As we head into spring we’re looking to the beautiful Chinese term for menopause – your second spring.
Indeed, the Chinese look at our second spring differently. They view it as a time to work with nature to find the body’s natural balance through menopause. As do we.
And doesn’t second spring sound nicer than the word ‘menopause’? Or, ‘perimenopause’?
Think of menopause as a season
Generally, spring is synonymous with blossoming and growth. As a result, the leaves grow on trees again and flowers are more abundant. Similarly, several cultures view your second spring as a time when you move into a new stage of wisdom.
Sure, perimenopause can come with challenges. The transition doesn’t run smoothly for 85 percent1 of us. In fact, it can come with a host of signs including mood swings, anxiety, depression, UTIs, itchy skin and sleep disruption.
By the same token, post-menopause comes with its own set of nuances including more health vulnerabilities such as heart disease, dementia and osteoporosis. However, according to a 2016 study published in Maturitas2 many women in post-menopause report feeling happier.
So, shifting your mindset about menopause is key. It’s a time to step up your wellness focus, self-care and self-compassion. Think of it as a new season in your life.
7 Smart Ways To Enjoy Your Second Spring 🌱
1. Take the time to ‘pause’
Sometimes, in the busyness of life, we forget to pause.
Take a moment to just be:
- Breathe in for 4
- Hold for 7
- Breathe out for 8
Rinse and repeat.
You should feel more relaxed as your parasympathetic nervous system3 is activated.
Now, pause a moment. How do you feel? Assess your perimenopausal or post-menopausal (second spring) signs and symptoms, your weight, your mental health, and your wellness.
Now consider where you’d like them to be. This is where the concept of journaling can be helpful.
Use a journal and pen to write your thoughts and feelings onto the pages. In coaching-land, we call this a mind dump.
There is power in manually writing things down4.
It’s especially good if you’re experiencing the racing mind, self-blame and second-guessing of perimenopause.
Journaling frees up your mind and has the potential to aid you in thinking more clearly.
2. Make a second spring plan
Using the analogy of spring, you’ve taken a look at the health of your soil. And now it’s time to think about how best to fertilise it for new growth. (Or your second spring.)
What did you discover when you were ‘pausing’? Do you have several signs and symptoms? Are you happy with your weight? And what about your mental health?
List the things you’d like to work on so you know where to put your focus. The fundamentals are usually diet, movement and conquering stress.
Seek trusted resources and find out as much as you can. Our Learn section is phenomenally helpful. Moreover, our book, Everything You Need To Know About Menopause, Perimenopause & Post-Menopause Explained is a good tool.
If you feel you need to make some changes perhaps consider hiring a health/menopause coach to help bring about new habits and change.
3. Perform a spring clean
Tame the potential hormonal chaos of your second spring by spring cleaning.
Some of the little-known hormone-disrupting factors of life in the 21st century are xenoestrogens or endocrine disruptors5.
Xenoestrogens can have an estrogen-like effect detrimentally mimicking our natural hormones.
They can create an excess of estrogens (dirty estrogens) in the body leading to estrogen dominance. Furthermore, their build-up has been linked with cancers, obesity and diabetes and endometriosis. Not to mention magnified perimenopause / menopause signs and symptoms.
You’ll find them in everyday items like pharmaceuticals, food preservatives, plastics, personal care and cleaning, gardening and office products.
Part of the liver’s role is to process excess estrogens, but if it’s loaded down with liver loaders such as caffeine and alcohol it can’t do its job. One reason we often talk about loving the liver through diet.
Weeding out the chemical-laden items in both your pantry and bathroom will also reduce the liver’s load.
4. Freshen up your diet
If ever there was a time for a diet overflowing with nutrients your second spring is it. In fact, nutrients via wholesome food are particularly essential during perimenopause and post-menopause.
Drink pure water
A primary dietary need is good old H20 as pure and clean as possible. You might be surprised to learn that not drinking enough water can lead to brain fog, fatigue, poop problems, headaches, irritability etc. Similar to the symptoms of peri/menopause!
Nurture your nutrients
What’s more, your need for nutrients goes sky high. If you’ve ever been pregnant, think back to how careful you were about what you ate. Employ the same ethos. Things have changed and what worked for you in your 20s won’t work for you in your 40s, 50s and 60s. You require ‘more, more, more’ goodness and ‘less, less, less’ processed foods.
Refer to our PPFF guidelines and fill your diet with phytoestrogens, protein, fibre and (healthy) fat.
Phytoestrogens are plant chemicals that can mimic your body’s estrogen (in a good way). Emphasise fresh produce in your diet.
Add in lean proteins such as chickpeas, lentils, beans (including sprouted) and soy products such as tofu and tempeh. These are also high in phytoestrogens.
Some women can’t tolerate soy, but if you can, studies have shown consuming soy foods can mitigate hot flushes6.
Eat the rainbow and include a wide variety of fibre-rich and nutrient-dense fruit and vegetables. Additionally, chia seeds, beans, lentils and whole grains like brown rice and oats are also chock full of fibre. This ensures the body’s elimination processes are in top form.
Embrace healthy fats such as avocado, extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), nuts, seeds and oily fish. Fats are essential for a healthy weight and satiety. Furthermore, they’re key to making hormones, optimal brain function and nutrient absorption.
5. Turn on the sprinkler system
Now that you’ve prepped, planted, weeded and fertilised your flourishing garden it’s time to sprinkle on some tender loving care.
So, how’s your skin doing? And what about your hair?
Just as menopause and growing older change things internally so too do things look different externally. Especially as you come into your second spring.
Second spring skin
Changes in estrogen levels can make your skin drier and less elastic. What’s more, estrogen’s role is to help with the production of collagen and elastin. As such, it controls skin thickness, moisture content and blood flow to the skin.
Collagen is a skin-plumping protein, while elastin contributes to your skin’s elasticity. Subsequently, declining estrogen leads to less collagen and elastin. Moreover, the menopausal years see a reduction in the skin’s natural moisturising factors (NMF) such as hyaluronic acid.
Second spring hair
In a similar fashion, menopause can be behind hair loss and thinning. Hormonal changes cause shifts in the hair’s natural growth cycle. Additionally, estrogen helps hair grow and stay on the head for longer while more androgens are being produced which can cause hair follicles to shrink. Together this contributes to hair loss and hair thinning.
Some ways to help include:
- Ensure you’re eating good fats which hair and skin love.
- In addition, they respond to oodles of fresh produce.
- Applying a regular hair treatment and facial mask is wonderfully nourishing.
- Look for hydrating skincare (gold standard hydrators include hyaluronic acid and glycerin).
And may we suggest LotsaLocks®? If you’re losing hair, or you can feel it thinning LotsaLocks® works at a follicular level to increase hair density. What’s more, it gives hair and nails a boost too. Click here to buy.
6. Maintain your garden
As your garden flourishes it’s important to keep the soil and growth moving with regular maintenance. In the same way, your body requires movement during your second spring.
Perimenopause is a time when our muscle mass and bone strength begin to decline. And this speeds up for the first few years post-menopause.
For this reason, both strength training and cardiovascular exercise are vital for your strength, flexibility and weight management. And also your mental health and brain power as exercise releases endorphins which are neurochemicals that trigger a feeling of wellbeing.
7. Arrange a beautiful bouquet (gathering)
This isn’t so much about getting out there and partying (though if you want to – enjoy!) But one of the characteristics of some women during peri/menopause is an avoidance of social gatherings.
However, a sense of community and support systems is super important during your second spring. And that’s not gobbledy gook, it’s backed by science. The experience of menopause is a time of (sometimes abrupt) change and you can benefit more than ever from support and nurturing.
This is probably the reason behind the continual rise of private Facebook groups where you’ll find like-minded groups experiencing similar things.
Please do join 40+ Ageless Goddesses our private Facebook group here.
Water your seedlings
Now that you’ve planted and nurtured your seedlings it’s time to support them as they grow to their new stage. A bit like your second spring.
Mother Nature provides the tools and regular implementation will see you flourish.
So why not continue with your ‘pausing’, planning and journaling? Keep avoiding those xenoestrogens and fill your body up with an abundance of nutrition and hydration.
Together, they’ll help you nurture a vital and vibrant second spring.
Did you know? 40+ and 55+ can also help you during your second spring.
They’ve been through pharmaceutical-grade clinical trials that have shown them to have numerous benefits.
These include helping with balanced mood, bone density and skin hydration.
Plus they’re super safe and naturally free of xenoestrogens.
Think of them as fertilisers. 🌱
- National Library of Medicine, Menopausal Symptoms: Comparative Effectiveness of Therapies, Grant MD, Marbella A, Wang AT, et al.
- Maturitas, The trajectory of negative mood and depressive symptoms over two decades, Katherine E Campbell, Lorraine Dennerstein, Mark Tracey, Cassandra E Szoeke, October 24, 2016.
- National Library of Medicine, Neuroanatomy, Parasympathetic Nervous System, Jacob Tindle; Prasanna Tadi
- University of Rochester Medical Center, Journaling for Mental Health, L Renee Watson MSN RN; Marianne Fraser MSN RN; Paul Ballas MD
- Science Direct, Xenoestrogens Volume 2, Environmental Toxins, Bethany Montgomery Hays MD; Tori Hudson ND, in Textbook of Natural Medicine (Fifth Edition), 2020
- National Library of Medicine, Nagata et al, 2001