Spoiling. The word worries us. We’re afraid to spoil our children for fear they won’t grow into responsible adults. We’re afraid to spoil our pets for fear they’ll become unruly. We’re even afraid to spoil our partners for fear they’ll get a bit lazy. It’s no wonder we’re afraid to spoil ourselves. Menopause is a tough time. If I had to do it over again, I wouldn’t be afraid to spoil myself mightily.
Emotional upheavals such as feelings of sadness, anxiety, fatigue, and lack of motivation can take a toll on women during menopause. WebMD reports these problems “can be managed through lifestyle changes, such as learning ways to relax and reduce stress.” In other words, don’t be afraid to spoil yourself! Here are eight ideas:
Do Something New: Experiment with a new hobby. Explore an unusual place. Taste intriguing foods. Read a book in a different genre. Listen to music that strikes an invigorating chord. Newness can pull you out of a funk and energize your spirits.
Say Goodbye to Something Old: Donate or toss unneeded things. Stop thinking patterns that aren’t working for you. Take down a wall hanging that now seems boring. Quit an organization you no longer enjoy. Saying goodbye to the old is often liberating and a great way to spoil yourself.
Enjoy Friendships: Friendship takes on added importance in menopause, a time when many women shrink into themselves. In “Nine Ways to Even Out Menopause Mood Swings,” Beth R. Orenstein writes: “According to research… women who feel emotionally close to a friend have higher levels of the hormone progesterone, which helps relieve stress and boost mood.” Consider widening your friendship circle, too. New friends can lead you to fresh adventures and connections.
Buy Small Treats: Go ahead! Get the candle in the tropical scent. Splurge on the earrings with the crazy design. Indulge in the exotic chocolate bar. Spring for the bouquet of yellow and pink tulips.
Take Happy Time Outs: Let the kitchen floor go until later. The checkbook. The email to your cousin. Take a time out to chill in your very favorite way.
Move: “When you exercise, you release endorphins, often called feel-good hormones, which reduce pain and trigger a positive reaction in your brain,” reports Everyday Health. Spoil yourself by allotting time to exercise, even if it’s in bits and snatches.
Celebrate the Arts: Visit the art museum. Get tickets for the musical. Watch the film everyone’s talking about. Be inspired by a decorator’s showcase or a garden tour. Read the novel that’s getting lots of buzz. The arts transport you to enchanting realms, and at least for a while, you’ll leave those menopausal woes in the dust.
Give Back: Spoil yourself by spoiling others. It’s amazing how giving can lift your spirits. Volunteer. Donate. Share. Visit. Listen. Phone. Send cards. And along with giving, work on forgiving, one of the greatest treats of all. Do it now!
Nine Ways to Even Out Menopausal Mood Swings. Everyday Health. Retrieved January 22, 2016. http://www.everydayhealth.com/menopause-pictures/ways-to-even-out-menopause-mood-swings.aspx#03
The Emotional Roller Coaster of Menopause. WebMD. Retrieved January 22, 2016. http://www.webmd.com/menopause/guide/emotional-roller-coaster
Reviewed January 29, 2016
By Michele Blacksberg RN