9 Tips to Stay Positive During Menopause
October 23, 2014
Menopause can be such a challenging time. Hormonally, it can cause undesirable side effects that leave you feeling tired, grouchy, and fat. Your kids may be just fleeing the nest or, if you got started in your 30s or 40s, you may have teenagers or toddlers who are driving you crazy. Then, there are the psychological and emotional issues that come up for many women who view their transition through menopause as the end of youth – and fertility– as they knew it.
Regardless of how menopause is treating you, these 9 tips can help you remain positive, can reduce the side effects of menopause and make feel a little more energized along the way.
- Eat for your menopausal health. What’s your diet looking like these days? Many of the side effects of menopause, like weight gain and fatigue, can be compounded by a diet that is high in sugars, processed carbohydrates and unhealthy fats. Use this time in your life to eat the well-rounded diet you know you should, full of fresh fruits and veggies, leafy greens, nuts, lean meats and whole grains.
- Exercise. The decrease in estrogen and progesterone during menopause leaves you at elevated risk for things like heart disease, type 2 diabetes and osteoporosis. Your healthier diet (see #1) is a step in the right direction. Regular exercise – at least 3 – 5 times per week – is another great step. Mix both cardio workouts (great for burning calories and getting that heart in shape) and weight bearing exercises (important for increasing bone mass) for best results.
- Re-invent yourself. Okay, not entirely (unless you want to). But this transition in your life can serve as a spring board for self-improvement and growth. You may have lost little parts of yourself along the road to marriage and childhood, so reclaim what you miss and cultivate hobbies, interests, and friendships that will bring you closer to who you want to be.
- Celebrate your lack of periods. Remember all the times you were caught in a public place or an inopportune moment by your period? Celebrate the fact that you can say “adios!” to pads, tampons, cramps, PMS and all the other things that come along with the menstrual cycle.
- Visit your OBGYN. If you suspect you have started menopause, schedule an appointment with your OBGYN. She can educate you in regards to exactly your body is going through and present a variety of options to help alleviate any unwanted or undesirable side effects.
- Celebrate a whole, new sexual YOU! For many women in menopause, sex has never been better. Having your kids out of the house can mean a whole new level of sexual freedom for you and your partner – take advantage of it! If lack of libido is an issue, your healthcare provider can help you determine the right solution, whether it be something as simple as using over the counter lubricants to make sex more comfortable/pleasurable or hormone therapy to help ease your body’s natural transition.
- Take care of your skin. Another side-effect of decreased estrogen levels is less skin elasticity and moisture. Make your skin a priority, using gentle cleansers and moisturizers on a regular basis. Treat each morning and evening like a mini-spa session; the TLC will be restorative and your skin will look radiant.
- Update your vitamin supply. Talk to your healthcare provider about your vitamin and mineral supplements. This may be the time to increase your intake of calcium, magnesium, D, folic acid, B vitamins and others.
- Focus on yourself. Have you learned to say, “No,” yet? Most women in menopause have spent the past several decades caring for everyone else. This is the time to start taking care of yourself. Learning to say, “No,” will allow you to gain more time, sleep, relaxation, etc. in your life, and all of these will help you to weather the menopause storm more gracefully.
What things helped you get through menopause with a smile on your face? Give us your favorite tips in the comment box below.
Have questions about your own menopausal transition? Schedule an appointment with Women’s Health KC.