Navigating Midlife: It’s All in How You Think About It

how to successfully navigate perimenopause

Welcome to the end of 2021.

One of my favorite things to do is to spend time reflecting on the past year and deciding what I want in the coming year. It’s easy to get caught up in all that went wrong (and there was plenty of that), but I guarantee you that there were some highs in the midst of what turned out to be another chaotic year.

Success in navigating midlife, COVID, or any other challenging experience requires a positive mindset. Maybe you’re not fully there yet, but trust me….with the right tools and practice, you CAN turn things around. Here’s the thing about mindset. You get more of what you focus on, so if you are spinning around in all that is wrong, you are likely to attract more of the same.

Let’s take a look at how to reframe your thinking and some tools you can use to launch into 2022 with a more positive outlook: 

1.) Put yourself at the top of your to-do list.

Many women are uncomfortable focusing any time, energy, money, or attention on themselves. But here’s the truth. The people around you WANT you to be at your best. You only get one life and if what you are doing is surviving vs. thriving, it’s time to take a good hard look at what and who you are saying yes to. Because if you are saying yes to other obligations, you are, by default, saying NO to yourself. Make a conscious decision right now to put yourself first and devote time to practicing the skills you will learn here.

2.) Give yourself some grace and love.

When it comes to the menopause transition, each of us will have a unique experience, but there is one thing that is universally true. We’ll all go through it if we live long enough. It’s normal to feel frustrated, overwhelmed, disappointed, or sad when your body is not cooperating in the way you think it should. But being at war with your body does nothing except ramp up your stress and keep you off balance Your body WANTS to be in balance…that’s it’s whole job. And it needs to YOU to give it some love in order to do that. You are an amazing woman regardless of the symptoms you are experiencing!

3.) Use your body as a lab.

When I’m working with my clients, I encourage them to get curious and look at the changes they are making from a 30,000-foot level. I ask them to think of their bodies as labs. From this vantage point, it is possible to get out of the weeds and notice what’s going on. Be your own experiment. Notice how foods make you feel. Notice what situations cause tightness in your chest or an adrenaline rush. Notice how your gut feels. Notice your energy level throughout the day. Make notes. Be the investigator!

4.) Have reasonable expectations.

This is a conversation I always have with my clients…the one about what is reasonable to expect and what is not. When I forget to do that, I’ll often get an email 2 days after someone starts their therapeutic plan letting me know that they haven’t noticed improvement. You didn’t get into whatever state you’re in 2 days and you’re not getting out of it that fast either! Habit change takes time. Weight loss takes time. Hormone balance takes time. Herbal supplements work more slowly than drugs. And sometimes things get worse before better. Patience pays off!

5.) Reframe success.

Sometimes, my clients set their bar for success so high that there is no reasonable way they’ll achieve their goals. Go for baby steps and create momentum that carries you forward. No one is expecting perfection. If you take a step back, don’t beat yourself up. Just remember your why and get back on the horse.

6.) Celebrate your wins! (no matter how small)

midlife mindset celebrate your winsSee #5! Baby steps. Celebrate each milestone you achieve because those baby steps are ultimately going to get you where you want to go. Rewards give you a dopamine hit (which always feels good) and keep you motivated and having fun. Rewards can be simple pleasures or a fabulous vacation or a new wardrobe. Only you know what is meaningful to you. BUT, I highly suggest not rewarding yourself with junk food…crappy food isn’t a reward for anything.

7.) Roll with the changes.

Forward progress in perimenopause and menopause can feel like one step forward and 2 steps back at times. Know this…things will change and the more that you understand that this is a season of your life the easier it will be to roll with it. This is one reason I created the Savvy Sisterhood membership group. I want you to have the support of a community of women who are sharing this experience and I want to teach you strategies that will serve you over the entire course of the menopause transition. Yes, these strategies will change over time, but if you practice listening to your body and use the techniques you’ll learn in my Hormone Harmony course (part of your membership), you’ll have a toolbox to help you sail through the changes. Join the waitlist for the Savvy Sisterhood membership here.

Now it’s your turn. Take some time to reflect back on 2021 and answer these questions. You may be very surprised by what you come up with! 

  1. What were some of your “highs” and “lows” this past year? 
  2. Did any of your “lows” turn into “highs” (or contribute to your “highs”)?
  3. What was your most surreal moment this year?
  4. What was the biggest surprise?
  5. What personal or professional victories can you celebrate from the year?

Feel free to share your answers in the blog comments or Facebook group!

Dr. Anna Garrett is a menopause expert and Doctor of Pharmacy. She helps women who are struggling with symptoms of perimenopause and menopause find natural hormone balancing solutions so they can rock their mojo through midlife and beyond. Dr. Anna is the author of Perimenopause: The Savvy Sister’s Guide to Hormone Harmony. Order your copy at

Dr. Anna is available for 1-1 consultation. Find out more at

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Perimenopause: The Savvy Sister’s Guide to Hormone Harmony

This book gives you the tools you need to navigate this transition without losing your mind or your mojo.

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