6 Women Share What They Enjoy Most About Life After Menopause
When it comes to menopause, it’s easy to focus on the negative, from hot flashes to vaginal dryness and painful sex.
But there are some wonderful things that can happen at this time of life, too. The list is long, from not having to deal with monthly cramps or worry about getting pregnant, to gaining certain perspectives you can only obtain from becoming older and wiser.
Here, six women who’ve gone through menopause and reached the other side with grace, grit, and happiness, share what they valued most from the experience.
“I Learned to Find Balance.”
This time of life can be magical for people who shift their focus a bit more inward, says Sally Mueller, an entrepreneur in Saint Paul, Minnesota.
“It’s important to invest in your own self-care,” Sally says. “I will take a Pilates class in the middle of the day if I’m able to, or I can focus on having my own balance instead of trying to please everyone else.”
In fact, her own experience inspired her to create a line of products for women experiencing symptoms of menopause. “I want women to see this as a time when it’s okay to say no and to shift time and energy to your own well‑being,” Sally says.
“I Celebrated with Adventures.”
Sharon Stills, N.D., a naturopathic doctor in Scottsdale, Arizona, doesn’t think it’s that out-of-the-ordinary that she summited Kilimanjaro to mark this life transition.
“I always do something ceremonial to mark big moments in my life,” says Sharon, who adds that she also hiked the Inca Trail in Machu Picchu when she became an empty nester.
For Sharon, it’s important to focus on physical and mental health during this time. “To feel good in menopause, you need to eat right, sleep right, clean up your thoughts, move your body, and hydrate,” she says. “I practice what I preach and have found that if you do these things, it will be a beautiful time and a time for you to shine.”
“I’m Loving this Stage in My Financial Life.”
This phase of life is an ideal one, especially if you’ve been saving and making prudent financial decisions up until this point.
“Hopefully, you have more financial independence at this point in your life,” says Sharmani Pillay, a pharmacist and founder of a women’s skincare line in Vancouver, Canada. “If you’ve saved and been fortunate, you’ll have more peace of mind now. I find that I have way more opportunity to enjoy things like travel, dining out, and pursuing my interests.”
“I’ve Found Beauty in My Physical Changes.”
Your body is ever-changing, and this time of life can bring drastic changes seemingly overnight. Such was the experience of Shira Plotzker, a writer in Nyack, New York.
“Once I got used to how my body had changed, gray hair and all, I found out that I was not only changing on the outside, I was also changing on the inside,” Shira says. “When I was younger, I would look in the mirror to check how my outfit looked or to see if I needed to get my hair cut. Today, when I look in the mirror, I check to see how I’m feeling since feeling good on the inside is an integral part of looking and feeling good on the outside.”
“I Can Wear White, Anytime I Want!”
As a professional equestrian sportswriter, L.A. Sokolowski of Albany, New York, is more than thrilled that her days of avoiding white pants are over.
“The top of the plus list of menopause is utter freedom to wear white skirts, shorts, or pants without worrying about an accidental bleed-through,” says L.A. “I also get more room in my carry-on because I don't have to fit tampons or pads in it.”
She’s also satisfied with not taking birth control pills anymore. “I am so happy I don’t have to worry about how many years I can safely stay on it while accepting its side effects.”
“I’ve Freed Myself of Harmful Relationships.”
No one can argue that the journey from perimenopause to menopause is a simple or straightforward path. But there is light at the end of the tunnel, especially if you change the way you approach toxic relationships, says Ann Marie McQueen, founder of an international digital magazine.
“I’ve ended a few friendships because I don’t have time for people who can’t apologize or take ownership,” Ann Marie says. “I’ve also started being more honest about how I feel when I’m with my family. Let’s face it: A lot of women talk about feeling rage at this time of life and some of that can be driven by what we’ve been putting up with—and not admitting we’ve been putting up with it. I promise it can be very freeing to let it go!”
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