Self Care Series – Tip # 5
We all know that having a close social network improves health and wellbeing.
So, it is a good idea to talk to a friend about menopause.
A Harvard health publication tells us that good connections and social support can improve health and increase longevity. One study that examined over 300,000 people found that a lack of strong relationships could shorten life span.
There is substantial evidence for the importance of having and maintaining close friendships and relationships.
Each woman is different and will experience menopause in her own unique way. For this reason, a small percentage will sail through it, but others will experience a whole range of issues. In many cases, women going through menopause will experience mood swings, and some will become impatient and lash out. Consequently, this can be confusing for others who do not understand what they may be going through.
In order to take better care of yourself, talk to a friend about menopause.
It is especially important to reach out to close female friends during this time, whether or not they are going through similar issues. In particular, there are some good reasons for this:
1-Your Friends Know You:
Friends who have known us for some time know who we are. So, they can understand that we are going through menopause and that this is temporary. Many times, good friends will make allowances for us.
2- Friends Offer Perspective
Because friends offer us perspective, they help us bring issues that seem big down to size. In essence, they hold up a mirror to us and help us to think through problems.
3- Friends Offer a Listening Ear
Close friends offer a listening ear, a comforting hug, and emotional support. We often only need to let off steam and to hear ourselves speak about something we are going through.
4- Female Friends
A female friend is, well, female! Especially if she is about the same age or older. She can relate and understand the emotional turbulence that a woman can experience in her lifetime.
5- Friends Give Validation
Friends offer validation of how you are feeling, which is an important aspect of dealing with the changes that menopause brings along. If your friends are going through menopause themselves, there is comfort in knowing that you are not facing this change alone. You are not crazy for forgetting your keys or shouting at your kids. You are normal.
6- Letting Them Help
Telling your friends that you are going through issues in menopause offers them the chance to help you, which strengthens relationships. We all want to feel needed and being given an opportunity to be helpful, tightens the bonds of friendships.
7- Helping Them Understand
Sharing your own difficulties helps your friends understand what you are going through and allows them to make bigger allowances for snappy or unusual behavior that they might otherwise interpret negatively. In all likelihood, this will protect your relationship from hurt feelings and loss.
There is no lack of scientific evidence for the vital role that close personal connections play in overall health.
During menopause, we need extra support and understanding. We may not even understand the changes we are going through ourselves. We may, therefore, get worried and even scared.
Reach out to your friends. Choose one or two women with whom you have a special affinity and connect!
During these Covid-19 times, it may be more difficult to go out for a coffee or a meal, but you can still chat on the phone, use Whatsapp or Skype, or go for a walk in an open space.
Don’t forget to check out the other menopause self-care tips.
Go on, be good to yourself, make that call. Talk to a friend about menopause.
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