top of page

Getting Support in Menopause

Podcast Episode 19 transcript.

Listen to Apple, Spotify, and our website - or wherever you get your podcasts!


Today, I am talking about finding support in perimenopause and menopause.


Perimenopause seems to happen at such a busy time in our lives; we’re either juggling kids, work, or both, and many of us do not even realise that we are experiencing symptoms till we have that light bulb moment!


There are around 33 million women in the UK - all of these women will experience menopause at some stage in their life. No two women will have the same menopause story.


Some women seem to breeze through perimenopause, others will struggle but manage to cope, and others will have their lives, as they know, turned upside down by struggling with the most severe symptoms it can throw at you.


Some tips to get support:


Friends

There is power in sisterhood - Friends and work colleagues are the people we mostly seem to turn to at first, or they make us realise that we are having menopause symptoms. Sharing your story and symptoms with friends who might be going through similar experiences can be very reassuring and comforting. Connecting with other women going through menopause can be a game-changer. Sharing your experiences, fears, and triumphs with like-minded friends can be amazing in lifting your spirit. Throughout the last ten years, I have spent so much time apologising to my friends for not making enough time for them - life seems to take over -where does time fly? I am now making a conscious effort to plan and put dates in our diary.


Family

Throughout the ages, the family has always been a support system. The elders passed on their knowledge to the younger generation, and someone was always available to help and offer support. As human society progressed, young adults moved away from their natural support unit to study or work, sometimes moving to different countries, as I did. With progression, we gradually lost our immediate support system. I hope you have good relationships with your family, and if you do, I hope you stay in touch with them regularly. Technology makes things so much easier nowadays, but we sometimes take it for granted because it is always available. Use it! Call your parents, brothers and sisters if you are blessed to have them in your life.


Partners

Discussing menopause symptoms can be uncomfortable, especially if your partner isn’t the most understanding. Even if you have the most understanding partner, they are not psychic and cannot know what you need unless you talk to them. Your partner might have little knowledge of menopause and its symptoms, so they might be worried about you or your relationship if they’ve noticed you are not your usual self but unable to start a discussion themselves. Please choose a time to talk; some women find it easier to write down their feelings in a letter or card. Your menopause journey directly affects your partner, so involving them will make your journey easier. If your partner, unfortunately, does not want to engage, it is important to realise that we cannot force a person’s behaviour to change. Suppose you find yourself starting to build resentment towards your partner or feel you’re a bit stuck in the situation. In that case, I encourage you to seek support from a healthcare professional or click the link for support therapies.


Seek professional help

If you think you’re in menopause, even if you are not struggling, speak to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist to discuss your symptoms and include your options. Although social media has amazingly raised awareness, most of these accounts are not managed by healthcare professionals.


Check-in with your healthcare professional at least once a year if what you are doing is working for you, or more often if you are struggling with symptoms or feel that your medication is not doing the job. As a healthcare professional, I can assure you that it is entirely normal that medications have to be tweaked now and again, especially as hormone levels change throughout menopause. If your menopause is more complex than what most women are experiencing, your doctor can refer you to an NHS menopause clinic.


It’s also good to know that you can refer to talking therapies in the UK if registered with a GP. There are different types of talking therapies, but they all involve working with a trained therapist who will help you understand and teach you coping mechanisms to deal with your issues. You can do so by filling out an online form, and someone will contact you to ask about your problems.


Face-to-Face Support

We have just partnered with the Menopause Cafe Charity to start running a Cafe in Hoylake, Wirral. At menopause cafes, people gather to eat cake, drink tea, and discuss menopause. Cafes are open to all, regardless of gender and age, to offer a safe and confidential space with no intention of leading people to any conclusion, product, or course of action. There are many cafes all over the UK and even abroad. We’ve attached a link to the website below.


Online Support

We have a world of knowledge available with the click of a button. Still, it’s essential to check the source of this information and the difference between health or medical information and people expressing their views and experiences. Of course, there is a place for both, but know the difference.


We have attached a link to the NHS Menopause Help and Support page, which includes various videos and links to different charities that can help you.


Last but not least

The importance of self-support. It all starts with you. Embrace self-compassion and self-care. Stop putting pressure on yourself. You do not need to be perfect—you do not need to do everything for everybody to be a good partner or parent. Take a moment to pause, breathe, and appreciate yourself. Menopause is not a sign of weakness. Self-care is not a luxury or selfishness. When you look after yourself, everybody around you wins!


Self-care does not have to be expensive - here is a list of ideas I found online:

  1. Aim for 8 hours of sleep at night

  2. Go for a walk in nature

  3. Write a journal to express your feelings - include good things that have happened to you, too.

  4. Cook or eat a nutrient-rich meal - think of food as energy

  5. Meditate or sit quietly with your eyes closed, listening to soothing music

  6. Listen to a podcast 

  7. Watch a film that YOU like

  8. Connect with friends

  9. Plan your self-care activities in advance

  10. Learn to say no

  11. Declutter your bedroom and living spaces

  12. Have a relaxing bath 

  13. End your shower by switching to cold for 30s - it stimulates endorphins, the feel-good hormones.

  14. Pamper your hands and feet, or moisturise after a shower or bath for a few minutes.

  15. Now and again, focus on your breathing and take deeper, longer breaths 

  16. Treat yourself to a facial at home or in a skin clinic

  17. Plan a date with your partner

  18. Discover a new hobby or make time to read

  19. Treat yourself to flowers

  20. Sometimes - it’s just great to do NOTHING


Talking Therapies:




Comments


bottom of page