Stages of Grief in Menopause: Loving Your Old Self
Menopause is a total mind and body transformation in many ways.
As you progress through peri/menopause and menopause, you go through physical changes, hormonal changes, mental changes, and yes, even emotional changes.
Menopause symptoms can leave you reeling and feeling like your body has betrayed you. Many women find they no longer feel like their usual selves and grieve the loss of who they once were.
Knowing that menopause is a normal part of life and that every woman goes through it doesn’t make it any easier. If you find yourself longing for who you once were, you are not alone.
But every season puts down what once was and makes way for something new and wonderful. Menopause is not the death of who you are; quite the contrary. It is the start of something much more beautiful!
Remind Yourself That This Too Shall Pass
Going through menopause can be like going through adolescence or having a baby. Our bodies go through crazy changes, while we go through an identity crisis.
Each time we had to let go of who we used to be to make room in our lives for this new version of ourselves. This often meant letting go of freedoms we once had and the things we used to be able to do.
Menopause is no different.
We made it through those transitions; we’ll make it through menopause as well!
Love Your Old Self
Start by remembering who you once were, and what used to be true for you. Recognize how awesome your body used to be; reminisce the things you used to be able to do.
Go ahead and feel the loss of who you once were! But then let it go.
You can feel okay — excited, even — with moving forward.
Because just like adolescence, menopause allows you an opportunity to ‘try on’ new identities and recreate who you are. And there is a world of possibilities out there! Now is the time to do what you’ve always wanted to do!
Many women go back to school, start a new career, or take on a new hobby. It’s a time to explore who you are and test your limits. You’ve got nothing holding you back! Your kids are grown, and you’ve fulfilled most of your responsibilities.
Menopause can open the door to who you’ve always wanted to be.
New Year, New You!
We’re all going to go through menopause at one point or another. So, it’s time to stop being fearful of it!
It’s time to embrace these changes, and use them to make us better, stronger, and more powerful women. Focus on this time in your life and make the most of it. Celebrate it!
How do you do that?
Care for Your Emotional Self
Take some time to reflect on your identity — old and new. Talk with a friend, see a counselor, or work through your thoughts in other forms of expression, such as through art or writing.
Consider how your identity has changed over the years. Think about what you’ve lost, but also what you’ve gained. Maybe you’ve built new relationships, learned new skills, or experienced some other form of personal or professional growth.
Then, figure out what parts of your former self no longer work for you. Go ahead and let them go. This will make room for new ways of doing, and new ways of being.
And then ask yourself, “What’s most meaningful in my life right now?” What new strategies do you need to create, or what new things do you need to learn, to pull what’s meaningful front and center?
This self-reflection can often lead to increased self-awareness and positive changes in your perspective.
It is easy to focus on everything we’ve lost during menopause. But by being aware of these changes, and everything we’ve gained, we can slowly rebuild our identity. We can become who we’ve always wanted to be and who we were meant to be.
Care for Your Physical Self
Of course, this new you will require new ways of caring for yourself too! So don’t forget to include self-care in your new way of being.
You want to feel good in your new skin! Ideas to practice self-care at this time include:
- Eat right and cut down on alcohol
- Get plenty of exercise
- Make sleep a priority
- Talk to people who are going through the same thing as you are
- Consider supplementing with MenoLabs products, to manage both perimenopause symptoms and menopause symptoms
Embracing Life During and After Menopause
Menopause doesn’t have to slow you down. Quite the contrary — it’s the perfect time to start living your best life.
You can create a healthier and happier you, both during and after menopause!