Wendy Gladney (File photo)
Navigating the topic of women’s health is a constant struggle. For whatever reason we have a hard time talking about our anatomy and the changes our bodies go through each decade. It starts during our teenage years (sometimes earlier!) when we begin our menstrual cycles. If our mother didn’t teach us about the birds and bees, then it was usually a friend who gave us our first lesson (and they probably didn’t know much either). When we experience motherhood, for some reason, that becomes a little easier to talk about. However, when it comes to the topic of menopause there seems to be complete silence.
I remember when I went through menopause a few years ago. My mind, body and spirit went through so many changes I did not understand and I didn’t know how to express what I was feeling or going through. Menopause is when a year passes where we no longer have our periods. Our ovaries have stopped releasing eggs and making estrogen. Menopause is a natural process that all women experience at one point or another during their lifetime. Studies have shown that women of color oftentimes experience more severe symptoms for various health and environmental reasons. What I have learned is that we do not have to suffer in silence. There is information available to us that can help us navigate the perimenopause and menopause stages much easier.
Although most women will experience symptoms like hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, fatigue, insomnia, increased weight, a decrease in their libido, and others, there are things we can do to improve our health and the process. Taking responsibility for our own health should be our number one priority. We must be willing to take the time to get to know our bodies and listen to what they’re saying to us. Our bodies will speak to us if we listen. Secondly, we need to make sure our doctor understands us and how our bodies change. If our doctor cannot provide us with the proper help and support, it may be time to get a new physician. Third, take care of yourself. It is critical that we eat right, get our rest and make exercise a priority. The sooner we get started on this track the better.
We are beginning to live longer, and we want to live healthy productive lives. On my next birthday I will be 60 and I want to thrive. My friends also want to live their best lives. I recently learned about an organization called WisePause that is committed to helping women navigate through perimenopause and menopause. This Saturday, September 12th, WISEPAUSE LIFESTYLE will present a free virtual experience that will feature respected experts, healthcare practitioners, nutritionists, fitness trainers and more to help us thrive beyond our wildest expectations. As women, we need to normalize these conversations with our daughters, sisters and friends. And it is also important for men to understand how to be sensitive to their partners or spouses as well.
Some refer to menopause as the “change of life” or “orchids.” An orchid is a flowering plant and when it blooms it is often colorful and fragrant. There is no reason why our best years cannot be in front of us, but we cannot leave it up to chance. It is important for us to arm ourselves with the right information so we can bloom, be colorful and fragrant. Do it for your sisters, do it for your daughters, do it for yourself.
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Visit www.WendyGladney.com and www.forgivingforliving.org to learn more. Wendy is an international coach, consultant, trainer, author and speaker. She can also be found live on Instagram @Wendygladney on Wednesdays at 12 noon PST.