In spite of a rough reputation, menopause is a natural part of life for anyone with a period. Menopause (and all the changes leading up to it) is part of a major transitional time that can feel more than a little jarring. The more community and information you have, the more empowered you’ll feel while change is afoot. In that spirit, here are a few hands-on ways to help get comfortable with your symptoms.
Invest In Your Mental Health
Menopause or not, every person should prioritize their mental health. According to the APA, anxiety has increased in about 40 percent of Americans in the past year alone. Anxiety and depression are some of the least-talked-about but most common symptoms of menopause, and it’s so important to recognize when it’s time to reach out for some help.
Also know that mental health looks different for different people: if therapy isn’t for you, try an exercise regimen to burn off extra energy, cut back on caffeine, or even make a point of confiding more often in friends. The more resources you can equip yourself with, the better you’ll be able to roll with the changes that are inevitably coming your way.
Commit To Good Sleep and Relaxation
Learning to relax is a super important skill to master for those times when life gets a little too overwhelming. Essential oils, candles, and other olfactory tricks are proven to reduce stress and anxiety and thus aid in feeling more rested.
To take your relaxation practice one step further, there are tons of mindfulness and meditation apps on the market now that help you learn to create calm, no matter what’s going on around you.
When you’re considering your options, make sure your relaxation practice feels sustainable for you. It should be something you can easily incorporate into your daily and weekly routine because the best practice is one, you’ll actually look forward to everyday.
Own Your Climate Control
Hot flashes aren’t a given in perimenopause or menopause, but they’re a big reason why this time in a woman’s life gets such a bad rap. Up to 80 percent of women experience thermoregulation issues and can lead to some of us having to navigate hot flashes for the rest of our lives.
That said, there are many ways to keep cool year-round. The key is not to shy away from some of the more creative tricks to drop your temp. Don’t hesitate to try everything from handheld fans to slipping a gel cooling mat marketed for dogs underneath your pillow at night to achieve the comfort you crave. Whether it’s a cup of ice, a good old fashioned wet rag in the freezer, or a mat from the pet store, you just need to find the solution that’s best for your body.
Listen To Your Body
It’s hard to ignore your body when it’s in alternating states of heatstroke and restlessness, but intense menopause symptoms can actually eclipse other messages your body is trying to communicate. Sometimes undetected conditions like nutrient deficiencies or thyroid problems, can actually intensify your symptoms. Plus, during and after menopause a woman is at increased risk for conditions like osteoporosis, bladder leaks, and cardiovascular disease. It’s important to stay in tune with your body as a whole, and not just with the new changes and symptoms demanding your attention. Be sure to regularly chat with your doctor don’t be afraid to ask questions or over-communicate your symptoms.
Because menopause is a timestamp in every woman’s life, it’s also an opportunity to reevaluate, recalibrate, and redirect anything in your life that doesn’t feel perfectly suited to you.