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Maria’s story: how I coped with my anxiety and mood swings

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Eight or nine years have passed since I entered menopause, but my memories are quite vivid. For me, it was a dramatic period that is thankfully behind me. I felt quite lonely because my daughter went to study abroad. 

On a professional level, I kept finding myself changing job after job, and I gave a shot to several very different sectors and types of roles. The experiments were not very successful, and each job felt more unsuitable than the previous one. 

My husband’s business was also at a standstill. We almost stopped travelling and spending holidays with friends. The combination of these factors had a very unfavourable effect on me. I became quite anxious, disoriented, distracted, and experienced dramatic mood swings. It was a nightmare. However, I was determined to get better.

These are some of the things that changed my life for the better:

1. I got a cat

I’ve always loved animals a lot, but it wasn’t until I was 50 that I took the plunge and got myself a kitten. One of the best things I’ve done! From day one, this playful and loving creature let me take care of her and kept me company when I’m feeling lonely. She still likes to cuddle, wants attention and openly expresses her love. Every time I come home, she comes in front of the door and rolls on the carpet. At night when I can’t sleep, I know that there is someone to hang out with and play with. She purrs and lets me pet her. All of this is so invigorating and soothing.

2. I took on meditation

I’ve been wanting to meditate for a long time. I used to read many spiritual and self-help books, I went to different sessions, with different teachers and organisations. I experimented a lot until I found the right type of meditation which felt like home. Practicing regularly and becoming part of a community of intelligent, happy and interesting individuals calmed me down a lot. I became more focussed, mindful and relaxed. I made new friends who I can always ask for advice and support.

3. I stopped caring about what others think

I gradually stopped being interested in what people would think or say. I stopped taking things personally as I realised that everyone is busy enough with their own problems to give you too much attention. There is no point in trying to please everyone, there will always be someone who thinks differently. When we worry too much about what others are thinking, we end up hurting ourselves more. The conclusion I’ve reached is that everyone needs to satisfy their own needs first and then worry about pleasing others. The same goes for saying what we think. I don’t mean that we have to impose our own opinion at any cost, but the other extreme of having no opinion and being swayed by other people’s demands isn’t wise either.

4. I improved my relationship with my parents

I always had a great relationship with my mother but fought with my father. Over the years, I became less emotional and hot-tempered. Maybe I got wiser and started to understand them better. I stopped being bothered by their advice and opinions. After all, they have always wished me well, and their criticism has always been part of the way they express their love and concern. The dramas finally stopped.

5. I took care of my sleep troubles

I had sleep troubles for a long time. It happened both when I was a student and also when I was pregnant. When my menopause was approaching, the situation escalated. I wandered around the flat like crazy. I didn’t want to wake up my husband so I avoided reading in bed. I used to turn on the TV in the living room. Naturally, the next day I would be sleep deprived, irritable and touchy. I tried to drink lemongrass tea for months. It had a soothing taste but it didn’t seem to calm me down enough to help me fall asleep. I also made the mistake that if I felt sleepy earlier than my usual bedtime, instead of going to bed right away, I would carry on and miss the opportunity to fall asleep. This insomnia episode lasted for 4-5 months. 

Fast forward, almost a year into my menopause, I started to be very kind to myself and to watch what I eat, avoiding anything too sweet or salty. I am currently taking many multivitamins and supplements including Meno Blend which keeps my health in check, especially my bones because of the calcium it contains. 

Looking back at how dramatic my menopause was, I wonder why I let myself get so deep into it. I felt like a victim, and the whole process is a natural part of life. When we turn the struggles into a source of strength, we can look at this turmoil as a benefit. We need to accept ageing as a completely natural process. It makes us stronger and more self-aware. 

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Meg's Quote

If you are depressed,
you are living in the past.
If you are anxious,
you are living in the future.
If you are at peace,
you are living in the present.
– Lao Tzu –

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