Aging isn’t easy, but it’s inevitable, and it brings unique gifts and challenges to each of us. Whether you’re a woman or a man, aging brings physical changes, emotional turmoil, and lifestyle shifts. That being said, as we grow older, we also become more self-aware, and often, we have freedoms that we didn’t have as younger people. Many people travel or learn new skills in retirement, making use of their freedoms as empty nesters to see the world or learn how to speak a new language.
The challenge becomes how to mitigate the physical changes, like those brought on by menopause or perimenopause, in a way that allows us to enjoy our golden years. Menopause can be considered a taboo topic, but by avoiding an open conversation about how the symptoms of menopause impact the lives of mature women, we’re doing them a disservice. There’s nothing unnatural or shameful about going through the hormonal shifts that menopause and perimenopause bring with them. If you’re a woman going through menopause or perimenopause, and you don’t want to let it get in the way of living your life to the fullest, read on.
Go online for your medical education.
The first, and most important, thing to remember is that you’re not alone. Every single woman goes through the hormone changes that bring on menopause symptoms (like the tell-tale hot flashes), and that means that you can reach out to others who may be able to provide you with support and pertinent information. Lowered estrogen isn’t an easy thing to deal with, and, if you think you may be going crazy because of the hot flashes or night sweats that are plaguing you, there are online resources you can use.
Perimenopause is often harder to recognize than actual menopause, which makes it an even more maddening experience for many women. Luckily, there are medical education sites that feature an “am I perimenopausal quiz,” a “how healthy are my bones quiz,” and more. By answering a few questions, you can get some answers and at least understand if the menopause symptoms you’re experiencing are a result of menopause or perimenopause. Then, when you next visit your gynecologist (even if you’re seeing your practitioner over Telemedicine services), you can ask informed questions about night sweats, hot flashes, vaginal dryness, an erratic menstrual cycle, or anything else.
Take care of your mental health as well.
It would be naive to assume that major hormone shifts that upend your whole life would be without a mental health impact. Across the United States, whether in rural areas or big cities, women are struggling with the emotional turmoil that comes with a lack of estrogen. These days, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many women are facing mental health struggles alone. Even for those women who feel comfortable discussing the emotional implications of their menopause symptoms with a practitioner, Coronavirus lockdown measures have meant that an in-person visit to the doctor’s office for patient care has become unavailable or dangerous. Something as routine as a blood test or an appointment with a specialist is now perceived as insurmountable.
The good news is that it’s not impossible to get health care, even during the COVID-19 pandemic, even in a remote location. The advent of Telemedicine (or Telehealth) services has brought the doctor’s office to everyone’s mobile device. Healthcare providers can be in touch with their patients via video conferencing, and primary care clinicians or specialists can message updates through a patient portal. A Telemedicine visit is completely safe, as is the patient portal. Passwords and best practices are always implemented in order to make sure that any patient opting for a Telemedicine visit can see their specialist without worrying about personal information getting leaked.
If your hormone levels are causing mood swings that are too much to handle, and you think you could benefit from a conversation with a psychiatrist, it’s a great idea to make use of the Telemedicine technology out there.
Treat yourself kindly.
Society is full of negative messaging about what women should look like or do, regardless of age. Frankly, you don’t need anyone else telling you what you should or shouldn’t look like, so try not to be too mean to yourself. Self-talk is influential on how you perceive yourself and your capabilities, and negative self-talk can be the difference between living a full life and sitting at home worrying.
After all, why shouldn’t you wear a micro bikini nude to the beach if you want? Society wants us to believe that mature women aren’t desirable, and should, therefore, hide their bodies away, but that’s nonsense. If you want to wear a micro bikini (or any other kind of bikini), you should do it. If you want to buy yourself a silky black dress, or a great pair of heels, and feel fabulous‚Äîgo for it. Mature women are beautiful, desirous, and deserve to feel beautiful regardless of age.
Getting older isn’t easy, but it doesn’t have to be so hard either. Find health professionals who can help you manage the menopause symptoms, even if it’s by using Telehealth, look up medical data online, only see a gynecologist who you trust, and, most importantly, be kind to yourself.