What’s your age and stage?
I’m 41 and perimenopausal. I was 40 when I noticed symptoms starting.
I feel in a permanent state of PMT, a little anxious, worrying about silly things, over thinking and thoughts going round in circles.
What are your symptoms?
I feel in a permanent state of PMT, a little anxious, worrying about silly things, over thinking and thoughts going round in circles. I find myself fixating on the negatives and not the positives, and I never used to do any of this.
My sleep is hugely impacted. I fall asleep perfectly well but wake at 3 or 4am and cannot stop my thoughts racing and my mind whirring. Also, I get very hot at night and toss and turn restlessly, sometimes for up to two hours.
What has been the most challenging thing to deal with?
The lack of sleep has been difficult. It affects my mood the next day and leaves me feeling lethargic.
What are you doing to help get you through it?
I’m taking a sleep course online and trying mindfulness techniques to calm my mind and relax better. It’s still a work in process so I can’t say if any of it is working yet.
The best advice you’ve received?
To find ways to improve my sleep, learn mindfulness techniques and practice them regularly, increase my exercise and drink more water. Talking to friends and family I’ve realised my experiences are common and that’s it’s not just me. It’s all totally normal.
The impact on your daily life?
My temper is shorter and I am less tolerant of things. Smaller more trivial issues will stress me out and my ability to remove emotion from decision making is almost non existent. Also, I’m generally more emotional and teary.
This is a critical time and we need to stop and evaluate what we are doing to look after ourselves.
What’s the impact on your relationships?
We have a strong healthy marriage and talk through the symptoms I am experiencing openly. I am probably less relaxed and fun to be around at the moment but taking steps to figure it out is part of the journey.
Is there anything you’d do differently?
I’m not sure yet! I’m in an ongoing quest for self improvement and better self care.
What you say to other women about the menopause?
You’re not alone! This is a critical time and we need to stop and evaluate what we are doing to look after ourselves. My own mother always tells me to take care of me first and then taking care of everyone else will seem a lot easier! We seem to undervalue ourselves and put everyone’s needs before our own, which doesn’t pay off in the long run.
I am learning to trust my judgement and feel I know myself better now than ever before. For the first time in my life I feel 100% comfortable in my own skin.
You feel MPowered when…
I’ve had a good night’s sleep and I am being the best version of myself. Sometimes life doesn’t go your way and you’re in ‘the trenches’ but you hold your head high, and push of through.
I strongly believe you reap what you sow and if you do good – in every aspect of your world – it will come back to you one way or another.