Do you recognise feeling like a constant whirl-wind, a tornado of emotions that come at anytime, making your family and friends scream and run for cover?
It’s so tough, isn’t it? That feeling of complete instability and having to ‘surrender’ to something that feels more than you – it is: it’s your hormones!
If you’re anything like me, I used to truly fear both strong emotions and the displaying of them; any strong emotion – anger, crying, frustration or irritability was trouble as I’d, then, start to feel a sense of shame and disappointment in myself for not being able to ‘keep it together’.
Then, there are the emotions that feel less easy to express, like the crippling anxiety that churns so deep in your solar plexus that you’re not sure if you’re going to vomit after your cuppa! Maybe the thought of going out and meeting people – especially new people for business or new friends – sounds like your idea of hell. I know when my anxiety was at its highest, just the thought of going somewhere where I don’t know the people (or place) felt so overwhelming that it was easier to just say no. However, avoiding people/places/events could then spark off a whole host of other feelings and negative ‘chatter’.
Before I knew it, my world started to get much smaller as I fell further and further into these deeply anxious emotions, as I could not trust how they would make me feel which, in turn, made me unable to come out into the world. This is where I experienced feeling most profoundly alone: I had isolated myself, unintentionally cutting myself off from others and always making excuses as to why I couldn’t do something.
Of course, overcoming this is bloody hard work and it can invoke overpowering feelings of vulnerability which in themselves can be debilitating. Brene Brown does some amazing work all around the topics of shame, vulnerability and perfectionism. If you’re new to Brene’s work, I can highly recommend checking out her work here on: https://youtu.be/iCvmsMzlF7o: Berne’s TED talk is a great introduction to her work.
I am compelled to share Berne’s work as this is something we ALL suffer with. Berne’s amazing and comprehensive research shows us exactly that – we are not alone.
So, first of all, know this fact and remember this fact – you are NOT alone.
Everything will probably feel more exaggerated during this phase of your life, but please know you are not alone in what you’re experiencing.
Often, we cause ourselves more suffering when we try to ‘keep it together’, to go it alone and figure everything out ourselves. If you’re putting this level of pressure on yourself, the turbulence of the peri-menopause will become even more turbulent. Trying to pressurise yourself into being ‘perfect’ is completely exhausting! As Brene states, “understanding the difference between healthy striving and perfectionism is critical to laying down the shield and picking up your life. Research shows that perfectionism hampers success. In fact, its often the path to depression, anxiety, addiction, and life paralysis.”
I know when my emotions have been at their most turbulent and my anxiety and depression have got me in a vicious loop, I use some of the following to help calm me down and refocus on what it is I do want to be feeling, rather than what I’m currently feeling.
Hopefully you’ll find something in here that helps and, of course, anything that you don’t know about or understand, please feel free to message me:
- Essential Oils:
These have become a firm favourite of mine over the past few months and I have a brand that I particularly adore and that’s Doterra. This is because I resonate with these oils at an emotional level. A few of my favourites are:
• Grounding blend called Balance: this does exactly as the name suggests. It’s a blend of oils that contain tree oils and other wonderful properties. So, this is perfect for calming, grounding and stabilising. (Think of trees and their mighty roots: they are deep and able to withstand some of the toughest storms);
• Woman’s blend called Clary Calm: this is a firm favourite with women as it helps stabilise emotions during menstruation and menopause as it releases emotional tension. Perfect for when you’re feeling close to the edge!
• Geranium: this is great for balancing women’s hormones but, I love it as it helps me to ‘soften’, especially if I’m feeling edgy and hard. By ‘hard’ I mean where I’ve gone into my own head and become judgemental or critical (my inner bitch is in full flow at this point!) I know I need to get out of my head and back to my heart where I can be more compassionate, forgiving and loving and this oil helps encourage me to transition from head to heart;
• Lemon: I love this as an instant mood elevator (anything citrus tends to lift mood) and it also helps me to focus. Perfect for those brain fog days!
• Peppermint: I love peppermint when I want to be able to connect with a greater sense of joy in the tasks or day I am having. It helps calm any fears I have and connects me with my heart, so I can bring in a greater sense of joy and curiosity. This helps me to let go of perfectionism;
If you’re interested in finding out more about the Essential Oils I’ve mentioned please do message me, as they are really are the most powerful oils I’ve ever worked with.
2) Speak to someone and share what’s really going on:
This comes with a BIG warning – I only speak to people whom I trust! If I don’t trust them to have my interests at heart, or have the space or capacity to listen without judgement, I don’t talk to them. This may, of course, mean you can only speak to one person but that is okay. Opening is a sacred act and if people are going to abuse that privilege or (very innocently) they don’t understand what you’re going through, then I would suggest that person isn’t the right person for you to share your inner most feelings with.
Sometimes, the person I need to talk to is a good friend, other times it’s someone professional (a therapist, for example). Sometimes, I need to be able to talk 100% freely to someone who has nothing to do with my life and, therefore, has no agenda or influence in my life. This is really liberating for me, and if they’ve got experience in the area I’m struggling with – even better! This way, I get an understanding of what I’m experiencing as well as helpful hints and guidance too!
3) Time Out!
This can be as short as minutes and can be listening to a breathing meditation or sitting outside in nature (garden) with a cuppa. For this to have maximum benefit, you should do it daily (maybe multiple times a day) and leave your phone behind! I can’t tell you how much this has changed my life for the better. Almost every time I take a break, focus on breathing or walking and calming my mind (guided meditation), I felt instantly better. This has helped me to carry on with my day easier, with greater flow and has increased how much I am able to get done, as well as giving me a more positive experience of achievement.
You can access several free videos on YouTube – just type in “5 min Guided meditations for calm or recharge”.
4) EFT – Emotional Freedom Technique:
I came across this, properly, about 4 months ago. I was so impressed that I completed my own training which I now share with my clients because I recognise how powerful it’s been in my own life. Every single client utilising this has agreed it is a hugely positive tool that has helped them move on. It’s a simple and easy-to use technique that helps bring you back into alignment on what you want to feel and breaks down your resistance to achieving it. This is brilliant if you’re experiencing anxiety or high levels of resistance to something. You can watch my video at https://youtu.be/jlOYd8qjcto:
5) Write a Journal:
I can’t express how powerful this can be: writing down all your thoughts/feelings so you’re not carrying them around with you all day is nothing short of liberating! I tend to do a few minutes first thing in the morning and last thing at night – I even do this with hubby sat next to me in bed as it helps me to get soundly off to sleep. Sleep was something that I was seriously lacking, for a number of years, but now my sleep is the best it’s ever been and I believe a large part of that is down to writing in my journal at the end of the day.
There are other options, of course, if you’re not able to do it at the start and end of the day; I have clients who do this on the train, or take 5 minutes over lunch time to write. I found it particularly helpful to focus on expressing the ramblings in my head (my fears and worries). I always ensure that I finish off by writing about 3 – 5 things I appreciated in my day. Our minds cannot experience appreciation/gratitude and fear at the same time as they’re two completely different activities. By asking your mind to focus on what you appreciate, you’re naturally giving it a break from fear and angst – how wonderful?!
Lastly, I’d like to share this with you. In all honesty, you are going to have days where you don’t master your emotions and where you end up all over the place: that’s the roller coaster of the peri-menopause. It doesn’t mean you’ve done anything wrong, quite the opposite: you’re actually having a womanly experience and, let’s be honest, hormones can be little s**ts that cause utter havoc! So, if you’re having a bad day (or couple of days) just know that it’s okay – this too shall pass.
You will find balance and harmony again I promise, it may just take a while.
So, there you are: my top 5 things that help support me in managing my emotions. I hope you find them helpful. I’d love to know, have you tried any of these before? If so, were they helpful? Or, maybe, you have other suggestions you can share with the community? After all, sharing is caring!