Tracy’s Story: Mindfulness and Relaxation for Menopause
I feel more accepting toward my body and what’s happening to it. Before it was like all these barriers up. And it was frightening experience.
When I saw the course, I immediately knew that it was something I would benefit from. I’d felt my menopausal symptoms were slightly affecting my mental health; I was more stressed, and more anxious. I found that I didn’t have the same length fuse as I did previously. There was the physical changes too. I was feeling very hot, getting very flustered. Then there was the lack of sleep – so the tiredness affected my mental health in the way that things are harder to cope with. I manage well considering, but there was that ‘notice’ that something was affecting my mood, and how I felt about myself as well.
I jumped on the course when I saw it because there’s nothing else out there like this. There might be support groups, but that’s not really what would work for me. Plus I liked the fact that it included mindfulness meditation – something I was already using.
My hopes [for the course] were to learn to relax, and to actually manage some of my emotions around becoming an older lady and the labelling, the tag that you get with menopause and also the support, and also that the course might help me cope with some of the physical symptoms a lot better.
I got so many things from the course! I learned quite a lot about myself. I learned that it’s really nice to share experiences with other women who are going through this and it was a very safe platform to do that. I learned some nice meditations, and the belly breathing was the one thing which I use every single day. I practice it so much. It’s a huge tool for me because I find I can literally calm myself down with that. Incredible. I even think my blood pressure’s gone down because I’m able to grab those moments and just do that.
[The course also] opened my eyes up to the various stages of menopause because there are different ladies there and I’m not quite as fearful as I was about how it will be once I’m out of the perimenopausal stage. I think that has been a big thing for me – just learning that it’s important to give yourself that time, finding the balance in life so you can have time to relax which will then help with your symptoms and actually HAS helped with my symptoms massively. My hot flushes are not as aggressive as they were. They’re not as uncomfortable If I’m having a hot sweat I also find that I don’t’ feel that stigma, that embarrassment about what I’m going through.
I feel more accepting toward my body and what’s happening to it. Before it was like all these barriers up. And it was frightening experience. You’re changing completely as a person and physically. Now, those hot sweats have become less prominent and I feel okay when they do come. Plus, the whole body isn’t pouring with sweat because I don’t have the anxiety about them anymore. I also learned to appreciate my body. Being overweight, I’ve always had issues with my body but I feel almost like I understand the purpose of the body now, and it’s okay. Nobody’s perfect and I feel a bit more comfortable in my own skin.
During the course I was practising the meditations probably 2 – 3 times a week on top of the sessions. But the belly breathing and anchoring, I’m doing every day. I found that I’m spending more time grounding myself. Whether it’s walking out in nature or sat in the car waiting for the children to come out of school, I’m grabbing those moments, so I’ve rekindled some of my own practises as well.
I’ve definitely seen an improvement in my fuse, it’s definitely lengthened out. I still roar like a lion sometimes though! We all need to let off steam sometimes but it’s nothing like as bad as it was.
There’s nothing else out there like this course, and there’s still a stigma about menopause.
It means you’re getting older, and you can’t have babies anymore and for some people that’s a really raw thing. I think it’s just an excellent way to help people get through these difficult stages. How many women are stressed to the eyeballs and the menopause is just making it ten times worse? To give them a toolkit that they can use – which would mean they’re not losing their tempers… it could even save a marriage! This kind of thing is just brilliant. I would do it again in a heartbeat!