The Importance of Female Companionship During Menopause
By: Bonny Osterhage
Between the mood swings, hot flashes, and other changes that occur during menopause, you might feel like locking yourself in a cold, dark room with Netflix, snacks, and a bottle of wine while you wait for the storm to pass. As tempting as that may sound, isolating yourself and becoming anti-social isn’t always the best answer. In fact, surrounding yourself with your closest gal pals is a much better option. No, not because misery loves company, but because who better to understand what you are feeling than another woman.
Even if she hasn’t been through it herself, chances are at least one of your close girl friends has experienced some sort of hormonal issue over the course of her life and can relate to the unexpected crying jag, occasional angry outburst, or even the loss of sexual desire. Here are three good reasons why you need a strong tribe of women you can depend on during menopause.
Strength in Numbers
Some of the changes that occur during menopause can make you feel very isolated. But realizing that your friends have experienced or are experiencing similar symptoms or emotions can be empowering. Menopause is as much a part of a woman’s life as puberty and is nothing to hide in shame. There is no reason to weather the storm alone.
Remember when you got your first period? Chances are the first person you told (other than maybe your mother) was your best friend. You commiserated over cramps, breakouts, and all the other changes that accompany puberty, yet when it comes to talking about things like vaginal dryness, lack of libido, and sweating through your sheets, you tend to clam up. Talking about these things with a close friend is important not only for helping us dealing with the above-mentioned feelings of isolation, but also it provides an outlet for sharing ways of coping with your symptoms and feelings. You can learn a thing or two from each other if you open up.
When you are feeling irrational, crying for no reason, or when anxiety and depression take hold, having someone to call that will lend a sympathetic ear is so important to your wellbeing. Women understand the mood swings that accompany hormonal changes and your tribe will know when it’s time to do something to cheer you up, or when it’s time to simply be present with a shoulder to cry on.
A strong group of female friends, or even one best friend, can make your experience through menopause more manageable. Everyone needs those friends who love you at your worst and celebrate you at your best. Those are the keepers!