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When Super Woman Crashes

Menopause often enters the lives of women at a time when they are already extremely busy and often stressed. In order to cope with the extra strain that symptoms usually bring, it is very important that perimenopausal and newly menopausal women learn to juggle their responsibilities without harming their health as this transitional life stage begins.

Bad Timing
While there is no exact age or time that women enter menopause, symptoms can come at an extremely difficult time in a woman's life, as it is unannounced and can be overwhelming. Women entering menopause are often already overloaded with their careers, family, and community involvements.HFN 045 WhenSuperWomanCrashes 1 F834889 There are also the additional stresses of life that tend to pop up around this time, such as dealing with aging parents, having teenagers who fight you at every turn, or experiencing the empty nest syndrome.

At times, it can seem like everything you know is changing, including your body. This can have an unsettling effect on your life, especially when your hormones are rapidly fluctuating. This is why it's important to come up with a strategy that enables you to effectively handle your day-to-day responsibilities while experiencing menopause.

Ignoring Your Symptoms
If your symptoms begin to interfere with your life and you choose to ignore them, what's the downside? Let's look at just a few of the symptoms that often accompany menopause and see what can happen if you think you're just too busy to make an appointment with your doctor.

  • If you suffer from night sweats or insomnia, you're not getting a solid night's sleep and will not function well at your job or be the attentive spouse, mom, or friend that you want to be.
  • If you're sliding into a depression or state of anxiety, these will definitely affect your performance at work and your relationships with all the important people in your life.
  • If you have a spouse or intimate partner and are experiencing vaginal dryness causing painful intercourse or if you're suddenly disinterested in sex, your relationship will certainly suffer; it's up to you to have a heart to heart with your loved one and make an appointment with your doctor.

Support Groups
Sharing stories with women that are experiencing the same troubles as you can be therapeutic as well as educational. The women in these groups know what you're going through and can recommend products and procedures that have, or haven't, helped them deal with their symptoms. Hospitals and community centers are great places to find information on local support groups. Online support groups are also available.

Finding a support group also means enlisting the help of your immediate family. Although it may be difficult for them to relate directly to your symptoms, it's important that they understand that you are going through a tough time in your life. Once your family understands your hardship, they will be more likely to help out with some of your daily responsibilities. For more information on finding support, please visit our section on Support Groups.

You probably can't talk to your boss about the effect your symptoms are having on your job performance, but you can get help. Don't wait until things fall apart on the job. If you're having problems remembering things, make notes and refer to them to ensure you don't drop the ball with your duties.

Rest and Relaxation
Sometimes you may feel as though there simply isn't time for you to take a few moments to rest. Or maybe you think you don't deserve it or that your family or job comes first. In truth, you'll be a much more effective individual if you regularly set aside some personal time. It doesn't have to be a large amount of time or an elaborate activity, just something to get your mind off of the stresses of your daily routine. It could be as simple as planning a dinner of leftovers or sandwiches for your family so you don't have to cook, or enlisting family members to pitch in. Try exercising at home, at the gym, or a taking brisk run or walk around your neighborhood. Asking a friend to join you for a "walk & talk" could be very therapeutic, too. And don't forget making special time with your significant other.

Educate Yourself
Take the time to learn as much about menopause as possible. The more you know about it, the less alarming some of the symptoms may be when they occur. Knowing what's going on with your body and addressing the impact on your health will free your mind up to focus on handling the pressing responsibilities in your life.

Lastly, never hesitate to see a doctor, no matter how minor you believe the reason to be. In addition to restoring your peace of mind, a doctor can also prescribe drugs and procedures that can drastically reduce the severity of your symptoms, making them that much less intrusive into your everyday life. For more information on drugs and treatments, please visit our section on Treatments and Therapies. ♀

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