The most significant antidote to fear is connection; to ourselves and others. The symptoms many women experience during the menopause can create feelings of shame. When shame is at the core of our experience, we’re more likely to retract from others, probably at a time when we need their support the most. Share with others what it is like on your menopausal journey and reach into others who you think might also be going through this.
Words have power, and so how we talk to ourselves matters. Try to catch what you say to and about yourself. If you notice your mind is particularly critical or judgemental about how you look or a mistake you might have made, take a moment. Ask yourself, if my closest friend or family member came and shared with me this same situation as if it were their experience, how would I respond? It’s unlikely your response would be critical, with a harsh tone. Instead, you probably would listen with empathy and compassion. Think about how you could use your ‘best friend voice’ when you’re in a similar situation in the future. You might write out a few words to guide you at that moment to mindfully enhance your self-compassion.
Remember, as loud and convincing that our thoughts might feel; they can’t tell the future or read other people’s minds. Often our mind will drift to the worst scenario, so if you’re concerned about what another person is thinking, you could check in with them. In the absence of this, try to remind yourself that your mind is giving you a thought at the moment, but this isn’t a fact and try to soothe how you’re feeling.
Review the ‘Tools’ section on ways to support you.