Can I let you in on a little secret? I am a hot mess right now. This perimenopause business is no joke!
I used to be able to remember everything. Phone numbers, important dates, tasks that I needed to do, my husband’s or kids event schedule…my brain just had a way of organizing it.
Suddenly, almost over night it seems, my mental file cabinet and planner has turned into a messy pile of papers written in a jibberish.
I sometimes know I should remember something, but just can’t figure out what it is without a lot of thinking. Other times, I completely forget that I even had anything to remember. Like the time my husband asked me to pick up the dry cleaning. Simple enough right? I totally didn’t even remember that I had a task to do, until he was searching for the suit he was supposed to wear the next day.
And what about this? I am pretty sure my body has just aged 10 years over night! I know, not really possible, but dang. The constant aching in the lower back. My fingers and wrists are sore at work. My legs and feet let me know that I have been standing all day.
The run that used to be easy is now a challenge.
The yoga pose that felt good to ease into is suddenly an awkward attempt at not pulling a muscle while breathing and balancing at the same time…oh and suddenly I remember the thing I couldn’t remember 3 hours ago that I needed to do. ACK!!
Ladies, I know you feel me on this. And if you don’t yet, you will. But it doesn’t have to stay this way.
Here are 3 things that deserve some thought if you are determined to love your life all the way through this transition, 🙂
- Move: it doesn’t have to be an Olympic training program, but we DO have to get ourselves off the couch. I had gone from running consistently to train for half and full marathons and lifting regularly to zilch. Not because I didn’t have time or didn’t like it, but I stopped making it a priority. I got lazy and other things took over. The effects: back pain, core weakness, lack of motivation, difficulty sleeping and loss of confidence. I just feel better when I am moving regularly. A short run or a short lifting session, 20 minutes of yoga. Anything is better than nothing. Set a goal for maybe 4-5 days a week for 30 minutes and schedule it in like any other appointment.
- Post it notes or planners: it stresses me out to think that I can’t remember the things I need to. But in reality, I am asking my brain to remember WAY more than it ever has. I have my own personal agenda, 2 business schedules, 2 kids with multiple activities, a husband involved in his each of those kids’ activities and his own personal and work routine…it is exhausting. And quite frankly not surprising that it is a struggle. Enter…post-it notes and planners, this is my favorite planner right now. Writing down the little things I need to check on at work for clients or things to follow up on has been a huge game changer. Keeping a calendar with all the activities in one place is another. I know brain fog and difficulty concentrating can be a part of perimenopause, but I shouldn’t feel like every day is a struggle to get through without feeling like you have let someone down.
- Whole food nutrition: cut out the crap. That’s right. I said it. Fast food, sweets, caffeine, boxed meals…it’s killing us. If we insist on putting fake “food” and toxic chemicals into our bodies, then we shouldn’t be astonished when we got junky performance out of our bodies. These things wreak havoc with our hormones, which are already in flux naturally in this perimenopause stage, so we definitely don’t need to make it worse. Blood sugar roller coaster, cortisol crashes or spikes at the wrong time, impaired sex hormone production can all be related to the food we eat. Swap that soda at lunch for a big bottle of water. Toss that 2:00pm candy bar out the window and grab an apple and almond butter. Bagel and fat free cream cheese for breakfast? How about these delicious turkey meatloaf muffins instead.
Perimenopause is going to happen. But we don’t have to sit by and watch our vibrant minds and bodies slip away. Let’s decide today that we are worth it to make the time and effort to care for ourselves.
It’s okay to make exercise and healthy eating a priority.
It is okay to take a minute and jot something down as a reminder for yourself later. And while I am on the subject again, it is okay to say NO to adding something to our already crazy schedule. If your planner for that day is full, it is full…time doesn’t appear just because you have another invite to another committee for another good cause. But that is a whole other post.
The deal is, we are changing. We can absolutely choose to handle the changes with grace and a plan to embrace the best that these changes bring. Happy perimenopause!