Surgery did one thing for sure: It took me down into a state of forced rest, which was good. Good, but only sometimes easy for a type A personality like me. I work hard, and I play hard. I’ve now learned to rest as well. In athletics, there is an intensity-to-recovery ratio. The more intense your workout, the more recovery is required. Think of surgery as an extreme workout for your body, mind, and emotions.

If I’m honest with myself, life before my hysterectomy was lived at 180 miles per hour. I have since learned that a balanced life requires even demands rest and recovery daily. I cannot wait for an annual vacation to take a break. I require timeouts quarterly, monthly, weekly, and daily. This is where I take time to tune out the world and relax, play, and release the stress of everyday life. It is a time to rest, recover, reflect, and bring my life back into balance. I had to learn to make this a regular aspect of my healthy lifestyle, not a quick fix. When my body and spirit are tired, the best thing I can do is rest.

Signs You Need A Forced Rest

Signs that would indicate you may not be recovering from surgery or that surgical menopause is taking a toll on you include:

  • Difficulty waking up in the morning.
  • Requiring more stimulants (caffeine, sugar) to keep going.
  • Utilizing alcohol, sleeping pills, or other substances to wind down or fall asleep.
  • Exhibiting a shorter fuse than normal, especially with loved ones.
  • Lack of focus, creativity, or productivity.

Become Aware BEFORE You Need A Forced Rest

To become more aware of what areas of life might need extra attention, you can ask yourself the following questions.

  • “Am I fueling my body with the proper nutrients?”
  • “Am I sleeping enough? Do I require a nap?”
  • “When was the last time I had a date night? Family day? Time with a friend?”
  • “When was the last time I got lost in a good book or a movie?”
  • “Can I give myself a creative outlet through writing, music, dance or art?”
  • “Do I need to unplug from the computer, phone, or social media?”
  • “Have I taken a day, weekend, or week off lately?”
  • “Are my vacations becoming staycations, where I work so hard around the house that I have to go back to work to rest?”
  • “Have I rejuvenated at the beach, by the lake or an ocean, in the mountains, or elsewhere in nature?”
  • “When was the last time I laughed?”
  • “Is my schedule too full? Where can I build in rest and recovery?”

If you find yourself less focused, creative, friendly, or productive, as I did, it may benefit you to slow down or take a break. As our intensity-to-recovery ratio improves, we are better able to come back stronger, more creative, productive, and refreshed, and with renewed energy and excitement. We have more passion for our career, relationships, and life in general. We’ll find we are balanced through the transition of menopause.

Previously posted at The Red Hot Mamas

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Come Back Strong, Balanced Wellness after Surgical Menopause by Lori Ann King

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