About once a month I act like a lunatic.
One minute I’m sad. The next I’m anxious. Then I’m irritated or feeling overwhelmed. By the end of the day, I’m tired – and eating chocolate. (I’m talking like a lot of chocolate).
Normally I’m a happy, upbeat, optimistic person. But those few days each month I am short tempered, easily offended, and irritable. (Like the dog avoids me.)
Can you relate?
I’ve been working as a life coach focused on women’s empowerment and mid-life transitions for more than a decade. I’ve seen a few hormonal rollercoasters in my day. (I’m also living one.) In this week’s episode of GrooveTV, I’m going to help you harness the wisdom of your hormonal hissy fits in 3 simple steps. Press PLAY already, and hissy less.
Step 1: Check your stats.
Hormones are serious business, and when yours are out of whack they’ll make you seriously miserable.
Most women deal with hormonal upsets at some point in their lives. You know it when you’re in it. You’re tired, irritable, bloated, uncomfortable, and so not open to any BS. Upsetting newsflash, it gets harder as you get older. (Of course it does, right?)
Things get real somewhere between your late 30’s and early 40’s. This is where we enter perimenopause. Technically, this is the period (pun intended) before a woman experiences menopause. Many say it marks a woman’s entry into mid-life.
Mid-life is not for sissies. #GetYourGrooveBack
For too many women, the hormonal rollercoaster that accompanies perimenopause is negatively life altering. It not only impacts you, it impacts every person who lives with you, and it can create a big mess. Here are a few symptoms of perimenopause.
- You can’t sleep.
- You’re gaining weight around your middle. ☹
- You’re having extreme mood swings. One minute you’re sentimental and tearing up over a commercial, the next the sound of chewing makes you homicidal.
- You’re hot – and not in a good way. You’re dripping (and stripping) right there in public, or you wake up in the middle of the night in a pool of sweat.
- You’ve lost that loving feeling. Sex has made its way to your to-do list. (You’re just not that into it.)
- You’re easily overwhelmed or anxious. You could even feel depressed or hopeless.
The symptom list reads like bad dream, doesn’t it? Wanna know what’s even more serious? Perimenopause can last for years, and doctor’s say that a difficult perimenopause can predict a difficult menopause.
Bottom line, your symptoms are your body’s way of telling you something’s off. Your system is out of balance, and if you want to feel better you need to do something about it.
Self-care is no longer optional. You’re in self-preservation territory now.
Go see your doctor.
Ideally you’ll see an endocrinologist, or a doctor who practices integrative medicine. Have your hormone and neurotransmitter levels checked. Identify where you’re out of normal ranges, and work with your doctor to bring your body back into balance.
This process can take months, but it’s so worth your time and energy. You don’t have to feel like a crazy person. You don’t have to lose yourself to this. There is a way through. There’s a non-pharmaceutical way to address almost every imbalance in the body, and if those don’t work for you, prescription alternatives are available as well.
Your body is talking to you. If you don’t listen when it speaks quietly, it will get louder until you do. Start listening. Take care of you. Make friends. You guys are gonna be together for a long time.
Step 2: Heed the hissy.
Your hormones can hi-jack you. They can reduce your ability to cope, which can lead to feeling overwhelmed, and emotionally melting down. No shame here, my sister. I’ve lost my mind on many a hormonal occasion. (God bless my husband.)
If you’re having a monthly meltdown, your hormones aren’t actually the problem. They’re just making it harder for you to pretend you don’t have any problems.
When you lose your mind, you’re reacting to something real. (Usually something you’ve been pretending is okay with you when it isn’t.) You’re just overreacting, and that overreaction is typically so outrageous (and you feel so bad about it afterward) that you end up apologizing for even making X an issue in the first place. Until next month, that is. (Right?)
Pay attention to recurring hormonal conflict. It’s trying to tell you something.
What’s it really about? Think of it like the ref throwing a flag at a football game. Your meltdown is your flag. Something’s off. Figure out what that is.
- Where have you taken on too much?
- Where have you said yes when you meant no?
- Where are you feeling unappreciated?
- Where are you feeling resentful?
- Where do you need to set a boundary or take a stand?
- What needs to change?
Tell yourself the truth. You can handle it. Then tell whoever else is involved the truth. They can handle it too.
Heed that hissy fit. Finally…
Step 3: Roll with it.
You can fight biology, but you’ll lose.
So why not roll with it?
This might sound awkward, but I’m gonna risk it. Your body has a rhythm. I focused a lot on the hard stuff in this blog, but there’s good stuff too. There’s a spot in your cycle where you feel like a sexy rock star – charismatic, super focused, and chemically attractive. Then there’s an introspective, nesting, snuggling, cuddling phase.
Why not sync with your body’s natural rhythms and plan accordingly? Download a phone app, and start paying attention to what’s going on with you, when it’s going on with you. How do you feel in each phase of your cycle?
Notice what you need, when you need it. Anticipate the days you’ll need extra TLC, and avoid scheduling things that require diplomacy on your less-than-diplomatic days. ☺
I’ve attempted to make this light and a little bit funny because I know it can feel embarrassing to talk about cycles and hormones. No one talks about this stuff, right? Secrecy breeds shame, and there’s nothing to be ashamed of here.
You are not crazy, and you’re not alone. #GetYourGrooveBack
No more secrecy. All women deal with hormones. (Therefore most men do too.) It’s okay to talk about it.
Give working with Mother Nature a try. She’s one smart cookie, and so are you. Remember how amazing you are. You’re stronger, smarter, and more powerful than a hormonal imbalance.
That’s it for the week. Remember that I never want you to blindly take my word for anything. Only you know what’s right for you. I just happen to have a few coaching tools that can help you get closer to that wisdom. Give this lesson’s advice a test drive in your life, and let me know how it goes. There are three ways for us to interact.
- Comment in the comments section below.
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- Email me if you have something more private you’d like to ask. My personal email is firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m the only one reading your messages, and it’s always me answering them.
My mission is your empowerment. That’s why I’m here. If you haven’t already joined my community, please do it by entering your email (www.kimberlyfulcher.com). Until we meet again, know that life is happening for you.
And you got this!