Blog Posts, Menopausal Mutterings

Keeping calm when all around is anything but…

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I know many of us are experiencing some wild physical and mental symptoms, maybe for the first time ever. What on God’s green earth is going on? In a nutshell your higher brain that does all the higher function stuff (amongst other things) has been hijacked by your primitive system, the flight and fright response. As it no longer has to deal with sabre toothed tigers it is now busy interpreting this COVID0-19 pandemic as a modern-day tiger. Given that we can’t see the threat (well not without an electron microscope) to make up our minds whether we can go ten rounds with it and win (or not), we are left with the flight response. Every fibre of our being is telling us to run for the hills… but wait… we’re in lockdown. We have to stay put.

Our poor minds and bodies are in a right old state inside. How does this manifest itself? Mentally this can show itself as stress, anxiety, inability to concentrate, overwhelm, sudden tears, anger and so on. Meanwhile, the large dose of adrenalin and cortisol rampaging round our bodies can create stomach upsets, headaches, insomnia to name but a few.

That should scare even the most chilled out of people. Even reading this might provoke a TIGER ATTACK response. But what can we do to calm things a smidge?

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Put the kettle on and make a nice cuppa. Here in the UK everything is fixed with a good cup of tea. I prefer to add cake just to make sure I’ve covered the bases.

While the kettle is boiling and the tea is coming to its senses, you can have a wee look at my list of calming strategies to help dial down the tiger attack response.

  1. Breathe. Slow it down…. Breathe in slowly through the nose but breathe out through the mouth even slower. If you know any yoga breathing exercises now is the time to dust them off and get practicing. If not, there are plenty of examples of calming breathing techniques on Youtube.
  2. Phone a friend. They are probably feeling the same and wondering if they too are losing their marbles. It helps to know others are feeling the same.
  3. Have a good old belly laugh at something. Find some silly memes, gifs, photos, animal videos that make you laugh out loud.
  4. Keep your hands busy… draw (even if you’re no Rembrandt), knit, sew, grab some coloured pencils and grab that colouring book. If you are lucky enough to have a garden, get out there and give it a good tidy-up. Be inventive but be busy.
  5. Stay away from social media and limit your access to the news. Twice a day to catch the headlines is more than enough.
  6. Be kind to yourself. Watch comforting movies, read a favourite book, listen to your favourite playlists.

And there you have it. Enjoy your tea and eat the cake, just not too much of it.

Stay home, stay safe and stay health my lovely readers.