Often the difference is in changing how we perceive what happens to us, rather than changing what happens to us. This rule is applicable to the discomfort we associate with menopause.
Good quality sleep is vital to physical and mental health and well-being. This is never more important than during the transition to menopause. Many women find that changes in their sleep patterns are one of the first consequences of the hormonal fluctuations that occur during perimenopause.
Insomnia is a very common problem during menopause and can be quite debilitating. Going to bed and not being able to fall asleep or waking up long before the alarm goes off can be very distressing and leave you tired and without energy.
If you do not get a good night’s rest for several nights in a row, it is advisable to seek professional help, but you can also try some relaxation and meditation techniques that have been shown to be effective in restoring sleep habits and reducing the intensity of discomfort.
COLORFUL BREATHING FOR A GOOD NIGHT’S SLEEP
- Make sure the room is as dark as possible and that the phone or other devices will not disturb you.
- Lie down comfortably on the bed.
- Close your eyes and pay attention to your breathing. If any thoughts come to mind, simply refocus your attention on the breath. Watch how it flows slowly and deliberately.
- Place your hands on your stomach and let your elbows rest gently at your sides. Direct the air you breathe in downward, as if you were filling your stomach instead of your lungs, and watch your hands and stomach rise as you inhale and fall as you exhale.
- Breathe in and out slowly and deeply, making sure the exhale is slightly longer than the inhale. Concentrate on this breathing pattern for a few minutes.
- As your breathing rate slows to a rate that is comfortable and relaxing for you, visualize the air you inhale as an energy tinged with the color you like best. This energy will take you to sleep and the color will be your color to rest and you can use it when you need it.
- Continue to breathe slowly and deeply, always visualizing the entry and exit of colored air.
- Each time you inhale, visualize the healing energy of color spreading throughout your body. Feel that you are getting more comfortable in bed.
- As you exhale, watch the physical and mental stress of the day disappear. Little by little you free yourself from worries and physical tensions.
- Continue to bring your awareness to your breath as your body and mind relax, allowing you to peacefully immerse yourself in truly restful sleep.
MINDFULNESS DURING MENOPAUSE
Mindfulness is essentially about being present and observing thoughts and physical sensations. Realize that observing thoughts is not the same as thinking.
You may often find yourself multitasking or doing just one thing, but thinking about several others – this is the opposite of mindfulness. Being aware implies being one hundred percent in the moment.
While a sitting, formal mindfulness practice can be very beneficial, not all people feel they can commit to that time or effort, especially during menopause when many of the symptoms make it difficult to adjust physically or mentally.
MINDFULNESS PRACTICE FOR ONE MINUTE
Even if you are not a regular practitioner of mindfulness, the following one-minute exercise allows you to enjoy a few short but effective moments of mindfulness throughout the day.
As practice becomes part of your daily routines, you will be able to fully perceive and appreciate physical sensations and emotions, and you will discover their powerful impact on how you think, feel, and act. In other words, it can change the way you approach life and experience it.
The practice is to choose a morning activity where you can spend a minute being fully attentive, for example while brushing your teeth. Appreciate what you see, what you hear, the smells, tastes and sensations in general.
Or have a mindful breakfast. Many people are in a rush in the morning, so it can be a major change to sit and observe the smell, textures, flavors, and temperature of the food you are eating. Remember, you just have to observe, not think about anything else.