I started this blog, along with this natural soap and skincare business during a particular season in my life, shortly after I turned 40, when I felt I could no longer ignore some of the dreams that have been with me since childhood. My Second Spring was a very real thing, and I needed a change like my life depended on it. It turned out, this business would save me a few years later, teaching me more about myself than I could have imagined, mostly because it allowed me to make some new and necessary changes in my lifestyle, my schedule and my overall wellness. A few years in after I first started Second Spring Naturals, I have to admit that while busy, different and challenging, life overall? Well, it felt pretty grand.
Until four years later. When it didn't.
I'm sharing this now to help other women who may be going through this particular season of life where hormones are changing and aging creeps up on us, but there are also other unanticipated changes when you are in your mid-forties. Combined, things like the hormonal chaos, the physical changes and relationship dynamics (think going to a bunch of weddings in one year because all of your couples friends are now divorced and on second marriages). All of these things can feel scary and even lonely when it sort of takes you by surprise.
So, the hormone thing.
I'm talking about perimenopause.
Now, in my mid-forties, I am in the crux of my perimenopausal years; however, I entered this transitional period in my life with very little preparation or knowledge, and it was not very pretty in the beginning.
After about a year of struggling with symptoms of scary changes in my body, my blood work, my hormones, my emotional wellbeing, my weight, changes in my skin --- and so much more, I made small changes, one thing at a time, that added up to feeling like I was living my best life again. Don't get me wrong, it is still a struggle some days, but my world has changed for the better, and yours can too if you are proactive with your health and wellness.
I am no expert and would never suggest doing anything that could affect your health without consulting a doctor (which I do pretty regularly now), but I do know what has helped me make some huge changes and to feel better in my own skin this last year, so I'm just sharing my own journey with you here:
Without further ado, here are the top 50 things that helped me during the perimenopausal years in my early forties, my tips for living my best life despite my hormones, if you will:
- I eat differently now. I make my own version of a power smoothie in order to get some key nutrients and minerals into my body all at once.
- I started to think about what I really wanted.
- I changed my skincare routine, particularly my nighttime routine.
- Oh, the brain fog that was one of the hardest things to manage - to cope with this I started to limit my commitments, focus on one thing at a time and get more rest.
- I began to build positive habits that didn't require as much effort as I thought they would.
- I started to make exercise a priority and I began to vary my routine.
- I make monthly massages a priority now.
- I thought about TIME differently.
- I changed my schedule at work and at home.
- I decided that organizing myself and the space around me, I felt and functioned better.
- I started to use Vision Boards twice a year.
- I made my health a priority and got my blood work done, then handled the results.
- I started to spend more time with my girlfriends.
- I created a morning routine I could stick to.
- I went more natural with my hair.
- I started a new make-up regimen.
- I switched my household cleaners to mostly natural, plant-based cleansers.
- I found some favorite podcasts.
- I shifted my mindset around money.
- I rediscovered my nightly routine of reading for pleasure before bed.
- I eat one huge salad every single day to get the greens and other important super foods into my body.
- I move more.
- I added Hemp Oil to my skincare and supplements.
- I supplemented with Vitamin D, Magnesium, B Vitamins, Fish Oil and a few others that have come to feel like my magic potion for wellness these days.
- I take salt baths. A lot of salt baths.
- I light candles and listen to podcasts or videos to learn things while I cook healthy meals or clean my house.
- I spend time in the woods several times every week.
- I hug my dog often and get out for walks with him once a day.
- I found a financial planner to get my finances in balance and to help me achieve some big goals I have. #gamechanger
- I found some wonderful apps for meditation and listening to books by women who inspire me during difficult or long commutes.
- I began to keep a very different style of journal, and stuck to it for the first time in my life.
- I took some very specific steps to battle the crippling anxiety that hit in the form of panic attacks and general anxiety.
- I did some very scary things, like cut the income from my day job down to 1/3.
- I cut out sugar.
- I cut out alcohol. Yep.
- I push my body, build my core and work on overall strength training on a regular basis.
- I started to prioritize things much differently.
- I stretch more.
- I celebrate the little things.
- I feel honest to goodness gratitude every single day.
- I let go of things...and people....that were bringing me down.
- I spent less time on social media.
- I took really small steps and took my time to instill new habits into my life.
- I started to listen to books during my commute to learn about the things I love.
- I sculpted my body during a time I might have just gained weight -- because I needed to feel strong.
- I supported other women and businesses.
- I purged all of the rooms in my house to free up my energy.
- I stopped apologizing and started just living.
- I found value in friendships that lifted me up.
- I looked at my husband, my marriage, in a whole new way now that two of our sons are away at school.
You can click on some of the links above for more on each of these bits of wisdom I have learned to embrace and put into practice.
To get into the true nitty gritty, the raw details of all of my experiences and find a community to support you through these challenging years, you'll need to go to here: