In Volume 49 we introduced our series on self-care by highlighting several theoretical and practical approaches to enhancing our practices of self-care. In that issue we mentioned the Omega Women’s Leadership Center at the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, New York. We mentioned the Center because it is highly respected and because of its quality of educational programming. The Omega Institute, along with several other highly respected centers around the world, offer a wide range of services and trainings for professionals and the public. Various centers offer programming focused on the needs of a specific population while other institutes offer a wide variety of self-care programs.
In the spirit of the Omega Women’s Leadership Center, we are going to take a closer look at some of the self-care practices specifically for women. An interesting fact, in 1950 the average life expectancy in the United States for women was approximately 65 years. Today, the average life-expectancy of women in the U.S. is approximately 81 years. These additional 16 years are a time that previous generations of women did not experience and therefore, there is no roadmap to follow, only to be created.
Women, up until this point of life’s journey, have had a community of women who helped teach the lessons about self-care through each stage of life. Now, many of those community women have passed and women are left to create new paths and to pass them on to future generations.
What do hot flashes, forgetfulness, mood swings, wrinkles, growing waistlines, night sweats and chocolate binges all have in common? If you are 40 years of age and older you already know the answer, menopause. Menopause is defined as the absence of the menstrual cycle for twelve months. The time after the twelve months is called, postmenopause.
The postmenopausal years provide women with the unique time to reflect on dreams that were set aside in younger years. With these added 16 years of life expectancy, there is time to go back and reflect on these dreams and determine if now is the time to fulfill them.
During the postmenopausal years, however, estrogen levels are low. As a result, mood swings, irritability, anxiety, and depression can be common. It is important to check-in with yourself and monitor for signs of these issues. Here are some guidelines as the new paths are created to maintaining health during this time in life.
Maintaining Mental and Spiritual Health
· Stay connected with spiritual leaders/mentors.
· Check-in with your medical doctor to seek professional mental health assistance, if needed.
· Find a self-calming skill to practice, such as yoga.
· Avoid drugs and alcohol.
· Stay connected with loved ones and community.
· Nurture healthy friendships.
· Engage in a creative outlet that fosters a sense of achievement.
Maintaining Physical Health
· See your doctor if you have not done so during the past year.
· Prevent further weigh gain, if necessary.
· Ensure adequate calcium and vitamin D to keep bones strong.
· Exercise 30 minutes most days with strength and cardio.
· Choose foods low in saturated fats to keep your heart healthy.
· Eat a balanced diet.
The art of self-care is constantly evolving, developing and refining.
The postmenopausal era roadmap is presently being developed.
By practicing self-care we can have a positive impact on our postmenopausal experience.
Ensure that you get adequate sleep.
Follow a heart-healthy diet.
Maintain a consistent movement mindset.
Things to Limit
Stuffing your feelings.
Avoiding your doctor.
Quote of the Week "Rest and self-care are so important. When you take time to replenish your spirit, it allows you to serve from the overflow.
You can not serve from an empty vessel."
Learning to incorporate mental, spiritual, and physical healthy self-care practices in the postmenopausal era, readies us to celebrate the next thirty years of life with newfound energy, excitement and good health!
Check our Welcome Greeting on YouTube
The paraDocs are Dr. Francis L. Battisti, PhD, Psychotherapist, Distinguished Psychology Professor and former Executive V.P and Chief Academic Officer and Dr. Helen E. Battisti PhD, RDN, CDN, Chief Nutrition Officer, at SpNOD, Health Promotion Specialist, Research and Clinical Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and former Assistant Professor.
We have developed "The ZONE", because that is exactly where you want to be during this pandemic. A place of focused attention to doing exactly what needs to be done to get you to where you need to be. The purpose of The Zone is to provide a nationally distributed weekly mental-health and nutrition tip-sheet during times of change.
If you would like to get copies of The ZONE that you may have missed or if you know someone that would like to start receiving The ZONE, please signup today... It's free and you can unsubscribe anytime.
Permission is given to share with others.