Identifying the buds of our second spring
There is increasing recognition that the way we frame life impacts the way we experience life. This is particularly true in menopause. From the narratives we inherit, to the media we absorb. From the company we keep, to our own perception of self. The chinese have a beautiful phrase for menopause; they call it ‘The second spring’. Culturally, ageing is a privilege. And, with age, comes wisdom that is to be cherished - and, as critically, put to work!
So, how do we recognise the opportunity of a new beginning when we’re in the midst of change and the noise around us is often so negative? How do we identify the opportunities that part 2 could bring?
Must always be to prioritise the balancing of your hormones. All the tools we have at our disposal at this lifestage can be viewed through the same lens. From the nutritional foundation we deliver in our blends, to the value of HRT. From yoga to superfoods. From journaling to movement. Find the combination - and, in our experience, it is always a combination rather than a silver bullet! - that works for you. Because, our bodies crave balance. And once you have a little more, you can focus on step 2.
Is about embracing where we are now because of what is budding. We often think of menopause as a series of losses - oestrogen, progesterone, testosterone, bone density, fertility...But at this time of life our bodies are also growing new buds. From the grey matter that grows in our brains in menopause, to the clarity, sense of purpose and energy that can come as we transition through.
One connection I’ve found myself making, as I look at the lessons we can learn from nature in life, is the link between ‘wintering’ and peri-menopause. In the natural world, a bud is a tree’s way of getting a leaf through the cold months. Although trees may look bare in winter, if you look close enough you can see them on trees and bushes now. These buds are the promise of the coming blossom. The promise of growth. If we take time to listen to our bodies and feed them well, our second spring can be spectacular.
Here are a few tips to get started:
SMALL CHANGES MAKE A BIG IMPACT
There is a temptation to go bold when making lifestyle changes. But research shows that a) small changes are easier to maintain, and that b) consistency trumps time-limited radical action. Take time to decide what you need to do. And be realistic about how you modify your everyday.
SLEEP IS A WEAPON
Like the natural world hibernating in winter, sleep could be the most important investment you make in your health. 40% of us will experience disrupted sleep in midlife. As we learn more about the biochemical change, scientists believe that our circadian rhythms shift naturally. In addition, vasomotor symptoms can unsettle our cycle. But, there is much we can do outside of the basics of ‘sleep hygiene’ to adapt to an optimised sleep pattern. Start by working out your natural sleep window by prioritising going to bed when you’re tired. After 5-7 days you’ll have a sense of how much sleep you need and when your natural sleep and wake times are. Then, prioritise getting outside first thing in the morning and as the sun sets. Not only does this help embed our circadian rhythm, research shows that our brains respond to the colours of sunrise and sunset, and signal our endocrine system to prepare or rest.
YOUR BODY IS A MAGICAL MACHINE
Fuel it well. Start with a PFF (Protein, good Fats and Fibre) breakfast. Your body will love you for it - and it will feel like a treat. My go to is a plate of mackerel, eggs and wholemeal sourdough, with my Peri-Boost as a mid morning snack to power me through to lunch!