Ladies, it’s time for us to accept no more excuses for our bad behavior. “I’m just hormonal” doesn’t give you a free pass for poor performance at work, bad parenting to your kids, or being mean to your husband. Take charge of your own body and mind in this area just as you do in any other.
You may be tempted to let yourself feel like a victim to your hormones. Would you let anyone else make you feel like a victim? NO! You’re strong, resilient, flexible, and wise. You can figure this out. You’ve got too much living to do to let those little chemicals get you down. You’re bigger than they are. You can take them on, and win!
The way in which you see yourself will make a significant difference in how you weather the hormonal swings each one of us women face. If you see yourself as vulnerable, entitled, needy, or weak it will be tempting to remain passive. You’ll see the hormonal changes you experience such as PMS, the postpartum period, or menopause as something that happens to you, something to complain about, and something to use as a convenient excuse.
On the other hand, if you see yourself as resilient, taking charge, wise, and responsible you’ll find ways to make the hormone changes you experience work for your benefit. You’ll be able to see the positive aspects in any season of your life, focus on the things you can change, and take the steps necessary to keep functioning at your best. You’ll see your hormones as just one more challenge to exploit rather than something that happens to you.
Other factors often make the emotional impact of hormonal changes more difficult to manage. If you wanted a child and were unable to have one, the loss of fertility at menopause may be especially painful. If your husband is not easy to live with your PMS symptoms may only be magnified. If your job is pressuring you to return quickly after having a child, your postpartum depression may be worse.
It’s important to have a both-and approach to all these hormonal difficulties. Optimizing all aspects of your lifestyle in taking charge of your health, such as a healthy diet and adequate rest, is important. So is facing and honestly dealing with your marriage (or lack thereof), your spiritual life, and your total life circumstances. And so is using appropriate hormonal or other medication if other measures aren’t enough. Regular exercise and a chat with your girlfriend may not be enough in themselves, but they are important. And don’t expect a pill to fix all your problems.
Being a woman of faith does not eliminate the physical challenges, including hormonal changes, that all of us women face. Spiritually related issues such as guilt, shame, faith, and hope may feel more acute during periods of hormonal change. A strong faith does, however, provide many internal and external resources to help you through this and any other life challenge.
Yes, hormone changes can affect your thinking, your emotions, and your functioning in many areas. Those changes may mean you need to alter things in your lifestyle or get some professional help at times. But hormones are not your master. You can master them!
Your Turn: Have you used ‘hormonal’ as an excuse? What can you do differently in the future? Leave a comment below.
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