Female friends are the best sorts of people. Most women know this by the time they reach menopause, but with your busy life, you may have let friendships fall down the list of priorities. Well, it’s time to reinvigorate your social networks. Why? Because, science.
Research shows that a woman’s social support network during menopause greatly influences her quality of life.
There’s a unique power in women supporting women.
1. Start a conversation about menopause
Use menopause as an opportunity to build closeness with the women in your life. Here are some ways get talking about what’s happening to you:
- Swap tips on how to manage symptoms. Your friends may have advice that will work for you. Take the symptom checklist and encourage each other to visit a doctor if menopause is affecting your daily life.
- Discuss the challenges. You may find that your friends are experiencing similar physical and emotional issues.
- Share details of doctors. Let your friends know of any medical or health professionals who have been helpful during your menopause experience.
- Exchange lifestyle advice. Share any exercises or recipes that have helped you to manage symptoms during your menopause.
- Swap funny stories. It can be refreshing to laugh about your mood swings or other symptoms. This can help to reassure you that these changes are very normal.
2. Connect with old friends
Nothing beats a face-to-face catch up with friends. Here are some ideas for getting the sisterhood together:
- Start a walking group. Put down the cappuccino and put on your sneakers. A walking group is a fantastic way to keep connected to your friends while boosting your physical activity.
- Launch a book club. If you and your friends enjoy getting lost in the pages of a great novel, why not share that experience together?
- Organise regular dinner parties. Whether you’re dining in your own home or at a local restaurant, regular dinner parties are a great excuse to get dressed up, enjoy a good chat and laugh, and feel supported by each other.
3. Make new friends
Not every woman is lucky enough to have a group of friends close by. Perhaps you’ve moved away from your friendship circle or you’ve grown apart over the years.
Finding friends in adulthood can be challenging – but also very rewarding.
Here are some ways to meet like-minded women:
- Join a class, learn a skill. Have you ever wished you could speak another language? Or paint? Or run? Adult education provides you with the opportunity to learn a new skill while meeting other people with similar interests.
- Find a local social club. Search online for a group that interests you. Try MeetUp, Facebook, or your local council's website. It’s also worth checking out the notices in your local paper.
- Get to know your neighbours. Make the effort to introduce yourself to your neighbours. You may find you have a lot more in common than you realise. Having a friend to talk to who is just up the road can be a great source of support.
- Volunteer. There are many not-for-profit organisations that could do with a helping hand – from supporting recently arrived refugees, to caring for neglected animals, or tree planting.
So, what are you waiting for?
Menopause can be a daunting time. But you don’t need to experience it alone. Remember the research – a good social network equals better life quality – and make the effort to build your friendships.
©Pfizer 2017. Pfizer Australia Pty Limited. Pfizer Medical Information: 1800 675 229. Level 15-18, 151 Clarence St, Sydney, NSW, 2000. PP-DUA-AUS-0177, 09/2017