No matter what stage of perimenopause you’re in, there are concrete steps you can take to ease the transition. I’m going to be sharing a few of these with you today.
But first, I want to check in with how you’re feeling...how you’re really doing with all of this. I know that the changes going on in your body and psyche may feel confusing and difficult. I know that you may have fears about where this is all heading, and about what it means to grow older. Trust me, I’m right there with you.
But what I want you to know is that the symptoms you are experiencing are part of a deeply sacred process, preparing and initiating you into a brand new reality.
A Deeply Sacred Process…?
Yes! Because these are the years that you are meant to be stepping into the archetype of ‘The Queen’. The Queen embraces her power and inner authority wholly, offering her abundant wisdom and gifts with freedom and grace.
Is there a part of you that can feel this…something greater pushing to come through…? (And as with most births, there tends to be a fair bit of pain that accompanies it!)
In my head, I’m hearing these questions:
How am I supposed to feel like a Queen when I’m riddled with hot flashes, anxiety, weight gain, heavy and irregular periods and other symptoms of fluctuating hormones?
How do I feel like the ‘Queen’ when I’m battling the regret of all that hasn’t happened, and all that has happened, and all that I believed would happen, but just didn’t turn out the way I envisioned?
Wasn’t this supposed to be the moment in my life when all of my hard work around personal growth, career, and relationships would smoothly transition into comfort and ease?
Trust me, I get it. By the time we’ve made it into our forties, we’ve seen a LOT of *%$& go down. There’s been heartache, there’s been struggle, there’s been shock.
But we’ve also figured out quite a few things. How can we build on this and transmute all of our hard-won Wisdom into living from a place of confidence and strength, while stepping into our life purpose with authority?
I’m feeling into this process daily. And for today, let’s start with the basics.
For today, let’s look at the best way to nurture our sacred temple ~ the physical body, during the sacred transition of perimenopause.
When it comes to natural healing, the first and most elemental step begins with a healthy diet. But what was “healthy” for you previously, may no longer be the case. It may be time for an update and revision.
The key to a healthy diet in the perimenopausal years is that it be hormone balancing. A hormone balancing diet is rooted in blood sugar stability. How do we stabilize the blood sugar? It starts with breakfast. Breakfast is your anchor for creating blood sugar balance throughout the day.
Eat within an hour of waking, and make sure your meal is composed of a high quality protein such as eggs or nut butter (rather than, for instance, granola with yogurt and fruit.) You‘ll be surprised by how this simple change will make you feel grounded and steady throughout the day, especially in the morning hours until lunch.
The other crucial step in creating blood sugar stability is (of course) giving up processed sugar. I know, not easy! But even if you’ve tried to do this dozens of times before, you need to know that once your blood sugar is balanced, it actually becomes a relative breeze to give up sugar.
In truth, your sugar cravings have almost nothing to do with discipline or self-control, and have everything to do with blood sugar imbalance. Once your blood sugar is stabilized, dessert can become a special, occasional treat.
Our herbal plant allies become an invaluable support during perimenopause. One of our most important resources are the adaptogenic herbs that are deeply nourishing to the endocrine, nervous and immune systems.
Adaptogenic herbs increase energy, enhance immunity and replenish our life force. The plants in this category that I use frequently include Ashwaganda, Reishi, American Ginseng and Rhodiola. Each adaptogen has it’s own particular set of properties, suited to particular constitutions. But they are all tonic, nutritive herbs that support our ability to handle stress and normalize the endocrine system.
Herbs that work more directly on the female hormones can be life-savers in perimenopause. Two of the herbs that I rely on most frequently are are Vitex and Sage.
Vitex or Chaste Tree Berry works through the pituitary gland to enhance the luteal phase (or second half) of the menstrual cycle. During perimenopause, the ovary is not as efficient at producing progesterone. This creates a type of hormonal imbalance called Estrogen Dominance where there is not enough progesterone to oppose the building actions of estrogen. This can lead way to symptoms such as breast tenderness, worsening PMS, fibroids, endometriosis and even breast and endometrial cancer. Vitex enhances the ovary’s ability to create progresterone.
Sage is an herb that most everyone is familiar with as a culinary spice. But what few realize is that it is a great healing ally. As perimenopause progresses, estrogen begins to wane, and we experience symptoms of low estrogen including hot flashes, heart palpitations, vaginal dryness and night sweats. Sage helps with the lipid metabolism of the body to assist with hormone synthesis. It helps the body transition to menopausal levels of estrogen with greater ease, and lessens the above-mentioned symptoms.
Flower essences are Nature’s great healing gift, and it’s high time to start incorporating them into your healing regimen. Flower Essences can especially help with calming the nervous system when anxiety and irritability seem to be taking over.
Try Blue Vervain to relax an over-excited state or for a deeper, more solid sleep.“Rescue Remedy” or the Five Flower Essence is traditionally used with panic, and for many women, it helps ease hot flashes.