My Menopause Story
It’s a funny thing, the menopause. It happens to every woman. Some earlier than others, some later than others. Some sail through it with barely any symptoms, while others suffer the most debilitating symptoms. Yet, despite this, it’s not something we really talk about.
Like most people, I thought menopause was all hot flushes and bad moods. It never really occurred to me that I too would eventually become a woman ‘of a certain age’. But of course, I did. And this is my menopause story...
By Sarah Ferrari
How it started...
When I look back now, I started experiencing perimenopause when I was in my late forties. At the time, I had not long got married, and my career was pretty demanding, so I convinced myself that how I was feeling was down to stress.
But by the time I was into my early 50’s, life had changed for me. I’d just left a job that I’d worked at for nearly 20 years, the country was plunged into lockdown due to the pandemic, and menopause started in full force.
I count myself lucky that I’ve never suffered with hot flushes – but the menopause didn’t let me off the hook. Instead, brain fog, low mood, sleepless nights, intense fatigue, and a general lack of enthusiasm for life took hold. It was pretty debilitating. I felt like I was losing ‘me’. I didn’t recognise this version of myself. And I didn’t really like her, either.
Getting to grips with menopause
There were some pretty low days during that time. I didn’t understand what was happening to me, I couldn’t get an appointment with my GP, and I just didn’t know where to turn. In some ways, lockdown came at a good time for me. It gave me the chance to research more about the menopause, and to explore the options that were available to me.
I would spend hours reading articles online, scrolling through comments on social media and listening to podcasts – just to try and understand what was going on.
I found the Balance app to be invaluable. Not just for the advice and resources that were available, but for the fact that you could connect with other women who were experiencing similar symptoms. I also discovered The Menopause Charity, founded by Dr. Louise Newson (she also has a fab Instagram @menopause_doctor) which was great for helping to make sense of what was happening to my body – and how to deal with it.
One thing that I learned that has been life-changing for me – quite literally, was that sugar and the menopause are not friends. So, armed with my research and a lot of willpower, I made a lifestyle change towards a no or low sugar diet. This helped my symptoms, and also led to a considerable weight loss – which I’ve managed to maintain, and it’s definitely helped improve my energy levels, too.
I started HRT around 2 years ago, and I have to say it’s been a saviour. Don’t get me wrong, it does take a while to find the right balance of dosage, but for me, it’s been worth the effort.
I’ve always had a preference for natural health remedies, so alongside my HRT, I’ve come to rely on my daily cocktail of Magnesium, Zinc, Vitamin B12, Omega oils and adaptogenic Ashwagandha, to name just a few.
Then there’s exercise. I realised that my lifestyle didn’t allow any time for exercise, so I started just going for a walk – to clear my head if nothing else. Soon, this became an essential part of my daily routine, and nowadays, I try and get in 10k steps a day, more if time allows.
I quite enjoy the time on my own in quiet contemplation, but a couple of times a week, I meet up with a girlfriend for a walk and a talk – multitasking at its best!
One thing I realised is that it doesn’t have to be intense. Just building in a few hills is enough to get the blood pumping, and those happy hormones released.
The Menopause and my skin
Having worked in the beauty and wellness industry for much of my career, I’ve always looked after my skin – but, of course, menopause had other ideas. My skin lost its ‘bounce’, and it’s become more sensitive to the sun and other environmental factors. I’ve become even more aware of the importance of a good regime, and I need to use products that I can rely on to soothe, hydrate, and condition my complexion, but without irritation.
As a founding member of the Nature’s Journey team, I was so relieved when I tried the products for the first time and my skin just LOVED them. We’ve formulated the range to be gentle, but effective – even for sensitive skin like mine. I’ve been using the range for a while now, and I have to say that Hydrating Face Serum, Radiance Facial Oil and Restoring Night Cream have become my absolute must-haves – and it’s no exaggeration to say I’d be lost without Sleep Easy Pillow Mist. It really helps be to drift off, but also to get a quality night’s sleep – essential for my overall wellbeing.
Embracing my second half
It's been a couple of years now since I became a woman of a ‘certain age’, and I definitely feel like I am getting back to my old self – in fact, a better version of my old self.
I’m more compassionate – towards others, but importantly to myself. Before I understood menopause, I used to give myself a hard time and would get so frustrated, but now I feel better equipped to understand what’s happening, and what I can do to help. It’s also helped me to support friends make sense of their own menopause.
A woman on a mission
One thing that I found particularly upsetting during my own Menopause journey was the lack of compassion – and I guess understanding from people around me (even in the medical profession). No one really understood what I was going through and would often underestimate the impact of the symptoms I was experiencing. So, I’ve made it my mission to be a passionate advocate for menopause – particularly when it comes to talking about it and sharing our experiences. It’s difficult enough to go through menopause, let alone going through it by yourself.
Content published by Nature’s Journey CBD Wellness is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent any disease. Always seek the advice of your GP or another qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise, or other health-related programme