Post menopause positivity – the positive place beyond menopause
Reaching the menopause is a major transition in life and often coincides with empty nest syndrome or a longing to do something totally different after clocking up 30 years at work. Despite all the negativity about age, there are many ways where life gets better as we get older, which I mention in my previous blog on embracing ageing. The end of the reproductive years can herald the arrival of new fertility in other areas.
If you’re wondering what to do next, then exploring your strengths is a good place to start to help you move from the PMS years into a new phase of PMP (Post Menopause Positivity!)
You at Your Best
Many people find it easy to list their weaknesses but struggle to name their strengths – it comes in two forms. Your strengths of character are the positive qualities you have like courage or kindness. And then there are your performance strengths – what you do well, whether you have a talent for communication or the gift of emotional intelligence. Playing to your strengths is a win: win for your personal and professional life. They enhance your performance at work – your greatest potential for growth comes from developing your strengths rather than fixing your weaknesses. Using your strengths also increases your well-being – finding new ways to apply this can lead to higher levels of happiness and lower levels of depression symptoms according to positive psychology research¹.
It is easy to lose sight of your strengths when you’re caught up in the daily grind of life and they may well have changed as you’ve matured. Ask your friends, family and colleagues to spot your strengths. Or you can take the free test at www.viasurvey.org and download your results. You may even have gained some of the strengths that show up in mid-life – wisdom or generativity, which is the desire to help others and make a difference in the world.
Freedom from the see-saw of hormonal highs and lows often sparks a motivation to take a new path. For some, having an ‘encore career’ is driven by financial need in an era of insecure workplaces and dwindling pensions. For others, it’s about doing something more meaningful. Getting to know your strengths better will give you clues about what direction to move forwards in and with this, you’re more likely to succeed because you’re drawing on what you’re good at. There’s a bonus too, as playing to your strengths is energising. They provide you with a source of fuel to power your new venture.
You might tap into that wisdom you’ve gained to mentor those who are starting out or freelance as a consultant. It might mean starting a business – ‘olderpreneurs’ in their 50s are more likely to succeed than entrepreneurs in their 20s and 30s ². My own encore began when I went back to university in my 40s, which opened up a whole new working life as a coach and trainer, where I get to play to my strengths every day. I love my work which gives me a sense of purpose and satisfaction. Happiness is a U-shaped curve and once we get past the mid-life crisis, people become happier – there’s so many reasons to be positive post-menopause!
Ryvita has teamed up with Miriam Akhtar, Positivity Coach to be part of their Positivity Panel alongside Davina McCall. The panellists were handpicked to help inspire women across the nation to feel confident and happy, whatever their age, through advice, tips and tricks. Head to https://www.ryvita.co.uk/living-well to find out more.
¹Seligman, M. E. P., Steen, T. A., Park, N., & Peterson C. (2005). Positive psychology in progress. Empirical validation of interventions. American Psychologist, 60, 410–421.