Overwhelm can be felt by any business owner at any time but when you are in the menopause the chances of you feeling like this are quite high!

Over the past couple of years, I’ve struggled with this issue.  The menopause has made me more anxious and on top of that I feel utterly exhausted all the time.  I used to get up at 6am to work on my own business and then work for clients from 9am – 5pm and again in the evening I’d work on growing my business for a couple of hours.  I’ve always been very motivated and had a good work ethic and never had a problem meeting deadlines but I found myself too exhausted to stick to my work routine and this in itself caused a feeling of overwhelm.  How was I going to grow my business when I couldn’t stick to my routine?  I am an early morning person and love to get up early and work on my business when the world is still quiet!

A wise friend and coach said to me you must listen to your body and work around how you feel.  You used to be able to work like that, but your body won’t let you now.  This was an eye opener for me, in the old days I would have just pushed through regardless but now I had to reassess the situation.

I love working early morning and the only way to continue to do this was to go to bed early.  I’m usually really tired by 8.30pm anyway so now I just go to bed.  It’s lovely to just get in a warm bed and read a book.  I use this as my “me” time, I love reading and I can rest at the same time.  Inevitably I drop off and don’t read many pages, but it means that I can still get up at 6am which takes the pressure off.  I can now work on my business rather than in it before I start work for clients.  I’m also able to practice the Miracle Morning – but that’s another story!

So, I still can’t work in the evening!  However, if I have more work to do on my business, I now work on a Saturday morning.  I object to working in my office at the weekend, so I take myself off to the beach and find a coffee shop with a sea view, order a latte and start work.  Work now feels like a treat and I love my time doing this. It means that I can accomplish everything I want to do and the feeling of overwhelm is much less.

Sometimes you must think outside of the box, to see another way around a problem.  Whilst thinking about how the menopause affects your moods, motivation and relationships I wondered how I could help myself overcome these problems.  Whilst reading Business Shouldn’t be this Tough by Steve Gaskell, I came across the answer.  In his chapter setting the conditions for success he sets out the chemical cocktail for success!

Endorphin

These make us feel good, they increase our feeling of happiness and give us a natural high – to increase your endorphins you need to exercise.

Dopamine

In the right balance dopamine increases your drive, concentration and motivation – to maintain a healthy level of dopamine you need to live a healthy lifestyle.  Good food and lots of healthy activity.  Meditation can also help and listening to music and interaction with other people as well as stroking pets!

Serotonin

The happiness chemical!  This helps with our sense of pride, status, our sense of purpose and confidence.  When we receive recognition for a job well done, we feel pride and status.  When you work on your own this is quite difficult, so I help my serotonin levels by reading through my testimonials every day!

Oxytocin

The feeling of love, friendship and trust are the results of Oxytocin.  Meeting up with friends and family increases your Oxytocin level.  Acts of generosity also increase your Oxytocin level.  With higher levels of Oxytocin, you will boost your immune system, inhibit addictions and have a healthier life.  You will be happier and happy people tend to live longer.  You’ll be more creative and productive and be able to solve problems easier.

Cortisol

High and prolonged levels of Cortisol can be very damaging and lead to anxiety, stress and major health issues. It can lead to weight gain, tiredness, isolation, anxiety and headaches.  In order to help with this, I meditate once a day just to give myself a break from the world.  It really helps so why not try it yourself?

If we make sure we have time to work on all these issues it may help us to overcome these feelings that overwhelm us.  Isn’t it funny that there is something we can do about how we feel if we just know what it is!  The saying you don’t know what you don’t know couldn’t be truer!