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 coach for clients somewhere in midlife, helping them get the life they want. I work with them on careers, time-management, relationships and lots more. These are my musings on what life throws at people like us. You can read more about me here. Do get in touch if I can help you.