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menopause mindset mastery

Menopause Mindset Mastery- 3 positive changes

Menopause Mindset Mastery – 3 positive changes

Menopause Mindset Mastery is incredibly helpful as you approach menopause and for many different reasons.

During my weekly shopping trip to the supermarket the other day, I overheard a conversation between two middle aged women that went like this: – “well I may as well eat whatever I want, I’m in menopause so it’s all downhill from here”.  To which the friend replied “oh yes, totally agree, I’ve gained so much weight, must be the hormones”.  Oh dear, a true example of a very negative menopause mindset!

Choices

I couldn’t help but take a little sneak peak into their shopping trolleys. No surprise there; crisps, chocolate, cakes, biscuits, boxed cereals, processed food, a few bottles of wine, and a lonely looking piece of broccoli.

Positive Mindset

 

menopause mindset mastery

Later in the day I had a Skype session with one of the Flourish Beyond 40 Programme participants who happily told me that she had dropped one dress size and never felt hungry!  She was happy, exuberant, and excited about life.  A great example of menopause mindset mastery.

I’m not saying that you won’t gain weight during menopause, or that your body won’t be extra efficient at converting excess calories into fat.  Unfortunately most of it landing it straight onto your tummy, otherwise knows as the  “menopot”.

We all know that menopause can be an extremely challenging time for many women, and not so challenging for others.  What is evident that a positive menopause mindset will likely improve your overall health and wellbeing in a big way.

menopause mindset mastery

When your  menopause mindset is focused in the right direction, you are far more likely to get the results you want.  As a result, you are more inclined to make healthier lifestyle choices to navigate this phase with more ease and comfort.

Are you a pessimist or an optimist?

Take a moment and think about these questions: are you an optimist or a pessimist?  Do you always find the negative in situations and people rather than the positive?

Are you focusing your attention on everything you don’t want rather than what you do?  Instead of thinking:

  • I don’t want to be fat and frumpy after menopause

Why not choose to think:

  • I choose to be fit, healthy, happy and well in menopause and beyond

Age is Lifestyle Not a Number

I get it ladies, I really do.  I too am travelling the menopause journey with you.  However, I know that the right  mindset works.

3 Steps to Menopause Mindset Mastery

menopause mindset mastery

How you too can develop a Menopause Mindset Mastery

  1. First of all, start to be aware of the stories you are telling yourself.  What are you choosing to believe about the menopause?  Beliefs such as “it’s all downhill from here”, “there is nothing to look forward to now”, “my partner will no longer find me attractive”, are all incredibly emotionally damaging.

How many times do you hear yourself speaking unkindly to yourself when you look in the mirror?  Would you talk to your best friend that way?  It may be time for you to show as much compassion to yourself as you do for others.

Life Expectancy

Do you know that the average life expectancy for a woman now is 86!  So ladies, how are you going to choose to live the rest of your life? If you are 50 now, then that’s more than 30 years.  What does your mindset say now?

No you don’t have to dress frumpily

No you don’t have to wear your hair short

No you don’t have to apologize for speaking your mind

No you don’t have to feel invisible

No you don’t need to stop taking care of yourself

No you don’t have to stop wearing make up

 

menopause mindset mastery

Why not take some time this week and write down the beliefs you currently hold and believe about yourself that are not necessarily helpful or useful to you?  Ask yourself why you are choosing to hold them?  This is the first step towards developing menopause mindset mastery.

Once you have this written down in front of you, decide what you want to choose to believe instead.  Embrace beliefs such as “I am wiser and have lots of juicy life experience to deal with life”, “I am in charge of my lifestyle choices”, “midlife can be totally liberating an empowering”.

The thing is, all of the above are actually true.  Think about all that you have achieved in your life so far.  In fact, why not write down all of your achievements and read it, acknowledge, accept it and celebrate all of those achievements no matter how small!

Maybe there have been times in your life where you discovered how much inner strength you have.  Knowing this is incredibly empowering.

Ladies you are not going downhill.  Quite the opposite in fact.  You are entering a new, exciting, liberating phase of your life.  Yes, your body may not behave as it did in your 20s, but you can work with what you have to be the best version of you possible. Of course you can’t keep the unhealthy choices and lifestyle you led in your 20s, because your body will let you know immediately.

menopause mindset mastery

You are entering a time of freedom from monthly periods.  A time where you may find that you have more time on your hands when children have left home.  A time where you can now focus on your wants, needs, and desires.  Time to take care of you!  How exciting is that?

Affirmations

  1. Write some great positive affirmations to help you develop new positive beliefs. Affirmations are a great way to change thoughts, feelings and behaviors.  Make sure you repeat your affirmations several times a day and that they are worded correctly. This is another great step towards menopause mindset mastery.

Affirmations also need to be realistic, believable, and achievable.  There is no point stating an affirmation such as “I will lose 10 kilos a week”.  This is highly unlikely and your mind will throw it out and dismiss it completely.  You could say “it is easy for me to let go of 1 to 2 pounds a week”.  Take some time this week to write some great powerful affirmations to create the changes you want.

  1. Have you thought about how grateful you are to your body for allowing you to be able to move, exercise and live? A great exercise is to write a letter to your body such as; Dear body, I am grateful that I am able to hear, see, move, feel …… (fill in the blanks).

Creating Change

Are you taking care of the inside as much as the outside?  How is your nutrition? Could you make any improvements? Are you exercising regularly? If not, why not?  Are you surrounding yourself with people that lift you up and inspire you?  Life is way too precious to be with negative draining people.

Reflect on these questions deeply ladies.  The answers will bring you the solutions you are seeking.

So there is no time like the present to create change, so why not start today?   Make a commitment to yourself to make the rest of your life, the best of your life.

If you have enjoyed this blog you may enjoy the Emotional Wellness blog, the Healthy Eating Blog and many others over at Flourish Beyond 40.

Have a wonderful day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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perimenopause menopause libido intimacy hormones

Your Menopause Journey – A blog for the Partner In Your Life

PERIMENOPAUSE AND MENOPAUSE  – A Blog for the partner in your life

Many men do not realise the extent of how the symptoms of the perimenopause or menopause affect their partners.  Indeed some may feel that their partner has changed beyond all recognition and appear to be hijacked by hormonal fluctuations.

What do you do when your partner is happy one minute and in a pool of tears the next?  Maybe you find yourself wondering “where is the woman that I married”?  If any of the above resonates with you, then this blog is written especially for you.

Perhaps the tips in this blog can serve as a self-help guide to help you navigate what can be the turbulent ocean of the perimenopause/menopause.

What Can Men Expect?

So what can you expect from your partner at this time in her life (and yours)?  What can you do help her feel better?  Read on to get some helpful information to help both of you  come out the other side stronger than you were before.

The following are the most common symptoms of perimenopause (the phase before menopause) and the menopause.

Your partner may have one or two of these symptoms, or she may have all.  A great deal of how she experiences the perimenopause and menopause will depend on the diet and lifestyle she chooses to follow.

 Diet and Lifestyle

Healthy food 2

 

A diet full of processed foods, takeaways, cakes and biscuits is not going to do her any favours.  Unfortunately the body may become more efficient in gaining weight in the menopause years.

Maybe it is time to think carefully about what is going into the shopping trolley.   Junk food is likely to land directly on her body very quickly when excess calories are consumed.

Perimenopause and Menopause Symptoms

* Night sweats * Tearfulness * Weight gain

* Hot flushes * Anxiety * Loss of confidence

* Irritability * Loss of libido

* Mood swings * Loss of energy

Perhaps you have recognised some of the above in your partner?  So what can you do?

Five Ways to Help Your Partner

lovers for blog

1. Communicate

It is important to keep communication wide open at this time.  You are her life companion, and hopefully a partner she feels safe and loved enough to share her concerns with.

When she does her best to try to tell you how she feels, please don’t interrupt her, don’t offer your expert opinion on this subject as you do not truly know what she is going through.

Learn to be a “heart with ears” meaning; giving her the opportunity to tell you in her own way what she is feeling.  Please don’t look away from her when she is speaking either, respect her enough to give her the attention she needs. Learn to really listen and truly “hear what she is saying”.

2. Reassure

Your partner may be feeling many different types of emotions.   She may be feeling sad that her ability to conceive is coming to an end.  She may feel insecure if weight is redistributing itself, or not be at peace with the ageing process and the march of time on the face and body.

Gentlemen, it is not the time to start an affair because you are unable to relate fully to your partner at this time.  You may also want to think twice about criticising or belittling her.  This is a part of a woman’s journey, and with small changes and an adjustment of  mindset and lifestyle, this phase can also be viewed as a new beginning.

3. Maintain a Sense of Humour

It is a true saying that laughter is good medicine.  Remember that you have not “lost” your wife forever.  She is still there, and she will be back at the end of the menopause journey.

Do things together that your both really enjoy.  Go to the cinema and watch uplifting funny movies.  Be with people that are positive and happy.  Plan your future to include doing all the things you love.  Be happy.  Every day is blessing and life is precious.  Spend your time well as tomorrow is a promise not guaranteed for everyone.

4. Maintain intimacy and affection

There may be days when your partner looks in the mirror and does not like herself much at all. If she is feeling less than “sexy” she won’t be expecting you to find her sexy either.  She may even rebuke your sexual advances.

Please don’t think she is being cold or rejecting you.  Those hormones can do quite a dampening job on the libido.  Add in to the mix that she may not be sleeping well due to night sweats, and insomnia.

You may be blissfully unaware that all of this is happening while you snore happily beside her.  Give her what she needs.  If affection is needed be it in the way of a hug, or putting your arms  around her, then do it.

Maybe she isn’t in the mood for sex, but may be in the mood to lie together and be close.  Once again she is not rejecting you.  Be patient, kind and considerate.  Great things can happen when there are no expectations.

5. Give the space she needs

As your partner navigates this phase of her life she may also be handling a number of other issues. The responsibilities of work, family commitments may be weighing heavy on her mind and on her time.

If she asks for some “me” time, it is not because she does not want to be with you, it is because she wants to be with herself for a little while.  Why not surprise her once in a while with a Spa voucher, or run her a nice bubble bath, buy her favourite magazine, and close the door and leave her be for while.

I hope the above has helped you in some way.  If you have enjoyed this blog why not head over to the Sexuality and Relationships blog for more tips and information.

Have a love filled day!

Isobel McArthur – Founder of Flourish Beyond 40

healthy eating

Healthy Eating Habits

Healthy Food – Let Food be your Friend

It has been interesting to observe how my body changed when I “flourished” into my 40s.  All of a sudden what I could get away with eating in my 20s and 30s no longer applied and I realised the importance of eating healthy food.

My body began to redistribute weight differently and a muffin top started to present itself over my jeans.  As I sat in the bath contemplating this new part of myself,  I knew that I needed to address and embrace new eating habits that were better suited to a midlife woman, and fluctuating hormones.  A cavalier attitude with my diet was not cutting it at all. Perimenopause had arrived and menopause was knocking at the door.

There is much evidence to support the true fact that the amount of energy that we burn while resting, drops off by the age of 30 and then a further 7% each decade after that.

Common sense points to the fact that of course if we eat exactly the same in our 40s and beyond as we did in our 20s and 30s weight would start to creep on. Not eating healthy food was no longer an option.  Have you noticed your waist bands getting tighter? your bra bulges increasing?  It doesn’t happen overnight though it may seem that way when you finally notice these things.

Bottom line – you need fewer calories than you did when you were younger

With midlife comes other concerns and issues such as risk of heart disease, diabetes, that with increased cholesterol levels, sedentary lifestyles, poor eating choices is a recipe for disaster.

cholesterol

There is no need to feel deprived when you choose to eat healthy food there are many tasty substitutes out there for you.  Don’t focus on the things you can’t eat, but on all of the things you can.

Eating healthier is easier than you think.  How about adding some spinach to to your eggs, or enjoy raw carrots, cauliflower and celery with some hummus as a snack.  Fill your plate with lots of roasted delicious veggies. Raw unsalted almonds and walnuts make a great snack too.

What is a Healthy Diet?

In the younger years you may have followed various different diets or ways of eating in a desire to “look good”, however this attitude shifts in the 40s and beyond towards a necessity to be healthy and look good.

But what is a healthy diet?  What are you supposed to eat or indeed not eat in your midlife and beyond years?  There is so much conflicting information out there now that no wonder you don’t know what to believe any longer.

One of the biggest gifts you can give yourself is to give up or at least restrict sugar in your diet. Did you know that sugar is eight times addictive as cocaine?

Giving up Sugar

When you go shopping, check the food labels and avoid any that have sugar in the first three ingredients.  Giving up sugar may be difficult at first and you may experience cravings, however these generally disappear after a few weeks have passed.  During this time please do not try to substitute your sugar intake by using artificial sweeteners, you may wish to try Xylitol or Stevia (made of plants).

Supplementation is important at this time in your life and there are many excellent supplements out there that may help you. Chat with your local health store and ask them to recommend the best supplements for you. Sugar also causes your blood glucose levels to rise sharply and then to crash which will leave you feeling drained and tired.  Sugar certainly has negative effects on your overall wellbeing and impacts your life significantly.

Moving into Menopause

You may find that as you move into the menopause that hot flushes are making themselves known, generally at the most inconvenient times and it is no fun having a hot flush mid conversation at work or otherwise.  There are certain food groups that trigger or worsen hot flushes and now is the time to remove these from your diet as they are over stimulating:

Coffee

Spicy foods

Alcohol

alcohol

Don’t forget your bones! Eating good sources of protein that contains tryptophan is important.  Include cottage cheese, turkey, legumes and oats. Tryptophan helps to make serotonin which is very helpful in controlling moods, appetite and sleep.

Healthy Food Groups

There are some food groups that are excellent for you at this time in your life, one of them being oats.  Oats is good news for cholesterol and the heart as it contains beta-glucans that helps reduce the unwanted form of cholesterol.  Having oats in the diet also protects against the build of plaque on artery walls.  Are you ready to start eating your porridge now?

EVIDENCE

It has been concluded by researchers that eating just 3g of oats every day helps to reduce cholesterol by 5 to 10% and the risk of heart disease lowers.  Great news for midlife.

OILY FISH

healthy food fish oils

Full of Omega 3 fats and great in helping to lower blood pressure, heart rate and reducing the risk of irregular heartbeats.  Choose wild salmon, sardines, mackerel, tuna and herring.  Be careful in your method of cooking as omega 3 fats are sensitive to high temperatures, so steam lightly or cook on a low temperature.

We have just scratched the surface of eating healthy food in your 40s and beyond.  If you want to learn more then why not visit the Flourish Beyond 40 Guidance and Support page and shop where you are able to browse various ways of helping yourself back to health, and the options of joining the Flourish Beyond 40 Programme and Facebook community.

You may also like to read about weight and exercise in midlife and beyond and managing stress.

 

 

 

 

 

Bereavement and Dealing With Loss

“Real loss is only possible when you love something more than you love yourself” – Robin Williams

The one thing in life that we are all guaranteed to experience is loss and bereavement. Many people associate loss with death; however loss can be defined as anything that is no longer in your life that causes you significant emotional discomfort and pain.  Therefore loss can be related to:

  • Loss of health
  • Loss of youth (the aging process)
  • Partner/friends/family
  • Loss of job or lifestyle
  • Loss of security
  • Loss of confidence or self esteem
  • Loss of pets
  • Loss independence
  • Loss of choices
  • Loss of a future you had planned
  • Loss of purpose in life
  • Finances

And I am sure you would be able to add to this list.

Dealing with loss

We are Taught to Acquire, but not How to Cope with Loss and Bereavement

It is interesting that at School we are taught to “get”; get a good education, get a good job, get a partner, get a nice house, car, children, clothes and so the list continues.  As a society we are taught many things, but one thing is absent from the school curriculum: how do we deal with loss when it arrives in our life?  What do you do with the overwhelming feelings of sadness, bereavement, and the ensuing emotional rollercoaster of emotions?

According to the Grief Recovery Institute, 8 million people become new grievers each year. The divorce rate exceeds 45% not including those who are not married.  That is a lot of loss and bereavement.

People seek out Counsellors, to help which is good, but what if you knew how to manage the emotions of loss as it arrived in your life?  What if you had the tools that you needed to feel better?

We have all known loss and will continue to know loss on the journey of life.  Each individual processes their losses in a different and unique way.   There is a tendency to feel so uncomfortable with loss that it is pushed under the carpet and covered up with an “I am fine” attitude.  However this is not useful or helpful as those emotions will arise at some point in the future when you least expect it to happen.

bereavement feeling sad

So What Can You do When you Experience Loss in Your Life?

Well how long is a piece of string?  Here are some tips to help you deal with loss and also to help others:

Don’t say the following:

Don’t cry

Crying is good and allows you to release

 

Don’t feel bad    

How?

 

He she is in a better place  

Is this true? How do you know?

 

There are plenty more partners

But you wanted the one you lost

 

You have to be strong for….   

How? When you are in deep pain

 

Keep yourself busy    

Is the same as brushing it under the carpet.

 

People do not know how to deal with loss as they have not been taught how to deal with it either.  Quite often they do not know what to say, when to say it, or if they should say it at all, and they are afraid of our tears, emotions and feelings.  In some cases it may trigger their own.  You may find people are reluctant to hear about your loss and will change the subject or worse still they are not hearing what a griever has to say.

A person in loss needs to be heard.  You may wish to say “I am sorry, what happened?”  Then listen without interrupting, without offering your own comparisons, without offering advice.  Be a heart with ears and hear what they are saying.

You may wish to offer your help in other ways by offering to babysit, cook dinner, and let them know you are there for them; help them with housework and invite them to events.  Don’t push them away or isolate them from your life.

Other people may say to you, “I know how you feel” but they don’t.  Your loss is unique and personal to you, and the only person that really knows how you are feeling is you.

A person in grief and sadness is likely to experience the following:

  • Reduced concentration
  • Feeling of numbness
  • Emotional rollercoaster
  • Eating habits may change to more or less
  • Disrupted sleep

Please seek out the help and support you need if you are dealing with loss. The Grief Recovery Programme is excellent.

If you have enjoyed this Blog and would like to know more, why not check out our Dealing with Loss Module to see how we can help and support you.

Have a wonderful day!

 

Isobel McArthur

Founder of Flourish Beyond 40

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Weight and Exercise in Mid-life and Beyond

Weight management and exercise is an issue for many women, not just those going through the menopause.  The feeling of frustration when the scales tip in the wrong direction can be very disheartening, particularly if you have been “good” with your diet and exercise regimen.  Unfortunately, in the middle years and beyond, the metabolism slows down and your body burns fewer calories than it once did.

exercise

 

“Those who think they have no time for bodily exercise will sooner or later have to find time for illness” – Edward Stanley

For those of you in the menopausal years you may have found that you are gaining weight primarily in the tummy area, whereas pre-menopause you may have gained in the hips and thighs.  This is mainly due to oestrogen depletion, and beyond 50 there may be issues of insulin resistance which makes letting go of weight a challenge.

Many women find that by reducing the amount of carbohydrates they include into their diet helps them to stay in control of their weight.  After all, white bread, white rice, and white pasta have no real nutritional value, so why would you eat it when you can fill up on tasty natural vegetables?  This really is the time to clean up your diet.

Start by getting rid of the following:

  • Food additives
  • Processed foods
  • Boxed cereals
  • Sugar
  • Alcohol
  • Takeaways

exercise

 

Here are some tips to help you to let go of excess weight:

  • Don’t buy unhealthy food and bring it into the home; if it isn’t in the cupboard you cannot eat it
  • Eat mindfully and slowly, chew your food thoroughly and savour every bite
  • Put your knife and fork down between mouthfuls
  • Eat from a smaller plate
  • Hypnotherapy may also help you to stay on track

You are an adult. Stop being controlled by cakes, biscuits or sweets.

Do your best to eat your food in as natural state as possible.  Go organic as much as you can.  Eat little and often and keep your diet healthy, natural and clean.

The menopausal years do bring changes such as a slower metabolism, hormonal fluctuations, and disrupted sleep patterns, but the thyroid may also become more sluggish too.

Think of your body like a high performance car.  You would take care of it, put good fuel and oil into it to ensure optimum performance, and you would put it into the garage to fix it if something went wrong.  The same applies to your body.  If you do not put the correct food into your body, or take care of it, it is likely to fall into a state of disrepair as a result of neglect.

Respect your body, it has served you well to this point.  Maybe it has carried and fed your babies, and it deserves love, attention and care, through diet, exercise, and good lifestyle choices.

You already know that your body is going through changes during the midlife years.  How you deal with those is a significant factor in how your overall health and wellness will be.  Will you sit back and accept that this is happening and do nothing to help yourself?  Or are you willing to make a commitment to the management of your weight, fitness and wellness goals?

It is a true saying, “if you keep doing the same thing, you will continue to get the same results”.  Now is the time to really pay attention to your diet and what you are choosing to put into your mouth.  Now is the time to ensure you incorporate exercise into your life.  This can be as simple as a 20 minute walk every day, or attending exercise classes.

The key to staying motivated with exercise is to do something that you really enjoy and look forward to doing.  If you really dislike going to the gym and working out with other people, then why not exercise at home? Instead of sitting on the sofa watching a movie in the evening, why not buy a small trampoline and jump up and down a little while watching TV? Simple, effective, fun and easy on the joints.

There are so many exercise options available and keeping it varied will help to keep you motivated and on track:

  • Yoga
  • Zumba
  • Spinning
  • Swimming
  • Bootcamp

These are only five of the many different types of exercise that you could do.  Aim for four times per week and maybe walking each day.  Remember that exercise burns calories, speeds up the metabolism and gives you that feel-good endorphin rush.  You may wish to ask yourself why you are not exercising.

Exercise is not about making the time to exercise, it is about creating the time.  It is a tiny percentage of your day.

 

If you have enjoyed this Blog and would like to know more, why not head over to the Flourish Beyond 40 Services and Shop to see how we can help support you in your journey towards health and wellness. We even have a Weight Management & Excercise Module along with a range of other programmes.

Have a fun filled day!

 

Isobel McArthur

Founder of Flourish Beyond 40

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Sexuality and Relationships in Midlife and Beyond

Sexuality and relationships in mid-life, menopause and beyond brings many changes on all levels, physically, mentally, and emotionally.  Sex and sexuality can be a subject that tends to be avoided during this phase for many reasons. One of those  is “programming”.  In many cases society and media portray menopause as being the beginning of the end, especially in terms of an active sex life. This is not true.  I know many women of advanced years who are enjoying an incredibly satisfying sex life.

Sexuality

It would be ignorant to believe that our body and hormones do not change during the third phase of life.  After all, we are ending our time as potential mothers and, effectively, our egg supply is running out.  Hormones are declining and our bodies are changing.  Does this mean the end of our orgasms and pleasure? Absolutely not!

“I think the quality of sexiness comes from within.  It is something that is in you or it isn’t and it really doesn’t have much to do with breasts or thighs or the pout of your lips” – Sophia Loren

Many would agree that night sweats, hot flushes and insomnia do play a role in sexual appetite – or lack of it as may be the case.  For many women suffering from these symptoms there may be sleep deprivation which is no fun for anyone.

So what can you do in mid-life in terms of your sex life?  A great place to start is by building open and honest communication between you and your partner.  Make sure they are listening and understanding what you are experiencing.  They may have no knowledge whatsoever of how to keep a sex life alive during the third phase of your life.  Some partners feel they need to “back off,” and resentment and lack of intimacy becomes an issue.  These emotions create feelings of rejection, guilt and sadness. It is interesting to note that Oprah.com states that nearly 50 per cent of menopausal women confess to experiencing these emotional aspects of the menopause in addition to the physical ones.

There are so many myths regarding menopause that we can only scratch the surface here.

These are some of the myths that I have heard from my personal clients:

  • My vagina will shrivel up and sex will be excruciatingly painful
  • I am no longer attractive to my partner
  • It’s the beginning of the end
  • I have peaked, it is all downhill from here
  • There is no point in trying any more, my body is going to rack and ruin

Sexuality and Satisfaction

It is interesting to note that when a woman, no matter what age, enters into a new relationship, in many cases sex is very satisfying.  I have heard this even from women in their 60s and 70s!  According to research published in the American Journal of Medicine, women’s sexual satisfaction tends to increase with age.

Sexy at 40

Mid-life women tend to know what they want and what they don’t want, and are quite happy to ask for it. Hilda Hutcherson, M.D. Clinical Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Columbia University Medical Centre and author of Pleasure: A woman’s Guide to Getting the Sex You Want, Need and Deserve, states, “In our 50s we are more likely to focus on our pleasure than in our 20s, when we tend to focus almost exclusively on his experience”.

Your sexuality does not need to diminish or end because you are getting older.  It may be that you need to make a few changes to your health, attitude and lifestyle, but the benefits are worth it, I am sure you agree.

Your health impacts the way you feel about yourself.  If you do not like your own body, then your partner will pick up on that too.  Feeling sexy and being sexy is an attitude whatever age you are.  If you are following an unhealthy lifestyle and eating a nutrient deficient diet, your libido and sex life is likely to suffer as a result.

Your Orgasm is Important

Your orgasm is important!! Your pleasure is as important as theirs. Sexuality is erotic. If your partner is not gifted in bringing you to orgasm, then teach them how.  Faking your orgasms is not helpful for either of you.

Incorporating exercise into your day is important for many reasons.  If you work at building and maintaining muscle tone you may enjoy your body more in terms of fitness flexibility, movement, look and feel and may even enhance your sexuality and the way you feel about yourself.

Giving up smoking, and stopping or reducing alcohol intake is also very helpful in promoting good health.  At this time of your life you need to be on top of your health.  Make sure you are checked for diabetes, high blood pressure or any other existing medical conditions.  Taking responsibility for your health and wellness is paramount and quite often enhances your libido.

Yes, you may find that you may need a little extra help in terms of lubrication.  There is less blood flow to those areas due to less oestrogen.  There are many excellent lubricants you can try, and have fun doing so.  Your Doctor may also be very helpful in prescribing a vaginal cream for you.

If you are feeling fatigued and tired, then communicate this to your partner so they do not feel rejected.  It is possible to maintain intimacy and affection without intercourse.  Why not allow your imagination to create loving scenarios.  An erotic massage with no expectations may lead to something else…

You may want to have your hormones checked, as these affect your potential for arousal (estradiol E2 declining).  Some women report improvements in libido by using a little progesterone cream.  There is so much help out there for you during this time in your life, please do not feel alone or isolated.  There are many women going through exactly the same as you.  Seek out the information, help and support you need.

It is also worthy of mention that if both you and your partner have no issues whatsoever about not having a sex life, yet every other aspect of your relationship is good, there is nothing wrong with that either.  Like many things, it is all about personal choices and preferences.

If you have enjoyed this Blog on Sexuality, please feel free to browse at the Sexuality & Relationships Module and Programmes available in our shop.

Have an orgasmic day!

 

Isobel McArthur

Founder of Flourish Beyond 40

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Midlife

Stress Management and Feeling More Relaxed

Stress is something that we all need to be aware of a feeling that is almost unavoidable. Life is so busy these days and for many high stress levels become a normal and natural feeling.

For many people a typical day begins with an unhealthy breakfast snatched quickly on the way to work.  Time spent trawling hundreds of emails or dealing with Social Media.  Add in to that mix responsibilities of home and family commitments and a long commute.  No wonder stress levels are high.

“The time to relax is when you don’t have time for it” – Sydney J. Harris

It is almost impossible to avoid stress impacting your life.  The most important thing we can do for ourselves is learning to recognise when those stress levels are rising and how to manage stress to live life in a more peaceful way.

There are so many tools and solutions available to help handle stress levels, and small steps may make a big difference as to how you feel, but it is not one-size-fits-all.  What works for one person does not necessarily work for all.  Why not start to implement  new stress management techniques each week, try it on for size, see how it feels, then try another.  You will know what works for you personally.

One of the best gifts to give yourself is to learn what your stress triggers are, and to deal with these effectively and well without allowing your stress levels to rise to dangerous health-damaging levels.

Here are some tips that you can apply immediately to your life:

  • Stop multitasking. Focus on doing what one thing at a time, and keep your mind focused solely on that. If you really need to multi-task then set out a specific time in your day to do so, perhaps for an hour and get it over and done with. Seung Sahn, a Korean Zen Master,told his students “when reading only read. When eating, only eat.  When thinking, only think.  Embracing mindfulness, staying present and living in the moment you are in is a great way to move you away from the ‘busyness’ of life.
  • Make a habit of writing things down. Quite often when your mind is “over full” it is easy to forget important things.  As you do this you no longer have to constantly worry about something you feel you may have forgotten.
  • If you are fond of writing to do lists, then keep them suitably short and realistic. Looking at a long list of things to complete increases stress which is exactly the opposite of what you are trying to achieve.
  • Prioritise what needs to be done immediately and what can be done at another time.
  • Organise yourself well. More often than not you will know what you will be doing the next day.  Make sure your clothes are ironed and ready to wear.  Have your breakfast dishes on the table. Leave everything you need out and ready just before leaving the house such as car keys, handbag, umbrella, scarf and gloves.  Have your shoes ready at the door.  A lot of stress is created in the morning as people rush around looking for things they cannot find.
  • Wake up fifteen minutes earlier so that you can take your time in a more peaceful way.
  • If you work from home it is important that you take small breaks throughout the day, particularly if you are working at your computer. A balance of 45 minutes work and 15 minutes away helps to keep your energy levels up and your mind clear.
  • Ensure that your work and rest time is balanced.
  • Engage and communicate properly with your loved ones in your time off. Listen to what they have to say, enjoy your time spent with them.  Completely disconnect from work. If you can, put your phone on silent when you are off work.  Be present with those that are important to you.  Spending time thinking about work while with loved ones is both unfair and unnecessary.
  • Delegate as much as you can whenever you can, so that you have more time to do the things that you love.
  • Keep your environment clutter free. Keep a Zen-like space to allow fresh energy to continue to flow, keeping your mind away from distractions.
  • Turn down the noise of Social Media. How many times do you find yourself checking the newsfeed on Facebook only to find that you are still on it half an hour later?  Are you caught up in being oversubscribed to podcasts, blogs newsletters, webinars and so on? This can be very stressful indeed.  Start to unsubscribe to anything that is no longer useful to you or your goals. Doing this frees up your time to spend doing things that have more value and enjoyment.
  • Stay tuned into your body. Be aware of aches, pains and uncomfortable niggles.  Stress also presents itself as physical symptoms.  Learn to recognize when you are starting to feel drained and tired before you become exhausted and fatigued.  Take time to take care of you and your needs.
  • It is okay to be perfectly imperfect. Does perfection really exist?  It is a different concept for everyone.  Do your best and move on. When you need help do not be afraid to ask for it.
  • Have someone you can trust to talk to. It is a true saying “a problem shared is a problem halved”.
  • Breathe properly. When people are stressed they have a tendency to shallow-breathe from the chest.  Take a few deep breaths from the belly, breathing in relaxation and breathing out stress.

 

Keep yourself on track by asking yourself the following key questions:

  1. Is what I am doing moving me towards my goals or away from them?
  2. For what purpose am I choosing to think/be/behave this way?
  3. What can I do right now that is more important?
  4. Will this really matter one year, five years, 10 years from now?

 

S.E.E. the three simple fundamentals of keeping stress at bay:

  • Sleep enough
  • Eat well
  • Exercise regularlyIMG_3197

If you have enjoyed reading this blog, why not download the free relaxation recording we have available on www.flourishbeyond40.com.

If you want to learn more about stress and some excellent strategies, techniques and solutions to help you in life, then why not download our Managing Stress Module, packed with wonderful helpful information to take you from where you are to where you want to be.

Have a fabulous stress free day!

 

Isobel McArthur

Founder of Flourish Beyond 40

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