Oh yes! Got a chance to sneak away for some me-time. Sitting in front of the falling sun tuning along with to my favourite 70's cruise music. Reminiscing. Sooo relaxing ....
It’s been years and years since I’ve allowed myself time to r e a l l y, t r u l y, w h o l e h e a r t e d l y relax.
Cortisol levels rising before, during, and after menopause make anxiety a very real thing for many mid-life women.So delicate is a woman’s hormonal system it makes times like these a must for us to maintain balance.
This is becoming common knowledge now but when I was researching for our book, Tantric Sex and Menopause almost 5 years ago, no one was talking about it.
I felt I’d struck gold. I felt ripped off that no doctor had explained this to me.
Fifteen or so years ago when I was going through menopause it was disturbing how uncontrollable this free-floating anxiety would rise and wake me at 3 am.
Why does this happen? As our reproductive hormones, and in particular, estrogen, start to diminish before during, and after menopause, it sends a biofeedback signal to the brain, which then starts scrambling for more estrogen from other parts of the body - the kidneys, the adrenal, and thyroid glands. The lower reptilian brain, our survival brain, then responds as if the body is under stress. So it produces more cortisol, causing the heart rate to increase, resulting in heart palpitations. Night sweats can also accompany this. These are rarely dangerous, though it can be distressing to experience. And it's good to check with your doctor if you are concerned. When the higher brain releases stress hormones, and the adrenals are pumping more and more cortisol, it can prevent the body from returning to normal easily.
In this goal-driven, outside-driven society, women can become blinded by the illusion that more is better, to drive hard to achieve is the only way. Our bodies simply need a different path.
What can we do about it?
It's possible there’s a different way to get things done and I find the accumulation of daily habits that relax my nervous system, like
Key #1. BREATHING down into the belly. 20 breaths concentrating on a long out-breath settles me straight away. Nothing lowers Cortisol faster than breathing deeply.
Key #2 - being still to bring me into presence
Key #3 - keeping check of my emotions
Key #4 - gentle and restorative yoga
Key #5 - Supporting my body through good healthy nutrition
Key #6 - Slow muscle-buildingexercise and fun outdoors with friends and family
Key #7 - Times like these that are key to supporting creativity and taking action from inspiration, not obligation
Let’s celebrate and support each other for actually giving ourselves a break.
And give each other PERMISSION to stop.
Stress is one of the number causes of relationship breakdown and we each have a responsibility to keep our cortisol levels in check, for the sake of LOVE. Do it for you, do it for your relationship. Do it for your family. Commit to at least one daily habit that you can implement easily and enjoy immediate benefits from.
I go into this and the solutions a lot at my Womantime events. Click here to register your interest for future events.