Coping with Menopause in a Sound Bite World
I will be the first one to tell you that I love technology. I love my iPhone with all of its fancy apps. I love my laptop. I love Twitter. I love Facebook. I love Google+ (well, I’m working on loving Google+), and I love the Internet. But, like most love affairs, it’s not always blissful. There are plenty of things I don’t love about technology, like the 140-character-sound-bite-world we now live in, for example.
We just don’t have time for real conversations anymore. There’s no catching up over the back fence; mothers don’t gather around the kitchen tables for coffee and a few rounds of neighborhood gossip; and dads don’t lean against the wheel well of the pick-up truck shooting the breeze.
Now we Tweet. We also text, we post, and we scroll (really fast) through iPads, Kindles, and web pages looking for lists, highlights, and summarized points. Though I will admit, this type of ricocheting bullet mentality does actually help pay my rent.
As a blogger, I understand very well that if someone comes to my blog, either here or at The Perimenopause Blog, they don’t want to see a wall of text with no breaks, no headings, or God forbid, no photographs, or they will likely click out of there as fast as they clicked in. It’s the nature of the beast.
We want information and we want it fast.
Unfortunately, when it comes to our hormone health, consuming short, fast, and easily digestible sound bites of quick tips doesn’t really work – not in the long haul. It sells magazines. It draws Internet traffic. It gives morning talk show hosts something to fill their “lifestyle segment” with. But it doesn’t help you get healthy, and it sure won’t help you adequately treat your menopause symptoms.
Yeah, I know. Shoot the messenger. I definitely come bearing bad news. But it’s the truth.
Forgive the cliché, but health is a lifestyle, and a lifestyle doesn’t occur in quick, sound bites. It’s the day in and day out grind that technology does a spectacular job of helping us to avoid. I mean, really, building good habits, making good choices, and disciplining yourself to do the right thing because it’s good for you, is just so darn tedious – and boring.
But that’s exactly what you need to do if you want to effectively manage your menopause symptoms. Boidentical hormones, nutritional supplements, vitamins, and yes, even a few quick tips can be extremely helpful during menopause. But you’re also going to have to look at your diet, your sleep habits, your exercise routine (or lack thereof), and even the thoughts you think.
Yes, the way you perceive the changes of menopause will have as much of an impact on how well you feel as bioidentical hormone therapy, nutritional supplements, food, exercise, and sleep. I like to say that menopause is a full body contact sport. You can’t just take hormones and feel better. You can’t just take supplements, or exercise, or eat your way through it (though that does sound divine!); and unfortunately, it’s not like a hang-over that you can just sleep off.
If you want to effectively get through menopause, you have to put on the full armor of holistic health. Quick tips here and there are fine, but they won’t help you win the battle. Assess your eating habits; determine if you would benefit from hormone therapy; exercise; do whatever you need to do to make sure you get enough sleep; and pay close attention to what you are saying to yourself about menopause.
Of course, if you do all of these things there is still no guarantee that it won’t be a bumpy ride, because it will. That’s when you can break out the Snickers® bar.
Magnolia Miller is a certified healthcare consumer advocate in women’s health and a women’s freelance health writer and blogger at The Perimenopause Blog.