Break Up With Wellness In Menopause: Why The Pursuit Of Wellness Doesn't Always Lead To Feeling BetterNov 17, 2023
How high on the list of priorities does your well-being rank? I bet it's pretty high. After all, who doesn't want to feel well? Unfortunately, for many of us, it’s become the most stressful thing to think about. It’s no wonder that the health and wellness industries are booming, with an ever-expanding range of products, diets, and fitness regimes promising to transform our lives. Yet, this surge in well-being-focused initiatives hasn't necessarily translated into us being healthier or happier. I think that this paradox is especially pertinent for women navigating the unique challenges and opportunities presented by menopause. We could try and change, improve, control, and adjust so many things, but is that how you want to spend your time? I don't, or at least, I don't anymore. I found myself wasting an insane amount of time worrying about if I was doing all I could to be the healthiest I could be. Turns out, it was making me less healthy because my mental health was taking a big hit from all the stress I was inflicting on myself about trying to be healthy—a total paradox.
From adaptogenic herbs to mindfulness apps, the market is flooded with solutions claiming to be the missing key to optimal health. But is our collective well-being actually improving? The evidence suggests otherwise. Despite the well-being boom, studies indicate that rates of anxiety, depression, and chronic illness are on the rise. This dissonance suggests that the problem may lie in our approach to well-being itself. During menopause, the stakes are even higher.
Is There A Simpler Path to Wellbeing?
So, what does true well-being look like? It's not just a checklist of activities or a cabinet full of supplements. True well-being is a holistic approach to life that encompasses mental, emotional, and physical health. It means understanding that your individual needs may differ from the latest trend and recognizing that menopause is a stage of life that requires personalized care and attention. Contrary to the complications the wellness industry presents, achieving a state of well-being is often simpler than we're led to believe. But you and I know, that simpler doesn’t translate into more money, which is why that narrative will never go viral or make it big in the headlines. I believe that we need to use this stage of life to start unlearning all of the messages that have not served us well to begin with. Aren’t you tired of staying on that dizzying hamster wheel the beauty, fitness, and diet industry have you locked into? I know I was. The good news is that you can make a choice to step out and find your own path. Finding my own path led me to create my New Moves coaching program. Menopause is a perfect time to stop, reflect, and try something drastically new. How about finding a way that is sustainable and fun? Those two things can exist together.
Here are some impactful ways to start:
- Listen to Your Body: Tune in to you! Understand what energizes you, what drains you, what motivates you and what doesn’t. Use those queues as guides to make decisions rather than listening to someone else’s solution for you. They don’t know you the way you do!
- Get Moving: Movement is vital, especially strength training, but it doesn’t have to be an elaborate fitness routine. A simple walk in the park can do wonders for your well-being. Overthinking it is often the biggest hurdle. Keep movement simple, especially if you’re just starting out. Overcomplicating things and having an all-or-nothing approach can be paralyzing.
- Connect: During menopause, emotional well-being is as critical as physical health. Maintain strong relationships and seek out communities where you feel supported and heard. Everything is more fun with someone you love. Also, your friends and family might be an inspiration to get you to try something new. Be adventurous!
- Simplify Nutrition: There is no such thing as a menopause diet! Don’t listen to all the marketing tactics trying to convince you that now that you’re in menopause, all nutrition rules fly out the window and you need their program or diet to survive. Stick to basic principles of balanced meals and mindful eating. I personally practice intuitive eating and love it. If this is something you want to try out and are tired of stressing about what to eat (not to mention how much to eat and when to eat it!), do yourself a favor and subscribe to my friend Pam Moore's free newsletter, Real Nourished: Reinventing Your Relationship with Food. Pam is an intuitive eating coach, and her newsletter is chock-full of actionable insights and tools you can start using right now to heal your relationship with food and your body. An extra bonus is that she’s funny and smart, two of my favorite attributes in a person.
- Be Present: Research indicates that including mindfulness training such as mindfulness-based stress reduction, yoga, tai chi, breathing, and meditation can be very beneficial in alleviating and managing menopause symptoms as well as increasing menopause-specific quality of life.
Rejecting the Commercialization of Wellbeing
It’s time to break free from the notion that well-being is a commodity to be purchased. Especially during menopause, when your body and mind are navigating significant changes, the most effective strategies for well-being are often the simplest and most intuitive ones. Well-being is not a one-size-fits-all concept. It's a deeply individual pursuit.
Embracing Menopause as a Stage of Empowerment
This stage of life provides a unique opportunity to redefine what well-being means for you. Rather than looking outward for solutions, turn inward for guidance. Menopause isn't a problem to be fixed but a natural life stage to be managed in a way that aligns with your own sense of well-being.
If you’re ready to try something new, maybe it’s time to embark on the New Moves journey. Find out more about this unique coaching program and sign up to be on the waitlist here. You’ll be the first to have access to registration, which will open next week.
I always love to hear from you, so feel free to share your thoughts and experiences by emailing me at [email protected]