Do you feel like you’re not beautiful anymore? Is your skin getting wrinkled and your hair thinning? Are depression and lack of sleep your constant companions?
These are some of the ‘glass half empty’ conversations we have with ourselves as we age and go through menopause. I want to encourage you to see the ‘glass half full’ and rather, celebrate this time in your life. A shift in perspective can radically change how you can experience this “normal” transition in life. Menopause is the beginning of freedom from monthly periods, cramps and worrying about getting pregnant.
Did you know that the term “menopause” was first coined by a French physician named Charles Pierre Louis De Gardanne in an 1821 article entitled, “Menopause: The Critical Age of Women.”
Despite the common nature of menopause, the experience is often stigmatized due to misunderstanding, a false sense of shame and a patriarchal society. Thankfully, those stigmas are starting to break down.
Healthy Ways To Celebrate Menopause
Rather than seeing menopause as a negative or positive thing, start to view it simply as a change. You can then begin to consider how you would like to approach this period of change. What support do you have available to you? What are your strengths and qualities? What information do you need to collate to help you make the best choices?
This approach can mean menopause becomes a catalyst for positive change in your journey.
Since menopause usually occurs during midlife, it can be around this time that you start to focus on yourself again after a period of caring for children and/or older relatives. This period in your life can lend itself really well to some self-discovery or rediscovery, as well as providing an opportunity to reflect and consider how you want to move forward into this next chapter.
Be Part of The Discussion and Learn
If you’re struggling with adapting to menopause, be assured that you’re not alone. Approaching and going through menopause can be scary. Your body goes through lots of changes during this time and, as it affects everyone differently, it can be difficult to know what to expect.
Start to conceptualize menopause as an evolutionary adaptation and dispel the false belief that women lose value once they are no longer able to reproduce. The truth of the matter is that MENOPAUSE IS A TRANSITION, NOT AND END and that women who are menopausal have a great deal to continue to offer to society. Menopause is all about perspective.
What Does it Mean To Celebrate Menopause
The idea of celebrating menopause doesn’t mean you grin and bear your symptoms or paint on a fake smile and ignore your dry vagina. There’s no need to hide any of the challenges menopause presents. However, it’s time to stop solely focusing on these challenges and choose to invite in the strength your body has offered you through the years … and will continue to for years to come.
Think about it. Have you ever stopped to marvel in all that your body has given you? It carried you through the bumps and bruises of childhood. Maybe through the triumph of some incredible feats of strength and determination. Like athletics or motherhood or a physically demanding job. Some of us have overcome injury or illness or loss.
You carry all of these things with you into menopause—all of these beautiful scars that tell your life story. I can’t think of a better reason to celebrate. Can you?
SO, HOW EXACTLY DO YOU CELEBRATE MENOPAUSE?
You’ve probably learned through the years there is no better way to find support than through solidarity with other women. Millions of women all over the world have discovered menopause celebrations in a variety of ways, including:
• Coffee meet-ups
• Dinner parties
• Book clubs
• Mini retreats
• Outdoors adventures
• Spa days
Whatever way you choose to celebrate, think of it as a rebirth. You are laying to rest parts of you that served you well in the past and inviting in exciting new ways to explore creativity, find purpose, and develop stronger bonds throughout your midlife.