It's the small steps that make a difference
Today I was amazed. I was listening to Radio 4 Woman's Hour. (It's on the link for a while if you're quick.)
The interviewee explained how she always wanted to carry on learning; if she could learn a new word each day, she was delighted. She described how on most days she would go to the supermarket as part of her exercise, even if she only wanted one item. Asked how she kept so fit, she admitted a love of chocolate. But the trick was not to have it by her side in the lounge, but in the fridge in the kitchen; she did at least have to walk to get it. Maybe you think this is not that remarkable until you, like me, learned she is 105.
What small changes can you make? How can you grow, both spiritually and emotionally? What can you add to your day so that you fulfil your potential, whether that's learning something new, getting fitter, or having a better work-life balance?
We might not all live to 105, but let's make the best of the years we have.
Make your to-do list of small goals for this week. And if you need some support to reach them, get in touch.
Menopause -bio-identical and body-identical HRT. Important information from Women's Health Education.
Yesterday was World Menopause Day. The media featured several interviews- TV and radio - with high-profile women on how they cope, including the type of HRT they use. There has been a lot of confusion over two types, with some features giving the impression that these types of HRT are only available to the rich or famous. There is also confusion over that 'bio identical' means. This article by the former Chair of the British Menopause Society explains the difference between bio-identical and body-identical HRT.
How coaching can help with the menopause
Thank goodness we can say 'menopause' now instead of coyly referring to 'The Change'.
But it's still not an easy topic or an easy experience for many women. As hormones start to fall, rise, fall, almost hourly, symptoms - which 75 per cent of midlife women experience - appear. Hot flushes, insomnia, mood swings and- even for high-achieving confident women - a lack of confidence can come top of the list. You might not think that coaching can help menopause. Think again.
Menopause usually brings emotional and physical symptoms, both of which can respond to lifestyle changes and ways of changing your thinking patterns (similar to CBT.)
At a time when wisdom and experience ought to help us negotiate life's challenges, menopause can make us anxiety-ridden and lack confidence. Work can be more difficult especially if you're not sleeping well.
As a coach working with women aged from 40s upwards, it's something that I hear about a lot. I help women rebuild confidence. It is something that we can all develop given the right strategies and physical menopausal symptoms do respond to lifestyle changes.
Boosting self-esteem and confidence
One exercise I ask clients to do is to write down three positive achievements each day (in a journal or notebook.) These don't have to be world-changing: they can be anything from making a great stir fry, getting through your email list, not screaming at your children, to being a shoulder to cry on for a friend.
If you are a typical midlife woman you will be multi-tasking and forget how much you have got through in a day. Start giving yourself some credit.
Get help and take control
Being happier is usually linked directly with being in control of your life. If menopausal symptoms are making your life a misery, seek help. HRT has been re-evaluated and the medical consensus is that for women under 60, benefits outweigh risks, not only for short-term symptoms but for longer term health too. New research shows a reduction in plaque in the arteries (the cause of heart disease and stroke) if HRT is started within ten years of menopause. There is less bowel cancer, a possible lower risk of dementia and bone protection. If you are still wary, there are many complementary ways you can help yourself, but read the evidence and research (in my feature) before spending a fortune.
Lifestyle changes you can make
Don't be passive. By making some lifestyle changes, you may feel much better. It may take a few weeks, but ditching the caffeine and sugar should make you feel better within days.
'Is that all?' you're asking. If you need someone to be your cheerleader, that's what a coach can be. When you feel tired, fed up and lacking in oomph, set yourself some targets will help you find your mojo. Don't set yourself impossible targets. Choose something you know you can achieve to begin with. That might be having a glass of wine every other night, not daily. or giving up the muffin with your coffee, fitting in a brisk 30 minute walk, eating one more piece of fruit and another vegetable daily, swapping white rice for brown, white pasta for wholegrain.
What 3 small changes can you start today? Make your list!
I'm Glynis, a career, relationship and wellbeing coach. These are my tips on what life throws at people like us and how coaching can help. You can read more about me here. Do get in touch if I can help you.