When you’re going through menopause it can sometimes feel like you’re on a never-ending rollercoaster.
Changing oestrogen levels can contribute to unwelcome ‘tropical moments’ even in the depths of winter. And we can sometimes feel like we’re in a constant state of severe PMS, feeling irritable, anxious, moody, tired, weepy and even aggressive.
Lifestyle changes can also make a big difference. It can often be a case of making a few small tweaks and adjustments rather than a major overhaul – for example, learning simple ways to relax and reduce stress.
Here are my seven top tips to help you handle your fluctuating hormones:
1 Get fresh air and exercise. It doesn’t have to involve morning boot camp rituals in the local park – walking briskly in the fresh air for 20 minutes a day can boost those feel-good hormones.
2 Find a self-calming practice that suits you. These will help you remain mindful, in the ‘now’, taking your focus away from worries and anxieties. Meditation, yoga and Tai Chi are excellent. For an emergency strategy you can employ rhythmic breathing e.g. breathe in slowly to the count of four, pause, breathe out slowly to the count of four, pause again and repeat. Always concentrating on your breath, bringing it down from high up in your chest to your stomach. Relax and really feel your stomach move in and out with each breath.
3 Do something creative. Knit, sew, paint, crochet, anything that distracts you from your feelings. I love doing the colouring-in books for grown ups that you can find everywhere now. I bought one with 50 pages over a year ago thinking I’d have them all completed within six months. I haven’t even finished one of them!
4 Avoid caffeine and alcohol. They increase your stress hormones which have priority over all others.
5 Make time for your family and friends. Staying connected is important. As our emotions hit a low point it’s easy to become cut-off, isolated and less motivated to socialise.
6 Ask for help if you need it. As women we are experts at ‘coping’, but there should be neither shame nor guilt in asking for help. You’ll probably find that people are very willing and happy to do so.
7 Do something that helps others. This one action nurtures so many of our basic human needs you are practically guaranteed to feel good about yourself after.
The rollercoaster ride doesn’t last forever but while you’re on it remember, there is always something you can do to help yourself.
Vibrant Life is a membership programme designed to help you manage menopause symptoms and achieve long-term health and weight-loss goals in a natural way.