"Change is the gift life offers, sometimes disguised in challenges, but always unveiling the priceless strength and wisdom within us." - Valencia
Life is filled with gifts, some wrapped in pretty paper from the ones you love and others disguised in the plain wrapping of a petty coworker. When you're in your 40s, these little “gifts" in life happen often and unexpected.
Have you ever felt like you were handed a gift you didn't know what to do with it? The complex emotions, the physical changes, the unexpected twists and turns of life – they can all feel like gifts that are difficult to understand much less appreciate.
Change is like Thanos (Avengers), “inevitable." You can lay down in defeat and let it ruin your life or you can find ways to fight back and win. I say, let’s find a way to win.
We have an advantage. In our 40 plus years, we have dealt with things on a daily basis that most people couldn’t survive in a year. Look in the mirror, that is you and you are a survivor. Your outlook on change is what truly makes it a gift.
When I learned to look at this whole menopause thing as a gift, I started to appreciate where I am in life. Think about it, the growth, strength and the things you discovered about yourself. You did not know that 20 years ago. Did you? Maybe not, maybe so. For those of us that need a reminder and a little help on this journey, I am going to share five strategies to help you unwrap the overwhelm, untangle the stress and discover the gift of being YOU RIGHT NOW.
Understanding Overwhelming Feelings
What do we mean when we talk about 'overwhelming feelings'? As your virtual big sister on this journey, it's important that we understand the language we use and what it means for us.
Overwhelming feelings are intense emotions that can sometimes feel like they're too much to handle. That can look like anxiety, stress, frustration, or even confusion. They are often heightened by the physical and emotional changes that occur during this menopausal journey, making us feel like we're carrying a heavy load all by ourselves.
At first, you may be wondering ‘How am I supposed to carry this?’ or even "Why am I carrying this?" Then you may throw your hands up and resign. It seems like your whole life has been one thing after the other.
That may be true, but right now it seems like you can't handle it like you use to. But why, what changed? It's a combination of factors – hormonal changes, alterations in our physical well-being, shifts in our personal and professional lives, and the societal pressures and expectations around aging.
Now that those things are out of the way, let's talk solutions. How can I deal with these emotions? This is how I deal and as someone who doesn't like complicated answers, I found strategies that help with overwhelming feelings. Hopefully, they can work for you too.
Tip 1: Practice Deep-Breathing Exercises
By focusing on your breath, you bring your attention back to the present, away from future anxieties or past regrets. It can be as simple as inhaling for a count of four, holding for four, and exhaling for four.
Tip 2: Create a Daily Routine
If you have access to resources like ChapGPT, you can ask it to help you create a daily schedule. A daily routine can help you feel productive without getting overwhelmed. Make sure your routine includes time for self-care, nutritious meals, physical activity, and rest. If it doesn't make you feel better, change it up.
Tip 3: Get Someone Else To Do It
It might be difficult to let go, but remember, it's about working smarter, not harder. By focusing on tasks that only you can do and passing on others, you'll be better able to manage stress. This one is often a battle for me but it does help.
Tip 4: Talk to Someone You Trust About Your Feelings
Voicing your feelings can provide emotional relief and a new perspective. Whether it's a close friend, a family member, or a therapist, having someone that allows you to "get it all out" helps tremendously. I am an advocate of therapy and found myself on a therapist couch years ago.
Tip 5: Try Journaling Your Thoughts
When you put pen to paper, you create a safe space to express your feelings without judgment or interruption.
Tip 6: Join a Supportive Community
Having a supportive community can be an invaluable resource during times of overwhelming feelings. In these spaces, you're not alone; you're surrounded by others who understand your experiences and can provide comfort, advice, and a sisterhood.
I believe in the power of community. That's why Akanni Women was created, to have a safe space to connect with other women navigating the same journey.
So, why not join us today? Step into a circle of understanding and encouragement. There's a whole community of women waiting to welcome you. Click here to join Akanni Women today.
Never forget, every woman is unique. That means how your mother, grandmother or aunt may have dealt with being overwhelmed may not work for you. These tips are here to guide you, shape them according to what serves you. You got this!
I'll leave you with this thought: "In every challenge, there's a gift waiting to be discovered. Embrace the journey, uncover your strength, and cherish the wisdom gained along the way." - xoxoxox-Valencia