“WHOO! WHOO,” says the Wise Ms. Menopause Owl. “I have ten tips for you!”
I tricked you, so you would read my post. I don’t know if there really IS a Menopause Owl, but until she makes her apprearance, I’ll post these tips myself.
I researched the reasons why owls are revered for their wisdom. One is they can see in the dark. How cool if we could see our way through the sometimes darkness of menopause with special eyes.
I sure couldn’t. But here are some tips I would give a younger me right before the Great Pause hooted my way.
1. Speak up-about moodiness, physical symptoms, all of it. Don’t suffer in silence.
2. Don’t make a stranger of your doctor. Visit. Email. Call. Ask. And if after a visit or so, your doctor still feels like a stranger, find another doctor.
3. Don’t expect menopause to necessarily be a quick process. For me, one symptom would go away but another would appear. This is still happening!
4. Be watchful of what you eat. I found all the menopause weight gain stories to be true. The weight flies on. I wish I had been more careful.
5. If doctors, therapists, and buddies are suggesting you are depressed and need medication, explore the possibility that this is the Great Pause first. (Guest post on this topic to come.)
6. Lotions and creams are your magic potions: moisturizer, sunscreen, conditioners, and lubricants. Estrogen cream may rescue you from vaginal dryness, which can cause not only pain but intense pressure.
7. If you find yourself tossing in bed for more than a half hour or so, sometimes it’s best to just get up for a while. This wiggles my brain around and puts it back into a sleep mode. I let myself get wide awake, contrary to the advice in most articles. I write, do dishes, straighten drawers, answer email, whatever.
8. Exercise does everything it promises to. Big bad hormones hate exercise . It scares them away, making you feel better, sometimes within the first ten minutes or so.
9. Make changes. As you feel yourself changing, make some. Small changes, larger ones. Good ones. Change helps us climb out of ruts and feel like we’re the boss, which in many ways we are!
10. Appreciate the sisterhood of the ages. Women have gone through menopause for centuries. Let their spirits bolster yours.
Photo: The owl above lives on the first outfit I bought for my grandson-to-be. More funky than classic, I found the decorated onesie at an arts festival in Durham. I hope my grandson will have wise eyes and steady wings and lots of fun as he flaps and soars through life.