“Incorporate self-care every day and set boundaries”

Posted by: Belinda Hargreaves

Tue 27th February 2024

Here we have a fabulous wellbeing article, especially for the Spirit of Alfreton, by Health Improvement Coach Maxine Start.
Maxine, who lives in Alfreton and offers classes in Ripley, gives guidance all about how woman can help to manage menopause:

Can I start by introducing Myself. My name is Maxine.
I’m a local lass, I’ve been in the fitness industry for too many years to remember, and my peri menopause journey definitely hasn’t been a smooth ride.
After knocking on lots of doors to get the support I needed, (and failing), I began searching the internet for help, leaving me even more confused. I began thinking that if I was struggling then there must be lots and lots of woman just like me, struggling too.
This led me to become a qualified Lifestyle Menopause Practitioner, meaning I offer lifestyle changes to manage all 54 symptoms of menopause either instead of, or alongside HRT. I run a support group, workshops and have a few 121 clients. I have a wealth of experience and knowledge and it’s my pleasure to share this with you.
Growing up, we might learn about the hot flushes, maybe even the irritability. But somehow, the rest goes unsaid. No one talks about the anxiety, weight gain, joint pain, insomnia, brain fog, drop in confidence, and the general feeling of ‘losing oneself.’
If you are someone reading this who can totally relate, the good news is, for lots of woman, lifestyle changes alone can help, and with some of the changes, the difference is noticeable in days.
It’s important to understand that menopause symptoms aren’t just one thing. The natural ageing process, our blood vessels are less elastic, we’re naturally losing muscle, our liver decreases in size and efficiency, the hormonal chaos created by declining Oestrogen and Progesterone, the western lifestyle we’ve lived that is very different to previous generations, lack of sleep, and emotional pressures all create internal stress. This increases Cortisol, which leads to inflammation, which in turn, all lead to increased symptoms…
Cortisol is our stress hormone. Some is good; It gives us our mojo, gets us up in a morning, gets us through a job interview or presentation. Too much and for too long is bad. It increases BP, decreases Serotonin (our good mood hormone), and suppresses the immune system (painful joints etc). Any stressor will increase Cortisol: Internal, external, emotional, or physical. Age, hormonal chaos, poor blood sugar control, poor sleep, and overworked liver all stressors.
We can’t pour from an empty vessel. If we don’t replenish, how can we serve others? Incorporate self-care every day. Self-care increases a hormone called Oxytocin. This hormone decreases Cortisol.
Taking time for a walk daily, nourishing your body with healthy food, and quality sleep will all help. As does adequate rest. That means different things for different people, reading a good book, a long bath, a Pilates class, or just some alone time.
Learn to say ‘No.’ We need to learn to balance our own needs with the needs of others. Set boundaries.
Delegate and prioritize: Ask yourself: “Does it have to be me? Does it have to be now?” Audit your time. Spend a week tracking how much time you spend, with friends, family, at work, health etc. Does it align with your values.
Write “Do nothing” on your to-do list and make sure it happens.
Make time for ‘Me Time.’ Ask yourself: “What has been the best hour of my week, and how can I make it easier to have more hours like that?” Build some ‘Happiness Habits.’ Write down three things that give you an intense feeling of wellbeing. Simple pleasures that don’t involve buying something. See if you can do them all each week. Slowly increase until you have a point in every day just for you. The practice of defining them and assessing how many you have done will help you shape what a happy life looks like.

Healthy regards

A number of workshops which Maxine will be hosting soon are:

Nutrition for Perimenopause and Menopause. Saturday, March 16, between 9.30am and 1pm at Fusion Yoga Studios, Ripley. £32.50

Perimenopause and Menopause Education and Support Group. Tuesday, April 16 – May 21 at Fusion Yoga Studios, Ripley. £50

“Is my busy lifestyle making my weight gain and menopause symptoms worse?” Saturday, April 20, between 9.30am and 1pm, Fusion Yoga Studios, Ripley. £32.50.

To find out more about how Maxine could help you with your wellbeing, call her on 07971 417812, email her at maxine@thehealthimprovementcoach.co.uk or visit her website at here

Have you got a story to tell or do you perhaps any similar professional guidance you would like to share with our Spirit of Alfreton readers?
Email our Editor Belinda at editor@spiritof.uk, or upload your story direct to our website here