. This is how Karen explains what Wellness means to her on her website;

Wellness is the positive union of mind, body and soul.

Hi and welcome to Wish U Well.

I am Karen, a wellness coach, teacher, mentor and founder of Wish U Well.

Wellbeing is at the heart of my personal and professional life and I believe that physical and mental wellness go hand in hand.

Through workshops and seminars I began sharing my knowledge and expertise with others. Realising that there is a wealth of practices and products that others are keen to benefit from I felt inspired to create a wellness brand.

Interest grew and with the encouragement and support of my family Wish U Well was born.

I am passionate about health and a firm believer in the mind, body connection. I am continually researching and developing products to support the needs of modern life and specifically targets common health concerns, such as anxiety and stress.

Self-development, an open mind and a holistic lifestyle has taught me the power of self healing and consciously creating better health.

Meditation, exercise and positive practices have had an immense impact on my wellbeing.

I bring my mind into focus with Peppermint Oil and relax to the smell of Ylang Ylang.

Positive energy combined with loving self-care is the best recipe for improved well-being.

Wishing you well.
Karen 🙂

 

If you have the time, click on any of the links above to check out Wish U Well for yourself and give one of her delicious products a go for yourself! Although my little set is no longer available – having sold out – Karen is happy to accept custom orders. I found her really lovely and only too happy to help.

I hope you have a stress-free week and find peace in the chaos. 😉


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Menopause Monday – Mood Swings

Hello Lovely Followers,

Apparently it can be very common to have menopausal symptoms but still have periods. Our periods may become lighter and less frequent or they may become heavier and more frequent (oh goody). If, like me, you are still having periods, then we are perimenopausal. Between you and me, I’m not really bothered about why I’m getting these all these symptoms I just want them to stop.

Between Child1 and Child2’s teenager-isms and my perimenopausal mood swings, I suppose it’s my poor Hubby that we should feel sympathy for.

But I’m in a grumpy mood right now, so no!

Oh, OK, why does being perimenopausal impact on my mood?

From what I’ve read online, low mood and anxiety in mid-life has often been attributed to ’empty nest syndrome’ and the struggle to come to terms with ageing and no longer being fertile. My girls are still at home and after the stress and depression of Child2’s delivery, not being fertile was a blessing.

Apparently, many women say they feel more confident and content with life when they reach middle-age and I think I agree with them. Yes, it is a time of transition and change can impact on our emotional well-being but the truth is that in the run-up to the menopause, we women are on a hormonal roller-coaster. This means our mood swings are far more likely to be caused by what’s going on in our bodies than what’s going on in our lives.

There are oestrogen receptors all over the body, including the brain and one of the roles of oestrogen in the brain is to block the breakdown of serotonin, the happy chemical. So, when oestrogen levels drop during perimenopause, so can serotonin levels, which can impact on how we feel emotionally. The number of times I cry at the smallest thing is crazy! A low level of serotonin is also thought to be why so many women experience increased levels of rage, anger and irritation at this time of life. Once again, sorry Hubby.

Changes to the adrenal glands also mean we can become more sensitive to stress hormones during the menopause, which means we could be more susceptible to anxiety and panic attacks. Stress is a tricky thing to diagnose; I don’t think I’m stressed but my body is sometimes screaming at me that I am.

This is what I found on the NHS website about mood swings relating to the Menopause:

Mood changes

Some women experience mood swings, low mood and anxiety around the time of the menopause.

Self-help measures such as getting plenty of rest, taking regular exercise and doing relaxing activities such as yoga and tai chi may help. Medication and other treatments are also available, including HRT and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).

CBT is a type of talking therapy that can improve low mood and feelings of anxiety. Your GP may be able to refer you for CBT on the NHS, or recommend self-help options such as online CBT courses.

Antidepressants may help if you’ve been diagnosed with depression.

When my girls were young, I used to practice a mix of pilates and yoga (Yogalates) to keep my body flexible while they were at school. But I haven’t dusted off the DVD for years, perhaps I should start it again as part of my weight loss journey and goal of getting healthier. If the NHS are to be believed, it could help with my mood swings too.

The NHS also mention Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, I re-blogged a post all about CBT on Friday (here), did you read it? Have you tried it? Did CBT help you or someone you know?

I don’t think that any of my perimenopausal symptoms are anywhere near “worst case scenario“. BBC3 published an article in January about three women who were going through their menopause before reaching 30.  Reading the article, it seems that the early onslaught of The Change can be caused by a number of medical conditions too. So it could be worse, at least I’m a woman in my late 40’s going through this rather than in my twenties with my whole life ahead of me.

Just knowing that we not alone that women including Gwyneth Paltrow, Mariella Fostrup, Belinda Carlisle, Gillian Anderson, Angeline Jolie, Bette Midler, Kim Cattrall, Susan Sarandon and Jane Seymour to name but a few, are living with menopausal symptoms with me helps.

Although I post these to help me get stuff off my chest, I hope that my Menopause Monday posts help you too. Please feel free to leave a comment below.