How to strike a balance … at menopause!

August issue for Hastings in Focus

It was New Year’s Eve, 2019.  I’d been reading about choosing a ‘word of the year’ rather than a ‘new year’s resolution’ – it would apparently help me to focus on what I wanted to create for myself during the coming year.  So, after some consideration, palpitations and a hot flush, I chose the word ‘balance’!

Striking a balance

That was 20 months ago now, and of course we know that 2020 turned out to be anything but balanced!  And yet, amongst all the challenges we’ve faced during the pandemic: the difficulties, the loss, the suffering – all those imbalances – life continues with gains, joy, new life and hope.

In fact, life in all forms seeks balance in order to survive and to thrive.  Consider the weather – too much rain and our gardens and parks become waterlogged; not enough and the land is parched, and plants wither and die.  Think of music – too loud and it’s hard to listen to; yet without music we cannot sing or dance.  And menopause – too much oestrogen or not enough plays havoc with our health!  We seek balance everywhere – that ‘sweet-spot’ of life.  It is what we strive for – the yin and the yang, the sun and the moon, the fertile years and the menopause …

When we manage to balance our hormones, it can have a huge positive impact on our lives but switch that round and you will soon discover that finding balance in our lives can have a huge positive impact on our hormones!

So, this month, I’m sharing a little self-coaching tool for those of you who want to redress that balance.  The Wheel of Life coaching tool is quick, easy, fun to do, and insightful! 

Wheel of Life example

Here is an example.  You can use the categories here or change them to ones that are more meaningful to you. 

Before you start, find a quiet space and some uninterrupted time.  Settle down and find some stillness.  Take a few deep breaths and relax.  Then set to work …

  1. Begin by drawing a circle with ten spokes, as pictured here, or you could start with less, maybe five.
  2. Draw 10 dots or small marks along each spoke, starting from the centre moving out to the outer edge of the wheel.  
  3. Next, number each dot or mark from 1 – 10 along each spoke.  Number 1 is at the centre, number 10 is at the outer edge of the wheel. 
  4. Now, rank how you’re doing right now.  Work your way round each category. 10 is excellent and 1 is you couldn’t do any worse!  What’s important is you put what is true for you.
  5. When you have finished ranking yourself for each category, join the dots together. 
  6. You may have a small or a large uneven or even wheel.  What you’re aiming for ultimately, is a large, even wheel to give you a smooth ride and get you where you want to be.  But it doesn’t matter what it looks like, because what your wheel of life will show you is exactly what you need to see now to make some changes and find balance.  Your wheel may well change in shape and size after you’ve made a few changes and repeated the exercise a few times.
  7. Once you’ve completed your wheel, you can easily see areas where you may need to take action – those categories where you have ranked yourself low are your weaker areas. 
  8. Choose two or three actions you can take to make some improvements in those areas.  Write them down and consider how and when, and what support you need.

Put your Wheel of Life somewhere you can see it – inside your wardrobe or on the fridge door and revisit it as often as you need or want to.

And finally …

Menopause – at whatever age or stage of life is an opportunity for self-reflection, self-development and preparation for the next exciting phase of life! 

Helen Ford, Nutrition Therapist

For two of Helen’s delicious, nutritious and hormone balancing recipes this month, Mackerel Paté and Watercress and Almond Pesto, visit HotWomenAtMenopause/Nourish.

Helen Ford, Nutritional Therapist, foodie and passionate cook, specialising in women’s health in Royal Tunbridge Wells 07966 232404.


Information sources and helpful links:

Helen Ford, Nutrition Consultant

Dr Neil Suggett – author of A Coaching Lifestyle

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