It can be easy to feel overwhelmed by a torrent of negativity when it comes to menopause and symptoms, whether talking to your friends or searching for information online. Tough physical symptoms, emotional struggles and social stigma? It’s enough to make anyone panic that there aren’t any at all.
While menopause can be a difficult time, it would be glib to say otherwise, menopause doesn’t have to drag you into an abyss. There is hope! Small changes in what you eat, drink and do, plus treatment and technology, such as Stella, can make a difference. They can help you find the positive in menopause. Finding new hobbies and friends for open conversations and support can bring little pieces of joy that will help you too.
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Why is menopause a good thing?
When you feel all-consumed by bothersome menopause symptoms, finding ways to overcome or ease them often leads to the discovery of new passions and experiences. We spoke to Ally, who says menopause gave her the final push to do something daring, swimming in the sea all year round.
Ally had fancied cold-water swimming for years, but never really had the time, or the nerve, to do it. When she started feeling anxious during menopause, she was inspired to join her friends at the local beach and take the plunge. It helped calm her mind.
She described the wonderful intensity of swimming in icy waters, which helped her find positivity in menopause.
“At that moment when your whole body is enveloped in the cold sea, the acute sensation becomes all you can think about. All worries and stresses are gone. It’s fun, challenging and gives you an amazing sense of accomplishment.”
Positive menopause stories
Shelly craved a creative outlet when experiencing hot flushes and a low mood. She rediscovered her passion for sewing and crafting, something she hadn’t done since her twenties. It helped her discover positivity in menopause.
“Looking for a new way to spend my time, I reflected on the hobbies I lost when I had kids. With more time on my hands, I could start doing something for myself again.”
After buying a sewing machine, it was love at first stitch. “The first thing I made was a simple cushion cover. Choosing the fabrics and then proudly displaying it on the couch gave me this fabulous feeling of satisfaction I hadn’t felt in a long time.”
“My struggles with menopause opened up new doors. It forced me to reflect on myself, what I wanted to do with my time and what I wanted out of life. It shifted my perspective and now I put myself first.”
Will I feel better after menopause?
Treatment, including lifestyle changes, can help many women manage the physical and emotional symptoms of menopause. Increased socialising to connect with others is another way to find more of the positive in menopause.
Opening up about the problems you’re facing will create new bonds and deepen the relationships you already have. In midlife, just like at any other time in your life, you need people around you who understand your worries. Feeling heard can lift a weight off your shoulders and stop you from feeling invisible.
Both Ally and Shelly found communities of like-minded women through their new hobbies. Making friends with people who share the same passion and are at a similar point in life made both women feel comfortable enough to start talking about menopause.
Ally describes the “sisterhood” she formed. “We are all completely at ease with each other and don’t care what we look like when we jump in the freezing sea.”
“Cold-water swimming makes you feel physically vulnerable. This helped us become more emotionally open as a group and we all support each other through menopause.”
Finding friends online
If talking about menopause face-to-face is just not your thing, the digital world can be equally rewarding and removes a lot of social anxiety. Try Stella Lives, our online events designed to help you understand what’s happening to your body and how to improve symptoms. Or, download the Stella app where a real-life coach can encourage new habits.
Sue built an online community through message boards. She told us that digital anonymity helped her open up about things she had struggled to tell her friends and family.
“Posting my worries on a menopause message board was amazing. I got lots of responses from other women giving me tips, guidance and emotional support. Soon, I was helping them too and we formed a digital camaraderie. After a long and difficult day, I knew I had a group of women to turn to online.”
Dealing with toxic positivity
When seeking out the brighter side of menopause, don’t get sucked into toxic positivity and dismiss negative feelings under the guise of keeping an upbeat mindset.
What is toxic positivity?
Ever been told to stay positive or look on the bright side and it just made you feel even worse? That’s toxic positivity. If you feel crap, your feelings are valid!
We might all be guilty of toxic positivity. Sometimes, we avoid talking about the bad bits so as not to scare the other person, but this signals to them that their negative experiences and feelings are invalid. People can worry that they are being dramatic or self-indulgent for having genuine concerns. It is always better to be open and acknowledge feelings of doubt or worry.
Toxic positivity and menopause
During menopause, it is so important to feel listened to and have your feelings acknowledged. Pretending that everything is fine pushes your genuine concerns to the back of your mind and prevents you from seeking help, making you feel more isolated.
Finding positive outlets, being honest about symptoms, reflecting on feelings and seeking out hobbies and support networks are important in improving your mental and physical health.
When it comes to finding positivity in menopause, they are uniquely intertwined with the negatives. Begin by being honest with yourself and others so you can create opportunities for positivity during menopause.
Positive menopause quotes
I believe whole-heartedly that age is a mindset. Biological age is what it is, but I truly believe it’s more about how you feel – how you feel in your body and how you feel about your body.”
So many women I’ve talked to see menopause as an ending. I’ve discovered that this is your moment to reinvent yourself after years of focusing on the needs of everyone else.
Yes, menopause is ‘The Change’, but one for the better. Watch out for the menopausal woman, for she is driven and passionate, and she seeks pastures new.”
I don’t think of getting older as looking better or worse; it’s just different. You change, and that’s ok.”
I believe that it’s a privilege to get older. Not everybody gets older.”