Hey Mama’s! How are you all doing? I wanted to write about how perimenopause has changed my life and what I’m doing to transition because there’s just not enough support out there (beforehand). I’ve felt alone throughout this entire experience and it’s not fun. But I’m learning more about my body each day, what works to make me feel better, how to adjust my day to day schedule and so much more.
How Perimenopause Has Changed My Life
In all honesty I had no idea what my issues were at first. I went several years thinking my gallbladder removal was the cause of all this hormonal ruckus. It did cause major changes in my life but the overall experience was just learning how to eat different foods, taking Pepcid, and drinking peppermint tea to help the digestive process.
I believe the perimenopause began when I was 38. I’ve always had light periods so that was never a symptom. It was 40 when I started missing my periods, they were coming late and y’all know that I cannot have anymore children so mama was not pregnant. But I sure felt like I was. For all I know I could have been going through this since 35, who knows. It could start as early as 30.
Some doctors will tell you it’s too early for this stage of your life but it’s not. Facts and studies show that some women start experiencing signs without even knowing it. It’s crazy how all of a sudden you start feeling like an entirely different person.
Signs & Symptoms Of Perimenopause
- Sleepless Nights– I’ve always been a light sleeper, tossing and turning, checking on the kids, etc…..but I always fell back to sleep. Now, I just lie awake at night for hours. It’s ridiculous. The bags under your eyes will reveal your insomnia. I started to look like a zombie and it wasn’t pretty.
- Late/Missed Periods– For the first 3 months my periods were just late and then I missed a period for a month and now I’m just waiting for the 12 month mark to arrive to be in menopause. I have no idea when that will come, I’m just going with the flow (no pun intended.)
- Anxiety, Irritability, Mood Swings– This wasn’t terribly crazy (in my opinion), but I have seen better days. If I’m in a store and people are too close to me or doing something weird like; trying on clothing right in the aisles, I get peeved. Maybe it has nothing to do with perimenopause and every bit to do with people just being assholes. I’d be looking at a product getting ready to grab it and someone would just come barge right in my space and take over the section. Okay, Mama bout’ to get bat shit crazy up in here. Just take me away, seriously.
Keep Calm And Perimenopause On
Mama’s, I’m telling you that your lives are not over! It’s a beautiful transition when you think about it. I have never been more in love with what my body has been doing to me; despite the constant pain and feeling like my uterus is about to fall out.
- Lower Abdomen and Pelvic Pain– This erupted out of nowhere and lasted for months. I still get really bad cramping when it’s closer to my ‘so called’ period but the worst of the pain is subsiding.
- Weight Gain– I don’t care about the weight gain, I care about how I FEEL. When I started gaining weight (10 pounds per year), I thought, “No, I’m too short for this!” I’m 5′ 3, so excess bloating is no good for me. Plus I feel 6 months pregnant all the time.
I started incorporating an exercise routine back into my day when I was 6 months into this phase of my life. Transitioning from a young attractive woman to a pre-menopausal (mid life crisis) depressed mom was not going to be the end for me. In learning more about my body, I constantly told myself that I wasn’t going to let this win. It wasn’t time for me to be depressed, stressed or ugly.
I’m too young for this
How To Transition From Normalcy To Perimenopause
REST. REST. REST. I cannot stress this enough. You must get as much rest as possible even if that means sleeping in later, going for more calm, relaxing walks, lying down when you have a moment, snuggling on the sofa after a long day out. Be sure to relax.
DRINK. MORE. WATER. Always a hard one for me but I remain focused on how important this is for myself (especially as a woman). It feels so good to flush the toxins.
INCORPORATE. A. WORKOUT. ROUTINE. Taking at least 15 minutes a day to get your heartrate up and stretch your aching muscles really does the body good. The mind too. You’ll feel amazing once you start doing this daily and although some days I don’t feel like exercising, I force myself to knowing that it makes such a difference in the way that I feel afterward.
How Perimenopause Has Changed My Life and What I’m Doing To Transition
EATING. This is a new beginning for me. I never used to eat breakfast (insert bad girl here) because I would just have my coffee until almost dinner time. I know. I’m not in my 20’s anymore! I’m now eating better and more. Roughly about the same calories but split up over the course of the day!
EMBRACE. The. CHANCE. To. NOURISH. Yourself- I never really paid attention until I was 38 and really starting to go downhill. Experiencing depression, sadness, and anxiety this bad was a whole new thing for me. Mentally I wondered if I’d ever get better. In the back of my mind I knew that I had a lot of life left in me and went to do the research necessary to understand perimenopause.
Get Pampered, Get A Massage
Getting a massage is almost crucial at this stage of our lives. It’s not something many of us are comfortable with, so do it at home if you find yourself not being able to get a professional massage.
Taking new supplements were key to my survival. I wanted what was best for me and my body, and knowing that I needed nutrients to nourish myself was what saved me from getting worse. I started taking all natural yam extract, peppermint and fish oil. Originally I tried a multi vitamin and they did nothing for me. I also take vitamin B and D.
Full Disclaimer– this is just me and my personal experiences. I am no doctor and do not suggest you go trying these without talking to your health care provider.
HELLO SHOWERS– This here is also key because I think we take for granted how important a shower really is. Many of us who suffer from depression don’t think about hopping in the bath or shower often. It’s not disgusting at all, so please don’t feel the need to hide this personal travesty. I admit that doing a ‘quick’ clean up routine is sometimes all I’m in the mood for, or all I can find the strength for! Mindfulness is the only thing that really helped me battle this and start taking 2 showers a day at times. It’s not only refreshing but healthy for your sanity.
How Showers Help With Depression + Anxiety
- Taking a shower is relaxing to say the least, especially when you’re not in a rush. I recommend taking a long one if you can squeeze it into your day. Even if you have to take 2 (a mini one in the morning and a longer one at night) just to relieve……
- Helps relieve stress- when taking a shower properly you release all the toxins from your body. I normally take a warm/hot shower and then turn the water to cool just to allow the toxins to escape my body. It’s known as Lymphatic Cleansing.
- Natural Therapy At Home- use a dry brush to get all the dead skin cells off your skin before you jump into the shower. There is something so very simple about this process that heals us from the outside in. Next, jump into a warm shower. Slowly increase the water to the hottest possible, getting all body parts. Turn the water to the coldest possible and repeat this as much as you can tolerate until you start to feel better. It’s important to end your shower with cooler water.
I try to do these ‘THERAPY’ showers as often as I can and sometimes remind myself on a sticky note to do so. It’s worth it. Your body will thank you.
If you’re not understanding what is happening to your body and you are between 35-40, it’s possibly perimenopause and I encourage you to learn as much about this process as it will reward you in the end. I cannot remember where I read this but they said it’s the reversal of the child bearing age and it definitely feels like an endless roller coaster but you & I will get through it.
How Perimenopause Has Changed My Life
Learning about perimenopause all alone has been a difficult process for me. I come from a family of secrets and my mom never shared the full pre, post menopause signs and symptoms that she went through. Talking about personal changes really never happens and I admit that I shut myself off when I’m going through things. I didn’t get the information needed about signs and symptoms of perimenopause and that’s something that has changed my life in so many ways! Thankfully I knew my body and that something was not normal. I tend to do everything as naturally as possible, so I wanted to educate myself to the fullest. I’m not doing everything right but I’m also not neglecting myself and I’m learning along the way.
You are not alone. And although I say that many times, that I am; I’m really not. There’s videos and blog posts galore about perimenopause and menopause. I just never dug deep until my body was at it’s worst. Don’t wait as long as I did to learn something new! XO- V
Until next time, more coffee please!
Feel free to share your story with us!