Many experience menopause as a time of grief and loss: loss of youth, of reproduction, of a body that looked different, behaved in predictable ways, and seemed easier to control. 

To feel some sense of grief at change is totally normal and understandable. But at Gennev, we feel the menopause transition can also be a very positive time to embrace a new you — changed body, changed attitude, new freedoms, and all.

To help us understand and navigate this transition, Gennev Health Coach Katie Linville talked with Kathleen Putnam, an expert in grief, loss, and transition. 

Kathleen gave us new ways of thinking about change and aging, and new strategies to celebrate the new us on the other side of the symptoms.

Listen to the podcast, then come over to Gennev.com to learn more about how to manage menopause to have an easier, better, healthier transition.

Prefer to watch the webinar? You can see it on the Gennev YouTube channel. Be sure to subscribe so you don't miss upcoming webinars and podcasts!

TRANSCRIPT

Katie Linville, Gennev Coach

Kathleen Putnam, Health Coach

Katie

Just a quick introduction, I'm Katie Linville, one of the new coaches at Gennev excited to be on board. And I worked with Stacy who you hear a lot in these webinars series and also Jessica as well. And I'm excited to have Kathleen with us today, Kathleen Putnam, a fellow registered dietician and health coach does so many things. We've worked together at a previous position. And it's just so great to connect again today. So Kathleen, I'd love for you to just introduce yourself, give us a bit of your background.

Kathleen

Sure. Thanks for having me. It's really fun to be reconnected here. And yeah, so I am a registered dietician, a health and a parent coach, and I've been in private practice here in Seattle, Washington for over 17 years and now it's all gone virtual, but I've had mostly a specialty in dealing with women's health with areas around weight disorder to eating emotional and stress eating parent coaching as well as dealing with chronic disease, like heart disease and diabetes.

And in, in addition to coaching just recently completed a training as a life coach focused on grief and loss and death. And also became certified as a end of life, death doula, and a holding space consultant with the Institute of birth breadth and death. And so as a result, my coaching practice is expanding.

Katie

Yeah, that's amazing. I'd love to hear more about that. So really the topic for today is grief loss and transition in menopause and relating it to that. What inspired you to focus on that area of loss and grief?

Kathleen

Yeah, you know, well, as, you know, as a coach, we're always working with life transitions and especially working with the emotional stress impacts of those transitions and losses as it pertains to our health and our body changes and a lot of pain and anxiety can come up for people as well as not really having a great way to navigate it.

And so after taking a deep dive into the study of grief and transition and loss, I see that I've always been speaking to grief and loss as a dietician. We're always addressing it as a coaches.  And I think that my background and the awesome opportunities that I've had, I was able to work with dr. Dean Ornish for reversing heart disease and with Laura Mellon's program as an emotional brain trainer at a UCSF and both of those really, really dove into the holistic view of stress and emotions as being a big part of our lifestyle management. And I think that feelings come up that we don't necessarily recognize as grief. And now it's just really clear that I wasn't necessarily recognizing him. I was getting training and I was addressing them, but now it feels a lot more clear that it was a lot about grief and loss and the need to let go of what was through changes in life.

Katie

Yeah, that's a good point. So grief can come up in so many different areas of life. And how would you really, how would you define grief?

Kathleen

So grief really is the emotional part of loss. It's, it's the feeling part of loss. Mourning is actually allowing yourself to go through those feelings. I think one of the big things and I know it's getting a lot of attention because of COVID and black lives matter. I feel like grief is being discussed more. But a big problem is, is experiencing that loss and grief, but not really allowing yourself to feel it and not really being supported culturally or within our family systems or community systems too,

Be able to grieve.

Katie

Yeah, that's a good point. And I think maybe sometimes some of us may feel like shameful of our grief or just, why am I feeling this way? Should I be feeling this way, not wanting to open up about it. But I do want to call out, you know, especially I'm thinking of menopause specifically, it's such a normal experience to feel grief, feelings of loss during any time of transition in your life. But, you know, specifically during this time, whenever you're trying to navigate, you know, what, what is going on here is this normal? And I will say so once again, it's completely normal to have feelings such as those as you're transitioning through menopause. And so whenever I think about this, I wonder, you know, what could be some science, people may not know that they're going through grief or loss, what would be some signs that someone may be experiencing these feelings and what should they do next after they realize that?

Kathleen

Yeah, you know, I appreciate you bringing up shame an isolation and shutting down and self judgment around this, because that does feel similar to the work with disordered eating and other transitions in life as a coach. A lot of people aren't openly talking about what it feels like to be in their body and, and they're beating themselves up and they feel like they need to have the answer themselves. So so some of the signs in particular can be a sense of loss of feeling like themselves in menopause. Like their body doesn't feel the same. They don't feel right. But they list feel less attractive more irritable, more moody. There can be an acknowledgement of a loss of usefulness or beauty, which we have a cultural standard about our value as a woman that way. And I think we don't necessarily look at it as a Rite of passage that we're all going through and we support one another. So that's why I just my hats off to the program, because I think that a lot of women are supposed to navigate through and do find themselves isolated not understood and alone with those feelings.

Katie

Right. Absolutely. We had a chat come through mentioning, I recently realized that I was grieving the loss of the old normal due to the pandemic, as well as the loss of how I used to feel during due to perimenopause.

Kathleen

Yeah, exactly. So it's this, and one thing that's really a norm about grief is this idea of expectation either externally or internally, that we're going to end up where we used to be and that we're getting, but really in a lot of people are talking about this with COVID is the new norm is now I'm getting to a place. One of the stages of grief is to get to a place of acceptance. And then a sixth stage was actually added by David Kessler is then to find meaning to go through a grief process and derive new meaning out of it. And then, so now who am I now inside of menopause, or while I'm going through menopause.

Katie

I like that. So finding meaning through it all, what, you know, how could this be beneficial to me? How can I get to a place of acceptance with it all? And is that something as you know, working as a coach that you really work to help someone find?

Kathleen

Yeah, I think that really establishing what's most important to the person right here and right now, and what is it that they have control over? We don't have control over aging. And I know there's all kinds of products that tell us that there's, that they can help control with our beauty and our age. And, but we are going to age the years are going at the time is passing. And so really what's most meaningful. How do I want to go through this? What needs attention and acclimation where maybe it didn't need attention before? One thing I know that I hear a lot as a coach is what used to work doesn't work for me anymore.

This used to help you sleep. My body would get back to normal. If I did this, I used to be able to bounce back to exercise. And so really letting go and feeling that loss of what you used to know to be true and reestablishing what you need now to be true so that you're focusing on what's most important to you right now.

Katie

That's true. And I think we all enjoy finding what does work for us. It's like, Oh, this situation comes up. Here's what I do about it. Right. I have my go tos. So that can feel really uncomfortable and bother, bother us whenever we realize, well, shoot, I used to have this strategy for stress management or whatever it might be. And now I'm finding this isn't working. So what do I do? And people may even have moments of, of a panic or, you know what now? So I think that's a really good point shifting through our different life phases and learning what works for us in this time in our lives is a good point.

You know, it just made me think about how my situation, you know, I am, I am premenopausal having a baby last year experiencing my own feelings of grief and loss during that time. I mean, it was the amazing time, love my baby, all of that. But at the same time, it was like, wow, this whole new life, right. That I've never experienced before. I've never been a mom until then. And some, you know, re relearning who I identified with as my sense of self and my norm. Right. And just, you know, and not of course body changes. And we talk about how the media really focuses on body image a lot and how frustrating that is. But yeah, that just brings to mind my experience with that. I mean, looking back you know, a year later I feel like I have found my new normal and what works, but in the moment last July, 2019, it was like, wow, what did I, what did I get myself into here with this huge change? Right. So perhaps, you know, many of us can relate to this, whether it be a slow, gradual change that you may experience or a drastic life change that comes on all of a sudden.

Kathleen

And I listened to your other podcast about grief and some of the words of wisdom around resiliency. And I think people who have had children and who have gone through that change and we've all gone through adolescents and to be able to remember that not feeling like we were ourselves and our bodies were not our own. I remember constantly saying, I felt like an alien had taken over my body and then she came out and then she was on my body sense of like not being separate. And really now realizing, you know, now that she's 17 is just, all of the process has been letting go. And there's a lot that resiliency, if you could look back and say, Oh, I made it through that. I remember thinking I wasn't gonna be able to make it through that. And then also drawing from other people who have gone through it and finding some mentors and role models who have gone before you, I think is also really, really powerful.

Katie

That's so true. I remember a lot of friends who were managed really reaching out to me during that time and that made a world of difference and meant a lot to me because it was like, you get it right. You know, how hard this is. And I didn't know how hard, how hard this was until now, but wow. You know, having that community support system is, is very helpful. And that's what I love that we're doing here at Gennev with, with menopause, really making it normalized and making this community, having it accessible here. I mean, I think that's, that's crucial. We're all gonna go through menopause at one point or the other just as women. And so, you know, how can we really focus on that time in our life and make the most of it rather than having this fearful, I don't know what to do or who to talk to during this time, you know?

Kathleen

Yeah. I think a couple other things is it's also a time in life that people are experiencing changes in their work life. Yeah, no, maybe not being as satisfied or driven like they remember being earlier in life. There's a lot of talk about historically about the sandwich generation. A lot of times people wait to have kids. So when they're going through menopause, they still have kids in the house and they have aging parents. And so they have a lot more needs as far as caregiving goes. When going through this and potentially even, you know, adult children that can't leave home because of the circumstances right now. And I think that, I think that those, those elements of how modern day life is right now also are taking a toll on people are physically and emotionally going through this hormonal.

Katie

Yeah. Speaking of that, what are your thoughts on grief and loss being intensified by menopause and menopausal symptoms?

Kathleen

Yeah, I definitely feel like I feel like all of it can be intensified, especially if we're not attending to it. So if we're not attending and speaking openly about it, it's kind of like what you said about having a group of friends. I'm really glad that you had that when you were going through having a baby post-baby because if it's not talked about openly and we have generations ahead of us that didn't talk about it openly. And we learned to do that. So I think that having that kind of support so that the key to grieving and the key to emotional regulation is to actually feel it and go through it. And I know many times as a coach and among friends, I've been told, you know, if I stop start crying, I think I'm never gonna stop. Or if I start raging or actually expressing my anger, I feel like I'm going to do a lot of damage. So it's that thing of needing to stifle or not show what it's really like to go through. And that kind of modeling really shuts down the conversation and the ability to grieve that can be exacerbated by any kind of stress, but there's a physiological stress that's going on with menopause that can exacerbate anything that's not being attended to.

Katie

Oh, that's so true. I had a question come through. You know, what if something traumatic happens in life are the hormonal shifts I'm experiencing intense intensifying what I'm feeling.

Kathleen

Yeah. I think that there is that potential and that, you know, trauma right now is getting a lot of attention because of so many reasons. And I think attended to past hurts and trauma that again, have not been healed and attended to that. They come to the surface and I think it's that entering the unknown, not really being sure and not feeling yourself, things that you used to have in your skill, basket and tool basket that used to work for you or not working that, that then all of a sudden there's a sense of loss. And then and then it's easy to spiral down and it could be intensified. So getting that support and allowing yourself to have the feelings because feelings don't, they're not rational, right. So it's not about figuring it out. It's about offering space so that people can feel their feelings, be heard, be understood, feel cared about and then get to the other side. So you can actually access that thinking part of your brain, because when we're under stress and emotionally driven, we can't think, and we don't make good decisions.

Katie

Oh, that's so true. Stress really takes a toll on our bodies and minds and a lot of different ways. And, you know, we briefly mentioned earlier with COVID this year, the pandemic a lot of people are feeling isolated and losing that routine. Can you talk about grief and loss for women who may be experiencing those feelings losing what's been normal just even this year with what's going on?

Kathleen

Yeah, I do think that one that I would say is reaching out and not feeling alone and really, really finding the people that are safe to talk with. And I think that that has been rocked. So people aren't necessarily in agreement in the same household about how to deal with COVID and what safety majors that household is going to take. So there's there. And then there's tension among them neighbors and friends and communities because of black lives matter and that's being brought to the surface. And so, and then nobody really knows what the future's going to look like with their job, where they're gonna live the economy. Are they going to be able to travel? I know you love Disneyland. We had tickets to Disneyland then Disney world it's like, is that, that was like a routine thing, a tradition and ritual that we had in our family that's been lost.

And so just to recognize how am I going to be able to adjust those kinds of things. And then also, you know, recognizing that that's a luxury for so many people to even be thinking that way. So there's lots to attend to, and I think I'm fine finding a place that is safe and loving and can be a model of uncommon love and acceptance for all these feelings that most of us don't know how to make sense of this. We don't know what this is, this time period is going to be called and what it's going to look like a year from now, you know? So I do think, yeah, I do think it's really important and I think that's where a coach can come in because some people say right now, it's just too hard to be able to do that in their household or with their loved ones, because they're worried about the emotional balance and stress with their loved ones that they usually lean on.

Katie

That's a good point. So I was going to ask to you how someone, if they feel like they don't have anyone, they can reach out to you, how would they find that? And I mean, I think working with a coach, such as you at yourself, you could help them. You could, you know, really personalize it to them and help them find people or places to reach out to for support any other thoughts on that?

Kathleen

Yeah. And I think it's important to call out if someone really feels like past traumas coming up. I think a therapist, a grief therapist, you know, who's trained in therapy is appropriate there. And I also think finding communities where people are openly talking about what it is that you're going through. So I know that there's some groups. I know that there's support groups. I know that when I, I went on to your doctor board and format of asking questions and seeing other people answer things, there were a few things where I was like, Oh, this is really great because somebody is calling out a symptom that I never thought was a symptom of menopause.

I just thought I was experiencing this for, I had no idea that other people that this could be related to hormone, disruption or menopause. So I think the normalization is really important and connection. So it would look different for different people. I do think that groups can be really inviting. It helps normalize. What I love about doing group work is that you can learn so much from one another and it can really, really to have someone who has an opposing view or a different view can really broaden your scope of understanding and about what it's like to be going through grief and loss. And then also to help with finding a deeper meaning when you're having a hard time, but listening to someone else who's finding deeper meaning or able to move through and see each other's progression that can be really helpful if it feels unsafe or you don't feel like you can really abide by the rules or you feel like you need one on one attention. Then I think one on one coaching is really appropriate.

Katie

Now with the group coaching. I'm curious about that. Is that something, something that you can find out for and other people you don't know or also in that group? Or is it more of like a friends and family situation?

Kathleen

Yeah. Yeah. It's you know, it's an interesting, when I did groups before, I would always try to separate out family. It didn't always work time-wise and schedule wise for people. And the reason is, is because there's often pretenses and role play in our relationship. So it's good not to be in the same. So it usually is people that you don't know, and it's not necessarily your friends so that you really can show up authentically and not have to worry about often what happens is it comes from a really good place, but we start taking care of another person, or we're worried about what we say it's going to hurt us. So it's really, it really is an act of self care to separate out and do something just for yourself and really be able to show up authentically and bear those emotions and be able to say hard and difficult things too, I think is important with grief.

Katie

Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. And I'm thinking on some specifics on emotional health, someone had a question, how do I know if I'm raging? It's a new thing for me.

Katheen

Yeah. I think it's a thing of so I think it w that container's always important. So raging is, is really, what's the impact that I'm going to have on someone else if I'm, if I'm raging. So I think we can, I mean, there's all kinds of videos that are kind of funny about this with people raging. And I remember at a, at a really young age for my daughter learning you know, just to put up a pillow and ask her to punch it as hard as she wants, like just to get that out of her system and to find ways not to you know, hurt herself potentially, or, or grab the dog, stuff like that. And it's kind of like, okay, I'm going to start punching things. And I think it's this thing to realize that emotions don't stay stagnant, that they actually move through you, if you actually allow them to move to really allow them to.

And so I think it's important to name it and just say, I'm really angry. This is what anger feels like. This is what rage might feel like. Like, I feel like I want to actually literally rip the door off the wall or something. And you start realizing like, huh, that's new. That feels really extreme. And that, you know, some pent up anger, which, you know, if you're angry, if you're, you know, if hormones are going like this family and had a good night's sleep, that all that can contribute to that. So I think I think the thing that, that we worry about emotionally is it's, then you get stuck and you become hostile and it becomes your new normal way that you relate to things. So again, it's important to feel those feelings so that we don't kind of get locked in and start labeling and judging ourselves, but that to feel angry, the nice thing about anger that because a lot of women don't feel like they can be angry or it's not polite to be angry.

I know my family, it was like, don't be mad and then it was like don’t cry. And so when you that down, it it's like, there's no way for it to move. So it kind of sneaks out and in a not very visible way. So to be able to say, I'm really angry, I need a break or I need to just, you know get out of the house or I need to do a punching bag moves, or I need to go for a run. And sometimes we're not really skillful. And I think that also owning that is like all of a sudden I'm in new territory, I'm having feelings and emotions like that. They come on me really quick and it's out of my mouth and that's not like me. And I'm really sorry. And again, it requires a safe space to do that, but to be able to acknowledge so that you feel like you're really, really being seen and heard and you're addressing it, I think is so important.

Katie

Yeah. That safe space space is crucial. I mean, whenever you open up and share your thoughts and feelings, I mean, having that safe space allows you to feel confident about being able to do that. Talking it through, I mean, it's huge. I know I have enjoyed journaling, so that's another thing some people enjoy doing, you know, getting the thoughts out of your head, right.

Especially if you're a deep thinker and you have a lot on your mind just ways that you can get them out in a productive, helpful manner is crucial.

Kathleen

Yeah. But it's also okay when we're in this new norm to screw up. I think that I really want to get that across to like, it's okay to all of a sudden you're in this new place and really you can adapt and get new skills. But I think especially if you're in you know, lifelong relationships, I know I talk with my sisters often about this and it's like, well, that hasn't been, you know, we're not even gonna think that cause that's not the way you are normally, you know, so it's, it's really nice to also get that feedback so that you can get grounded again in it.

Katie

True.

Kathleen

You're making me think of Francis Weller wrote a book and talks about the five phases of grief. And I think that Gates of grief and he talks about you know, also grieving things that never will be and things that we've never recognized in ourselves or ever became.

And I think that I like the word menopause, just the pause. Like it really is a time because of so many things changing, physiologically that you do have to slow down, your body's not cooperating, it's not going full force. And I think it is a time that we pause and reflect and grief really can come up. It's definite Mark, where if you wanted to have children and haven't had children that grief will come up, your childbearing years are over. And also that sense of being a mom is shifting and changing. And there's a lot of societal cultural value of being a mom. We get a lot of kudos for being a parent. And so to be able to let that go. So I think attending to, you know, the, the grief that maybe not be so tangible and listened to that, and I think journaling and having some quiet time to be able to reflect on what's meaningful for you. Some of that stuff will start to come up.

Katie

Yeah, that's lovely. I had a question come through. You mentioned a poor sleep potentially impacting emotions, mood and grief. When I'm grieving, I often feel tired and have trouble sleeping. Do you have any suggestions on supporting sleep during grief?

Kathleen

I don't know if you guys have a protocol for sleep cause so feel free to jump in here. I do think that I would let yourself off the hook about that. I do think that asleep schedule's really, really helpful. So trying to stick to a schedule, even if you're having difficulty, I think ritual and routine is really key for good sleep and good habit making and feeling your best physically, even going through loss and grief and menopause all alike. So I think having a bedtime and a wake time you stick to and then experimenting with different things. I do think if you find yourself getting to bed I was working with somebody who said she put off getting to bed so much because her husband had passed away. And so she just kept putting it off and putting it off and didn't want to be in the bedroom.

And so really stepping back and realizing that that needs to be addressed. So if you're going to bed and you're overthinking, then you don't want to stay in bed. You want to get up and actually journal so that you don't, you don't want to lay him down, keep ruminating about not being able to fall asleep because then that is not relaxing and comforting. You want it to be super inviting. Like I can't wait to get to bed. And so how can I turn that around? And then I think grieving, it's really, really normal to need to sleep and rest and to feel fatigued if you're grieving, totally normal, really normal. And again everyone's different. So when you hear, I think one of the tough things about allowing yourself to be open about grieving is that people will say they want to back to the new norm.

People want old Kathleen back, let's say. And so that there's this pressure. And so allowing yourself not to put a timetable on your grief and allowing yourself to get the rest when you're really fatigued and listening to your body. But I do think having a routine and some systematic way of getting on a sleep schedule is really important. Cause it can start wrecking habit with, you know, eating schedules. So schedules, ability to think and process and be really disruptive. And then that leads to, you know a whole beating yourself up saying that can be problematic and mood wise. It's really difficult. Do you have any recommendations that are, that you want to add to that?

Katie

Well I mean, I think everything you said is spot on we can work, we can go into all the details. I feel like there's so many things that may be helpful.

They are very individualized. I mean, keeping our room cool. For example, especially if you experience hot flashes. I mean, I think that's a huge one. I think it was 68 degrees or so. They, that they recommend as being the perfect temperature for our bedroom. Perfect. Whatever that means. But I, I think that the list can go on and on, but I love what you said about, you know, if you're laying in bed ruminating having me fonts, get up, do something else and work through that.

Kathleen

Right. I do think that, sorry. I would feel really bad not addressing that. I think a lot of people have is just getting off a computer, getting off the phone and getting off the TV because the light really does. And the stimulation really, really does. We live in the light that can have a huge impact giving yourself an hour.

And then because food's been thrown off, I know caffeine and alcohol to be really disruptive.

Katie

It really can. I know I'm very sensitive to caffeine. I cannot handle more than like a cup a day and it has to be in the morning. It's ridiculous. So yeah, some people are very sensitive to that, that type of thing. Yeah. And you know, what amidst you sharing all of that. You mentioned that for grief, there's really no specific time that you can expect for you to be through that, that feeling. Can you speak a little more to that too?

Kathleen

Yeah, I think you know, I think being able to name specifically the loss that you've had and the meaning that loss has, has had in your life and what it is that you've lost. I think that recognizing, allowing yourself to feel it. And then I think it's that the idea. In saying that is that all of a sudden, you might think that you're over it because you're feeling better. I don't know if you've had this experience with losing a loved one or losing a job or losing a pet. And then all of a sudden that loss comes back to you and it's out of the blue. It could be that a song came on or I know after losing my dad, it would be food or it would be this memory of something that we did together. And I went to do it and I would have this flood of emotions and I would find myself back with that sense of loss and grief. And I think what's important is if we have really loved something or loved someone to grief is gonna continue and we get more skilled at managing it, but some of us may feel that intense grief for a really long time, especially when we're talking about life partners, which is a reality in midlife.

Many women's partners pass away or they've lost their health or an aspect of capability physically to be able to do things that they did before. And so allowing it to be what it is for you, even if you have a friend who went through the same loss, doesn't experience it the same way. I think the judgment that came up in the other grief talk that you guys had. And I thought it was a beautiful point is having a lot of compassion when it comes up, instead of telling ourselves that we should be over this, or it shouldn't be this big of a deal, or what's wrong with me if I'm this, and it's not that big of a loss compared to somebody else, I think that's happening right now for people to try and to minimize emotions.

Katie

Yeah. I love that. Just to remain, remembering, not to compare yourself to others, knowing it's your own personal situation and the grief being ongoing. So I think that's a good call out to you because, you know, we may think, okay, well I'm feeling this now. I won't always feel this way, but you said we can get more skilled. You know, we may continue actually feeling these feelings but just get more skilled in how to manage them.

Kathleen

We've really lost some of our traditions about coming together and grieving over time. I know that there's lots of talk about, you know, having the loss of funeral services right now and the way of gathering and being able to gather, but our typical way of doing it is someone passes away and we set up a, a service and we're done with it. And we return back to our lives as if within three weeks, because we were able to do that, that, that degree from mourning is over. And I think historically there was a lot more put into place for people to be able to come to their community and grieve together and for it to be a lot more acceptable, but to get back to the pace of life and get back to work and, you know,

Pull yourself up and go is a lot more of what can make us feel like we're not in the right or something's wrong when we still really need to go.

Katie

Yeah. That's a good point. Yeah. Our support systems have definitely shifted, I mean through time, but also even just with like we've mentioned dependent mic and everything going on. So that's a really good point. Well we've got about seven minutes or so left. I have a couple more questions that have come through that I'd love to address before we wrap things up. Is talking with your loved ones sufficient around grief or menopause, or should I reach out to a coach or grief counselor?

Kathleen

Hmm. You know, that's a good question. I think just depending on, if you feel heard and your needs are met within your house, I think it's important to always communicate what it's like for you with your loved ones, because a spouse does it, no one ever knows what it's like for someone else's experience, but especially when we can talk about emotions, like I really feel sad or I really feel exhausted. We can relate to emotions. We can relate to that feels like if I say I'm really stressed, cause I'm going. Cause I think I'm menopausal. That doesn't mean anything to my household anyway. So it's important. And then I think if you feel like you need more support, because I think it's, if we can say is what would feel supportive to our household and we're able to get that that's one thing, but if we're not able to figure that out on our own and if we're not able to receive that, then I think it's really, really nice to have a support system beyond our family.

I know just even walks with dear friends, I'll say, Oh, thank God I did that because getting somebody who's my age with kids, my age, my child's age. And also yeah, we're in the same world, we're in the same neighborhood, you know? So yeah

Katie

I love that. And speaking more on emotional health and emotions there's a question around after menopause, how can I maintain my emotional health, getting others to understand what I'm going through?

Kathleen

Yeah. I think we can't necessarily make sure people can understand us, communicate as best we can, what it's like to be us. And I do think that as a coach, I do think that there's a huge value in people being able to be heard in a way in our relationship. Sometimes there's other things that are coming in, goodness knows right now we have a lot of distractions, right.

So that are pulling our attention and our loved ones attention away. But I do think getting skilled at being able to talk about our emotions openly and what it feels like, and to ask for understanding or to ask, what is it that you heard me say? And then if you have a need to say, can I get support this way? Would you be willing to help me with these things, these things, because I'm exhausted, like the person who's having a hard time sleeping, would you be willing to help more around the house? Or could you help me with, maybe they get to bed on time? Can you go to bed at the same time? So you're not waking me. That kind of thing I think can be really, really helpful. I know too. I just had, when we were talking about what supportive and having role models, I have this wonderful woman in my life now who's older.

And I remember talking about my daughter graduating and going off to college. And she would, her response was like, what a wonderful time this is right now. Or you have a chance to rediscover and reinvent yourself with all that energy that used to go into raising that beautiful daughter years. And I thought, yeah, what a refund, right? You're getting these certifications. And I was like, Oh, is that what I'm doing? So it's really, really also move toward those people who are understanding and who can reflect back to you in a, in a really accurate way. I think that, that makes it difficult if we've gone through these difficult times of pregnancy adolescence and it wasn't reflected and it wasn't safe and our needs were neglected where we were shamed or, or violated many women that then it feels really, really unsafe to actually find that connection.

So I think if you can't get your emotional support by your friends and family and community, which has become more difficult right now, because we don't have the ways to get out there that we used to. Right. Think a coach, a therapist, and groups, even doing something low, low engagement, like reading your forum. I think as a first start, just to see that's a great point. You can find your people.

Katie

Yeah. That's so true. The online forum for chat features, those are great options too, just as a good starting point in Kathleen, how, if someone's experiencing grief and loss and they would like to work with you, how can they help? How can they find you? How can they work with you?

Kathleen

Yeah. Yeah. I think the easiest is to go to my website and I'm so glad it's up. Yes. I was looking at it like amazing.

Yeah. So it's Kathleen Putnam, it's my name.net. And then my nutrition coaching practice is nutrition works, seattle.com and they linked to each other. And I did that to keep them separate. Although I do think that there's a lot of overlap that happens just emotional stress sometimes. Yeah. You're saying that leads us to want to take control of our food, but the underlying issues really are around stress and emotions that are driving the eating.

Katie

That's so true. It's very interconnected. So that's a really good point. Well, we're about to the end here today. Kathleen, thank you so much for joining in. It's been amazing. I see someone coming in saying this has been very informative, so thank you so much for your time and exciting. Next week we have another podcast webinar at 1:00 PM on Thursday with Mary Purdy, another fellow registered dietitian nutritionist in colleague. And she's going to be speaking with Facey on the topic of environmental toxins and detoxification. So I am looking forward to hearing that and thank you everyone for joining in. We'll see you next week.

Kathleen

Thank you. Thanks for having me.

 

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