We're about to get a little personal here, but that's okay. If you are weathering the perfect storm of perimenopause and an already-prone-to-anxiety state, you will certainly relate to this post. That's why I am writing it. Let's face it, women have to support each other, in all phases and facets of life, right?
So, I hit my mid-forties recently and a few things have been going on. Let's give you my backstory first: I have always been an overachiever, from the time I was a little kid. I have also always been super sensitive, prone to anxiety (even panic attacks--let's put it all out there) and I have also prided myself in balancing my role as wife and mother with that of teacher and now business owner. So far, particularly since I started my business and took my teaching part time, it has worked out pretty well. Until the hormone changes decided to step in and mess with my perfect flow, so to speak.
If you have read the about me page, you will know that my husband has a stressful job, he is near retirement, and I have spent almost nineteen years as an Educator. We have three boys, two of whom are now in college and thriving. The little guy is also thriving as a student, future soccer star and all-around cool person. I would be remiss if I didn't mention one of the most important members of our family, however; we have a German Shepherd who is like a fourth son and spoiled rotten.
Back to that perfect storm of perimenopause.
Here is what I have experienced in the last year with the onset of perimenopause:
- Irregular periods, sometimes stopping my period for as long as four months.
- Changes to my body composition, namely the discovery that fat has decided to take up residence in my mid-section.
- Changes to formerly-managed anxiety cycles where I experience it now randomly and with a vengeance. Hormone changes create the perfect storm, evidently, for anxiety and the perimenopause years. Estrogen and progesterone can get out of balance and, basically, wreak havoc on the emotions and, well, everything.
- Changes to my skin, all over, not simply my facial skin, which has always been pretty easy and blemish free.
Those are the main culprits of my perimenopause misery, but they aren't the only ones. The important thing, and the reason for this post, is to let you know what I am doing to make these years easier.
What I am doing to ease into this new stage of my life:
- I changed my diet. I essentially removed sugar and lowered my carbs. I make sure I get healthy, nutrient-dense greens every single day, whether in a large salad or a smoothie.
- I make sure I watch my vitamin D and also the B vitamins. I know when I am low because I also now get regular blood work done with my Endocrinologist who monitors my thyroid.
- I started exercising again, something I had given up due to a grueling work schedule. I started very slow with the couch25k program and incorporate jogging in a few times each week IN THE MORNING when it carries the good feels throughout the day. I also started pilates and barre classes, which I love. The added benefit it that I found a wonderful community of women and word about my business got out, establishing a whole new customer base --who knew?
- I started saying no to things I just didn't want to do, but I also know that I have to challenge myself to do hard things so that anxiety doesn't get the best of me. So, I am still working on this and feel pretty good about it so far.
- I am spending more time with my dog. He seems to respond to my own feelings of unease and will lean against me in an effort to make mom feel better. I love him for this and so much more, so I simply make sure I am near him often, whether we are walking together or just having a long hug. Animals are so healing and deserve the best we have to give them. What I'm saying here is hug your dog.
- My skin. My face started getting some flushing and I have experienced some blotches as well. This one was easy to deal with since I make and sell skincare. I have found that alternating my unscented goat milk soap with my lotion cleanser has done the trick. I also use more of my cream on my arms and legs these days.
- I stay hydrated. Lemon water is your friend.
That's all for this post because it has certainly turned out to be longer than I intended. I will continue to share as I experience new and fun perimenopause issues and, since I will continue to handle it with natural solutions -- some of which I am just starting to pursue--I will keep you updated on my progress.
If you can relate to this and it helped you to see that you aren't alone, perfect. If you want to hear even more, jump into the email list, where you will also be automatically entered to win something each month, like that lotion cleanser I mentioned.