Menopause

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I never considered myself a hormonal person and yet on turning 40, after a period of sustained stress and ill health, I developed over the following years many of the symptoms on the list above.

Prior to being diagnosed as coeliac in my late 30’s I had always been healthy and relatively stable in attitude – how was I now on this emotional rollercoaster?

I had experienced anxiety during my relationship breakdown and was unsettled to find similar symptoms had become a bit of a feature in my life. It seemed to take much of my energy to manage feelings and continue to function.

In a busy stage of life with young children, I put the tiredness, poor memory and anxious thoughts down to the juggling challenges of parenthood, particularly as a single parent.

 I spent months trying establish what was happening within my body to cause me to feel like I did…

With increased night sweats and mood swings I tried all kinds of dietary and alternative supplements, spoke to friends, colleagues, read, googled and sought support from my Gp. After some blood tests I was a bit shocked, but relieved, to be diagnosed as menopausal. 

The concept was okay, I’d had children, but the symptons were much more tricky!

Heading into the menopause early, I was really unprepared! Why was this happening after sailing relatively unscathed through puberty and into adulthood? 

After a year or so of struggling with a variety of symptoms and little relief HRT was seriously discussed by my Gp. With teenagehood looming, and my increased irritability I was rapidly running out of options. Being a long way off fifty the benefits outweighed the negatives as these were hormones my body ideally should still have. Trying a couple of different brands and doses finally found the combination which improved many of my symptoms.

Still continuing on HRT today, anxiety is the main one which continues to raise its head from time to time! 

When you don’t have anxiety you can’t imagine what it is like so I’d have weeks of being okay and between bouts it seems irrational and unbelievable it is so debilitating. So you push on…

I have since read much around anxiety, the menopause, coeliac disease, the human brain and hormones, whilst the  challenges continue. The role of hormones and the fine balance between these are well demonstrated as below. 

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With several factors unbalancing your health, it makes sense it will take some time to even begin to restore some normality. This model helps explain the complexity and the delicate balancing interplay of several feel good chemicals which affect your mood.

I’ve found trying to understand what is happening in my body and mind has helped me to manage symptoms over time. However self acceptance has been one of the biggest challenges!

 

Health & happiness

Being healthy is a combination of physical well being, emotional resilience and psychological well being – no mean feat at any age!

We all have periods of life where any one of these aspects of feeling healthy can be challenged. Periods of change and upheaval can create competing priorities and we can loose sight of what we need as an individual to feel well. This wellness can then affect our feelings of happiness.

Good health is a balancing act and requires us to prioritise ourselves!!

Take time today, to focus on what being healthy means to you and start to make it happen.

This may be around:-

dietary patterns

habits control

time to exercise

mood influencers

connecting with others

work patterns

feeling accomplished

contributing to society

hobbies/interests

time for ourselves

developing gratitude

Often many of these are inter related and may need exploring to unpick what needs to and can change.

Make yourself a priority today!

Calm focus…

 

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Want to feel ready to give it your best shot in the next 2-6 weeks?

Want to harness the feelings of the very normal ‘fight and flight response’ and focus these into the most successful behaviours for you?

A session with a coach or therapist who can help you recognise these feelings for what they are and redirect them to work for you, not sabotage your well being.

If you are struggling at the moment with these feelings, you’re not alone.

Many teens around the country are struggling with anxiety about their revision, their performance and their future. This is a modern day tragedy.

Despite the growing awareness and public services trying to keep pace with the need to address this, many of our young people are simply not able to access the help they need in a timely fashion.

A session which explores your concerns and gives you techniques to feel calmer and more able to focus could make a big difference. This could involve being more in the moment, or mindful of the ‘here and now’, and using visualisation strategies. Practicing beforehand and using these skills leading up to, and during, the exam could make all the difference to how you feel and perform.

Please feel free to contact me to discuss your concerns.

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Reduce sugar – the reasons to!

It’s my birthday! I’ll be eating cake today…but not every day!!

We have some ancient Polynesians to thank for our mass sugar addiction. Over 5000 years ago they chewed upon inoffensive looking grass stalks and found they produced a sweet tasting liquid. Little by little the natural sugar cane plant was manipulated into the harmful grains of sucrose which elevate the brain’s dopamine levels in the […]

via 10 scientific reasons to give up sugar & 10 healthy ways to achieve it — Travelling Vegan Mystic

Exam stress!!

 

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Its that time of year again!!

Teenagers all over the country are beginning to feel the pressure…

poor motivation?

dis-organisation?

apathy?

erratic moods?

impending sense of panic?

anxiety?

As parents of a possibly uncommunicative, yet stressed teenager, where the young person may have great difficulty expressing their concerns can be a challenging time for the whole family.

Knowing where to go to seek support can be tricky.

If the teenager is demonstrating anxiety and depression symptoms, where they appear to be not coping with erratic emotions, have significant changes in eating and sleeping habits or are expressing feelings of low mood, particularly suicidal thoughts, then a Gp consultation is necessary.

For many teenagers it can be much more subtle than this and who may improve the situation can be less obvious.

The schools and colleges are getting better at offering sessions on tips and strategies which enhance the students planning for revision, so they feel better prepared and more able to cope with the pressures.

With the multiple demands on teenagers this preparation is getting harder to focus on.

This relies on your teenager not being too hormonal, influenced by their peers which has often been the case, but enhanced by the massive influence from social media. This constant distraction of messages, apps and the internet is pervasive and often difficult to manage alongside their rapidly developing brains. As many study skills need to be accessed on line it is increasingly difficult to avoid the pull of the internet.

Personal discipline is crucial, so addiction to the phone can interfere with this, as can a fear of failure, making starting difficult, or building performance anxiety may be driving the lack of engagement with their studies.

Accessing resources to improve the teenagers ability to remain calm, focus and commit to performing in the way that does them justice is hugely beneficial.

Having a session with a therapist who offers NLP techniques to promote these skills, ideally enhanced by hypnosis but not essential, can help the teenager to set the intention and take the steps towards achieving more focus.

Contact me if you want to explore this conversation further, sometimes recognising what is happening for the student is the first step.

 

Daffodils = hope

I love sunshine falling on the dancing daffodils.

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They bring such freshness and hope for the warmer weather.

This has a boosting affect on mood and sense of well being. Not always of course, but their blooming does signify spring time and renewal.

Time to clear out the old and bring in freshness – spring clean!

Not only physically, but mentally too.

What changes do you wish to make for this summer?

Any old habits getting you down?

Stuck in patterns which stop you from achieving what you would like from life?

Time to start thinking about feeling good and looking good, so you can enjoy getting out and about in the summer!!

Now is a great time for growth! Try new things?

A session with a coach or hypnotherapist can help you set your intention, look at how you live your life now and find the small steps that will put you on a different path.

Want to try something new and make a change? Contact me to discuss?

I look forward to it!

 

 

 

 

Glimmers of spring

Hoping for some more days like this!

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We’ve had a few sunny days, but then it goes cloudy with a chilly wind again. Its tempting not to venture far from your warm and hopefully cosy home.

To boost well being its always good to get outside.

Some reasons to get out and about:-

As a dog owner/befriender you can wrap up warmly and get out there, as they insist on this several times a day!!

Explore with children the parks, woodlands or public footpaths and observe the bursting buds of bushes, trees and plants or of new animal life. Help them to learn about the wonders of our nature and countryside.

The garden is always beckoning at this time of year so small jobs to clear, tidy and prepare for the bursting forth of plants and vegetables, during any clear spells, helps to boost positive feelings. Plan the garden of the summer!

With an improving picture, planning to meet friends and family for gatherings out and about in new places or old haunts. Helps with reconnecting after the winter hibernation.

Lighter nights,with the clocks going forward this weekend, ensures more daylight and opportunities to attend all kinds of social events. Consider taking up an activity in the evening of these lighter nights. Get out on your bike, join a club or like me find a running buddy? Keeping active to improve your health.

Community events are planned in parks, villages, halls and the countryside which engage people with all kinds of skills and entertainment.This brings a sense of hope and interest as opportunities to connect in many different ways, socialise and have fun are apparent.

Volunteering time and skills to benefit your local community gives the individual a sense of  well being too. Volunteers may work in buildings to offer services for individuals or organisations, but it can be outdoors too. A sense of contribution and involvement are the powerful positive feelings this type of commitment brings.

So it all looks good!

Certainly it is an improving picture.

All activity and connecting with nature is good for our body and minds, so it is great to be able to plan more of both of these into the coming weeks.

So get planning and hope you enjoy the sunny, warmer moments this weekend.

 

Coming of age

My oldest child has become a young adult!!

Does it make me feel old?  A little…

Am I sad about it…

not really!?

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The last few years whilst she has been preparing for being more independant, have been a bit of a balancing act. I have still wanted to guide her as a parent, and will continue to do so,  but in a lesser role no doubt. There has been lots of challenge and disagreement!

As a parent of a teenager the conflict has been between me trying ‘not to know best’ and being available for discssions around tricky issues.

As teenagers they need to be able to explore who they are, look to their peers, try things out, challenge themselves, learn lots, make mistakes and run to the parent/s when things go wrong!

Their communication is all over the place from disengagement to outright rudenesss, with good moments in between.

It is a challenge to be steadily reasonable yourself when they are rejecting everything you open your mouth to say and can seem like a huge attack on you as a person.  You are “old” and “out of touch” and “don’t know anything” and are laughable – some of this is somewhat true, but can be very difficult to hear out of the mouth of babes. From the one you cradled, protected and nutured over the past 15 years or so and seems not that long ago. I know I’m getting sentimental now…

Parents need to keep adult enough, ensure they have their own interests and support systems to be strong and supportive during this phase. Having your own peers to share issues, laugh and keep perspective with is important.You are also a role model for your young person and how you deal with the stresses and strains of life is teaching those observing what the choices for lifestyle are. If you are struggling with any of these, seek help and support for yourself!

If you can keep communication channels open enough, you are doing well. You should be their sounding base at times and it is essential you set boundaries but are available for discussion if necessary, to unpick what is reasonable.

It may not feel like they trust anything you say much of the time but moments of difficulty will highlight this to you. Teens face huge pressures to look good, perform well academically and be social. Issues with low mood and anxiety have never been higher for our young people. Social media is the way of communicating so being involved and informing yourself, with your teens where possible, so what they are accessing is understood is essential. Friendships are of course a huge feature of this period and should be encouraged ideally with some interaction from parents so you are aware of their activities. Educate yourself on the dangers and the impact of social media and other teen issues on health and wellbeing. Awareness aids communication skills and being able to discuss more difficult subjects.

Schools and colleges are striving to keep pace with current issues as they arise and communicating with them and other relevant organisations, working together to support your teenager, can be reassuring in an ever changing environment. Keeping your teen engaged with learning and other activities available to them will promote their sense of belonging and reduce anti social activities. So having an open mind and being aware of opportunities to develop and support them is key.

So many issues to consider and I’m sure I’ve forgotten some…

I’m sure on embracing adulthood my daughter will continue to have problematic moments which at times I will find wearing. However…

Now I do feel more able to say – you’re a young adult, what do you think?

This has pushed some of the responsibility for more difficult decisions back to her and enabled a two way conversation with more balance.

It is a huge relief!!

Looking forward…

It feels easier to be looking forward…

The targets to achieve have had to be found within myself, which has been tough!

Now that the worst of the dark days of winter are over, the weather is giving glimmers of brighter weather, moving forward is on the agenda.

I’m not alone in these feelings of finding it hard, am I?

Working for myself, has been a huge change in my way of life, and at times quite a lonely place. Never worse than in the dreary Uk winter!

No distractions of a team, but none of the pressures either, which has been liberating, but also difficult at times.

Some self reflection has been necessary to move forward.

I recognise this is part of my journey and time has given me space to look at:-

  • who I am emotionally

  • where my strengths lie

  • whom I like connecting to

  • what I find challenging

  • what I need to improve on

  • where I am in my life and what next

  • what opportunities are available to me

This will make me stronger in the long run and more able to focus on where I am heading.

I need to be able to set my targets to continue to be successful and build my practice!

I have tried to embrace these steps for happiness but not always found it easy putting them into practice.

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The first one is particularly relevant, with too much analysing becoming distracting, but may be necessary at my stage of working for myself?

Some exploring has had to be done to gain self acceptance, be able to love more and appreciate more. 

This process may be tough but is beneficial for your skills and experience when working with clients, to understand their blocks and challenges.

Personally I am now more connected with how fortunate I am to have this opportunity to work for myself and build a business.

I am able to feel proud of my achievements to date.

I am engaged with what I can offer others, in order to support clients to make changes.

The outcome is I am planning future services which will help and support people to improve their well being.      So all round benefits.

This is an ongoing journey but acceptance has enabled me to move forward from where I was in my life and feel more focused.