Sleep | Mental Health | Confidence: My perimenopausal three-legged stool
I’ve spoken about my mental health journey and how much the layers of trauma are blindsiding me when they come to the surface right now, and how I am getting better and better at softening my approach to myself when this happens.
Allowing the feels (all feelings being welcome here),
Naming the stories (bringing the layers of belief and old wounds to the surface to be gently examined)
Choosing consciously to reparent myself (all the ways my inner child needs care and
What I have not spoken too much about yet is the ongoing spiral down that lack of
sleep can have on both my mental health state and my level of self confidence.
I sometimes think of this as my three-legged wobbly stool. In other words, as soon as
one of these “legs” is impacted, the whole stool shifts so I cannot “depend” on a solid
foundation and the other two legs get affected as a result.
In our podcast chat recently, PT and Author of Menocopalyse, Amanda Thebe and I spoke about the loss of physical confidence in herself during perimenopause which came as such a shock (having always been so fit and strong and connected to her physical body).
For me, the only physical confidence change I have noted (so far) is my fear of re-injuring myself in amidst these newfound joint issues I am currently experiencing (a recent diagnosis of Ehlers Danlos goes some way to explain the joint pain and pubic symphysis separation I am just about to start working with an EP to rehab - but the FEAR of injuring myself is a new thing to me).
What I have noticed more of lately is a loss of skill confidence.
As in confidence in those things which usually come as naturally to me as breathing.
Things like interviewing, writing and story-telling and ability to get curious and nut something out for myself to learn something new. These are the things that make me feel most like ME.
After four nights now of poor quality sleep, my stool is well and truly wobbly and my confidence in all of the above has taken a hit ....
Which leads me to avoid or procrastinate on the things I usually LOVE ...
And to doubt my ability to do them well ...
Which leads to my mental health taking dive ...
Which leads to all sorts of negative belief popping their heads up.
“I don’t know what I am doing.”
“This post sucks - shut up already”
“No one wants to hear what you have to say”
“This client is not going to like this branding copy”
Blah de blah de blah blah blah.
Which further increases my stress levels and impacts my ability to sleep.
Here’s what we know to be true:
Lack of sleep and Stress and Perimenopause have SO MANY overlapping symptoms.
Lack of sleep makes stress and perimenopause symptoms worse.
Stress makes lack of sleep and perimenopause symptoms worse.
Perimenopause often disturbs our sleep and decrease our tolerance to stress.
And around and around we go.
The key for me at least is just to be aware that I have a wobbly stool right now.
To prioritise soothing self-care practices which will allow me to navigate this period of
stay present to the stories, see the cycle for what it is.
And Just. Be. Here. Now.
I wonder, can you relate?
Need help working out your own Perimenopausal Self Care and understanding WTAF is happening to you if you're all of a sudden not feeling like yourself, grab instant access to my Menopausal "meh" to Midlife Mojo Mini Course here.