menopause, migraines and overwhelm

I’ve noticed that many Scholars, like me, keep coming back to the experiences of overwhelm & stress. I know for me dealing with overwhelm & stress has been the main reason I joined Scholars. I also think that those of us who are women sometimes underestimate the toll stress creates on the body and mind. And also the physical repercussions of ageing and hormonal changes.

I find myself, despite my efforts not to do so, constantly pushing myself beyond my limits. Every couple of weeks I find that my ‘to do list’ expands & spirals, despite my Monday Hour One routine. I then get angry with myself for allowing this to happen yet again.

I wonder if I should be prioritising planning even more than I’m doing now: maybe on a daily basis? I have found that putting literally every task on the calendar, sometimes weeks ahead, is one of the only things that helps. I have a highly demanding job with many elements to it, and a family.

Here are today’s models on where I’m at. As always, I value your input.

Model on Unintentional Thought
C: Migraine yesterday and today, full days at work
T: I know I’m not a superwoman, but I need to work hard & support my family, I’m the main breadwinner at home; these migraines & the menopause are creating lots of issues.
F: Frustrated (with my body)
A: Can lead to helpless feelings & thoughts
can exacerbate overwhelm
creates a separation between body & mind
not taking medication early enough
inaction in consulting my GP to discuss ongoing management of menopause / migraines
even though taking HRT for menopause, failing to take it seriously due to the toll it takes on the body & act early & with respect to body
then accusing myself for this ‘failure’
pushing myself to ‘ride through’ migraine which I know for a fact doesn’t work (needs to be caught early)
pushing myself by filling my schedule
leads to collapse eventually – yesterday had to go home early and cancel afternoon appointments
then had feelings of guilt as the young people I work with, and my colleagues, need me
R: I act like a superwoman and push myself beyond my limits

Model on Intentional Thought
C: Migraine yesterday and today
T: In order to work hard & support my family, making my body and mind a priority is crucial.
F: Caring (towards myself)
A: I do what I know works: make sure I have triptan medication, take it early
I focus on planning (even daily: as needed), as I know that deals with the overwhelm
I tell myself body & mind are not separate. My body is not failing me.
I consult my GP today to discuss ongoing management of menopause / migraines
I prepare for specialist menopause consultation which is next week
I act with respect and care to my body and my mind and their limits
I prioritise rest in my schedule
I don’t fill my schedule. I prioritise & do the tasks that have to be done, planning ahead for others
I keep up my routines but not in a punishing way
I tell myself again & again that if something doesn’t happen, that’s not the end of the world, I do thought work on this to convince myself
R: I treat my body and mind with care and respect, I make myself a priority