8 Ways to Live in Hormone-y

8 Ways to Live in Hormone-y
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Everyday I keep trying to be the best me, the healthiest me, yet sometimes I am downright shocked and insulted when my body and brain go AWOL. Something is going on, and it's called menopause -- there I said it, the change of life. Sometimes it feels like "the curse," but I'm choosing to believe it's a new beginning. A grounded, wiser me lurks not far away. Personally, I'm just looking for some "Hormone-y" -- Aren't you? Looking for a flow, inner peace and quiet. Oh, Divine Mother, why did I not put you on my contact list?

Sometimes depressed thoughts keep coming, in waves, about nothing... Or I wake up craving highly-caloric, soothing food, preferably with a chocolate chaser. I hear my hormones are imbalanced... Well, I've been working on it, doing the bio-identical hormone thing, waiting for bliss. Not happening yet... but I do have faith in the intelligence of my precious, my only body, and I trust my doc. She's a great, holistic M.D. -- she actually sits and listens -- so I feel supported. This type of person can be an important player on your team, anyone's team. If you don't have one now you might consider asking around.

In the meantime, here's how I cope on the darkest of the dark days.

1. Talk. Yak it up with a good friend. To whomever you can trust. One person is great. One or two more is great too. Worst case, no one is around, journal. Tend and befriend thyself. The key here is to minimize isolation. That's when our collective poisons become professional seducers. In isolation, addictions take root and blossom. You need to minimize the casualties and stop the bleeding.

2. Move. Anything will do. Walk on the beach, around the neighborhood, around a shopping center. Doesn't matter. Dancing around the living room type -- all the better! Are you a gym type -- aerobics or stretch class, weights, yoga, Pilates -- heck, just chat it up with other people. Just showing up -- anywhere -- can be a channel changer. It's in the "doing something" that moves your energy. If need be, lie down and do some gentle stretches, or try to tighten and release your muscles from your toes to your head. Notice the sensations.

3. Impermanence -- Whatever you are struggling with in the here and now is impermanent. I do not intend to diminish your suffering, truly. But things will change. It's a law of nature. You've heard this before right, that you cannot step in the same river twice? Well, this means you -- this too shall pass.

4. Write. Anything. Write about your inability to write anything. Anne Lamott's "Bird by Bird" and Natalie Goldberg's "Writing down the Bones" are both great classics to help you with putting down those words on the page -- without those nasty little self-conscious storylines that keep you from exploring who you are, unedited, naked.

5. Do nothing. Seriously, you know what I mean. Just stop. Now. Breathe. I know it's harder than it looks. Do it anyway. Even once is okay. Breathe again. Repeat two or more times. Notice sensations.

6. Self-compassion. VERY important. Hugging yourself right now is perfectly acceptable. Try it. Or put your hand over your heart and take a deep breath. Think of yourself as a lost and alone five year old in the middle of a city street. How would you respond? Get the picture? She is you.

7. You are NOT alone. When it's one of those days when nothing seems to work, know that there are others too, who feel as if they are rolling downhill. There is interdependence among all human beings and remembering that we all suffer can be helpful. At this very moment someone, somewhere feels similar to you. Knowing you are truly not alone might assuage some of the pain, might take you outside yourself for a brief moment, open your heart just a touch more.

8. Smile. Seriously. Just try it. Smile for no reason and notice how you feel. It might not last long the first few times but I have noticed that using the smile muscles can eventually shift brain chemistry a bit. No prescription required.

If you decide not to try any of the above, just remember tomorrow is a new beginning.

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