Self–Care Awareness Month in September is a time to remind us that taking care of ourselves is absolutely essential. In my experience with hormonal challenges and menopause, I strongly believe self-care is a key component. And what better way to practice self-care than with a little bit of laughter.
Our guest post this week comes from Angela Verges, writer and humorist. She blends faith and humor in her book Menopause Ain’t No Joke: Blending Faith and Humor in Perfectly Imperfect Situations (Amazon affiliate link).
This book is filled with short, easy to read stories, peppered with scripture, and provides pages to journal and record gratitudes. Angela’s writing reminds us that we are not alone while helping us laugh through the discomfort of menopause.
What to Expect When You’re Expecting…Menopause
By Angela Verges
“Menopause should be considered a disability.”
A woman who visited my booth at a vendor show leaned in and whispered this phrase to me. For many women I’ve talked to, menopausal symptoms cause them to feel that way. I’m no doctor, therapist, nor other practitioner. I am an average middle-aged woman who sweats a lot.
Menopause is like two people wearing the same outfit, it looks different on each person. Not every person experiences menopause the same. Do you remember the popular book series, What to Expect When You’re Expecting? The books were designed to prepare the expectant mother for various stages of parenthood. If only I had known what to expect before I jumped into menopause.
As the self-proclaimed face of menopause in women over 50, I will share with you things I have learned along the way. What to expect when you’re expecting…menopause?
Here’s my list…
- Hot flashes
- Night sweats/disruptive sleep
- Hair loss/thinning
- Hair growth (in places you wish it wouldn’t – under your chin, above your lip)
- Emotional/mood swings
If you think you may have experienced a hot flash, but you’re not sure, it feels like a fire rushing through your body. It is by definition an intense feeling of heat that suddenly comes on and warms your entire body. In a flash, it subsides.
Night sweats are hot flashes gone wild and they sometimes disrupt your sleep. I’ve often compared night sweats to a game of the hokey pokey. It begins when you kick a leg out of the blanket, pull it back into the blanket, and repeat with the other leg.
As though hot flashes and night sweats were not enough, my hair experienced its’ own set of changes. It was the evening of my 50th birthday that I noticed my hair looked different. I stood in front of the bathroom mirror styling my hair in preparation for an evening out. Bangs that usually dance across my forehead with volume, lay flat, thin, and lifeless.
My self-diagnosis was that my thinning was due to wearing a perm for thirty years. I heard friends discuss that all the chemicals we put in our hair are not good for our hair, nor our bodies. My solution was to wear a natural hairstyle, free of chemicals. After all, I was beginning a new chapter of life, why not try something different? Problem solved, for that issue.
The temporary fix for my hair issue did nothing to soothe the emotional side of menopause. I love a good tearjerker movie. However, when tears well up along the banks of your eyes over a TV commercial, you know menopause could be the culprit. Like a surfer riding the waves in an ocean, you learn to ride the waves of menopausal emotions.
“Menopause should be considered a disability.” When the friendly woman whispered that statement to me, she was using humor to cope with a potentially stressful situation. One of my favorite quotes is “Life is 10 percent what happens to you and 90 percent how you react to it.” (Charles R. Swindoll)
Laughter is good medicine. I encourage you to use humor daily and relieve a little stress, one laugh at a time. Writing my book, Menopause Ain’t No Joke has helped me glide through the bumpy waters of menopause. It is a collection of my personal essays on parenting, fitness, and everyday life while experiencing menopause.
Do you know what to expect while expecting menopause? Know this…you will survive. Talk to friends, most of all talk to your physician. You are beautiful, sweat and all.
Angela Verges, writer, humorist
“A chuckle a day keeps stress at bay”
About Angela Verges
Angela (Angie) Verges was born in Detroit, MI. One of her favorite books as a youth was, Are you there God, it’s me Margaret, by Judy Blume. In fact, she liked it so much that she wrote a book report on it in 6th grade and again in 8th grade. Shhh, don’t tell her teachers.
Other favorite authors include Kimberla Lawson-Roby, Victoria Murray, ReShonda Tate-Billingsley, and Mary Higgins-Clark.
Angie began writing in 5th grade when she received her first diary. She continued keeping a journal through high school and college. As a wife and mother of two teen boys, her words continue to scream onto the pages of journals, the back of envelopes, napkins, or anything handy. The boys keep her life from being anything but boring.
Angie likes to write books for children and blog about parenting experiences as she practices being a grown-up.
From my blog:
- Your Menopause Perspective: Sign of Aging or Second Spring?
- Choosing Faith Over Fear During Menopause
Resources – Buy Now (affiliate links):
This post contains affiliate links. For more information visit my Affiliate Disclosure page.