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The Wisdom of Winter and how to survive Christmas

Updated: Dec 13, 2022

Managing Menopause Overwhelm & Fatigue

I LOVE this festive time of year and get excited like a child at the thought of decorated trees and gift giving. But Winter can be a challenging time for many, not least because of the cold, the heating bills and financial concerns.


Those of us who celebrate Christmas may also feel overwhelmed by the expectations on us to be festive organisers, decorators, gift wrappers, shoppers, chefs, cleaners, and conciliation counsellors! Sound familiar?


If this is you, then please give yourself permission to REST, DO LESS and REDUCE STRESS. This is my mantra for the menopause transition because the hormonal changes affect our cognition, sleep, energy and, dare I say, capacity for multi-tasking!


Asking for help, delegating responsibility isn't always easy. And women have been told that juggling many roles and responsibilities is a virtue of femininity. The truth is, in the menopause we need to become more 'male' and focus on one task at a time, if we want to avoid getting overwhelmed and exhausted.


How?

Everything starts with a conversation. Sit down and talk together with our partner, any relatives coming for Christmas dinner - and children if you have them. Arrange a Zoom/Skype call and agree to plan the day together. Instead of trying to shop, cook and prepare all of the food for all of the family, some of whom may have different diets, delegate responsibilities for people to bring a dish, or organise the entertainment, wrap the presents - even walk the dog!


This may sound impossible, maybe you don't feel your family listen to you.

But remember: your health and happiness is just as important as everyone else'. And if we won't take time to care for ourselves then we may burn-out with fatigue or explode with 'menorage' and shout at our loved ones. This is partly our hormones - but also tiredness.


Prepare in advance:

Avoid leaving food or gift shopping to the last minute. Stress exacerbates all of the menopause symptoms so try to get as much done before the festivities.


Morning

Start you day with 5-10 minutes of peacefulness - time for yourself. Take 10 deep breaths into through your nose and sigh gently out of your mouth, relaxing your jaw.

Set an intention for how you want your day to go?

Circle your arms and arch your back forward and back to stretch across your chest.

Stretch out your spine, rounding and arching your back.

Downward facing dog stretch - stay for 6 rounds of breath.

Walk your hands back towards your feet into a standing forward fold. Bend your knees and allow the spine to soften, become heavy.

Bend your knees and slowly curl up your spine, stacking the bones one by one until you come to a standing position.

Swing your arms forward and back loosely as you bend and straighten your legs. This will deepen your breathing and get your heart working faster.

Come to stillness in a standing position.

Observe how you feel. Recall your Intention...

Start your day with a smile. :)


Check list:

have a list of things you need to do, but make it reasonable. Usually In need to cut my ridiculously long list down to 1/3rd.

Set yourself up to succeed not fail!

Congratulate yourself every time you tick something off your list.

Remember to delegate.


Afternoon Nap:

Do you feel exhausted, maybe you woke in the night with hot sweats or bad dreams or needing the bathroom? Instead of pushing through expecting yourself yo have the energy, instead put some energy back into the battery bye taking a Restorative Yoga nap.


Set your timer and try one of these poses:

  1. Lie on the floor on a yoga mat, or a blanket for comfort. Raise your legs onto a chair, sofa, bed, wall - whatever is available. Tuck the blanket around your head, ears, neck but not your face. This will create a blanket cocoon around your had and cut out external situation. This can help to reduce stress and overwhelm.

  2. Take two firm pillows from your bed or a large rectangular cushion from your sofa. Lay the front off your spine/ your chest on the bolster and wrap a blanket around you back for comfort.

Stay in either of these poses for 10 minutes.


Afterwards, come to a comfortable seated position. Remind yourself off the intention you set at the start of the day. Smile and come to standing up, ready for the rest of your day/ evening.


Let's reframe this festive time of the year as an opportunity to rebalance our lives, celebrate our self care - and make it less of a one-woman juggling act and instead encourage everyone to be involved.


Join me for a Menopause Yoga Class

In January I will be running weekly Menopause Yoga classes on Tuesdays January 10th, 17th, 24th and 31st from 8am in the morning to 9.15am. The cost of these classes has been reduced to just £8.00 in January to help start new healthy habits.


So if you'd like to book your place on these classes, simply go to my Menopause Yoga Book Events page HERE.


I hope you have a very Happy Christmas and winter.


Love,

Petra x



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