Quality of Life During MenopauseJul 24, 2021
How often do you think about your quality of life and what it means? Have you ever?!
What would your response be if I asked how you rate your quality of life?
More often than not, when I ask people that question, which is one of my intake questions for new clients, the response usually entails a reference to their physical health. Physical health is a part of quality of life but far from the only factor. Quality of life gets lumped in with other broad terms such as wellbeing or wellness without anyone taking time to explain or think about what that means. But if we don’t have a clear definition of what it means and what factors play a role, how can we improve it?
The World Health Organization defines Quality of Life (QOL) as “an individual’s perception of their position in life, in the context of the culture and value systems in which they live and in relation to their goals, expectations, standards, and concerns.” The most important word in this entire description is perception. Quality of life is one of those truly subjective things. What you may deem as a good quality of life might seem awful to another person. It all depends on what you value. For instance, I don’t mind paying $8 for my coffee while sitting in a coffee shop because I’m more focused when I’m not in my home office, and it feels relaxing to me. So I don’t mind the extra expense. However, someone else may look at that and think it is a ridiculous expense because they don’t get the same value. And that is ok. What’s important is to know what is important to you and what makes you happy.
During menopause, defining quality of life can become even more difficult because there are so many changes going on, both physically and mentally. Menopause symptoms can pose considerable challenges to everyday life, so thinking about your quality of life might not seem the top priority, but it needs to be! If you can identify what is essential to your quality of life, you can adapt better to the changes. So how do you do that? You ask yourself questions and spend time answering them honestly and with detail. Both of those are critical. Sincere self-reflection is the key to seeing what makes you happy, what you may need to change, and what may be holding you back from achieving your best quality of life. Although giving the glossed-over easy answer can be the quick solution, it won’t get you to your result. Why? Because the results are in the details. You won’t get to the moon by just saying that you want to get there. You have to define the steps that get you there. The same is true for quality of life.
To help you get started on this journey, here are some questions. Grab a cup of coffee and a pen and think about your answers to these questions:
- What or who puts a smile on your face? Why?
- What matters most to you? Why?
- What is an activity that clears your mind and makes you feel happy, at peace, or relaxed? Why do you find it so enjoyable?
- Do you enjoy how you spend your free time?
- If yes, what makes it so joyful?
- If not, why not?
- Do you enjoy your work?
- If yes, fantastic! What are some aspects of your job that make it so great?
- If not, why? Are there some parts you like but others you don’t?
These are just a few questions to get you started on your journey to self-reflection. No one has ever not benefited from knowing more about themselves. Sometimes, it can be hard to learn things about yourself, but it is a critical first step to take if you want to grow and be happier. You can do it!
The question of quality of life during the menopausal transition and how to maximize it has been a passion and research topic of mine since I conducted my research study during my doctoral studies. I love helping women explore how fitness, among many things, can help them improve their quality of life. That’s why I created my new Fitness in Menopause Masterclass; a 12-week small group online coaching program. If you would like to learn more about it and get on the Fitness in Menopause Masterclass waitlist to be the first to know when it launches. I’m super excited about it and hope you will too!
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