As a woman, you have lived with periods all your life. Bearing the menstrual cramps, mood swings, body pain, nausea and headache for all those years, how would you feel when your periods end for good, never to begin again?
Yes, we’re talking about menstruation. A natural part in a woman’s life when their reproductive years come to an end. It may come as a relief, but somewhere mixed are negative emotions, such as anxiety and fear.
Menopause is a natural cycle of life for women, but the transition isn’t something to dread. Your body goes through changes that impact your health and well-being.
However, there are many things you can do to take care of yourself during menopause. Below we offer our top ten menopause self-care tips to mitigate symptoms and help you transition into this turbulent phase of life.
Before talking about that, it’s important we understand why self care is vital during this time.
Why is self care important when you hit menopause?
Health maintenance during menopause is vital due to hormonal changes and associated health risks.
The decline in oestrogen levels can lead to symptoms like hot flashes and mood swings. Prioritising bone health through exercise and a calcium-rich diet is also crucial to counteract the increased risk of osteoporosis.
Most importantly, as postmenopausal women face elevated cardiovascular risks, leading a heart-healthy lifestyle, including regular exercise and balanced nutrition, are essential.
Mental health is also affected, and practices like meditation can support emotional balance. Pelvic health can be maintained through exercises and a healthy weight.
Menopause may also affect sleep quality. Adopting good sleep hygiene practices is beneficial. Overall, prioritising a healthy lifestyle during menopause helps prevent chronic conditions, manage symptoms, and ensure a smoother transition into this life stage.
Self-care tips during menopause
During this period of transition, self-care is hugely important. This is a time for women to focus on their health and happiness.
Certain lifestyle factors listed below can affect how you feel during the menopause.
Reassess your diet
Current evidence suggests that simple dietary changes can make a big difference. Consumption of certain foods can help to reduce moderate to severe hot flashes. It is recommended that you eat a diet low in salt and saturated fat. Make sure you include probiotics and prebiotics in your diet along with necessary menopausal dietary components – calcium, vitamin D, unsaturated fats, fibre and antioxidants. Focus on smaller portion sizes. Fasting, also called time-restricted eating, has also been shown to be beneficial. Avoid fad diets which are not healthy and not sustainable.
Light-to-moderate-intensity exercise is one of the best ways to maintain physical health. It is particularly helpful for increasing bone strength during menopause. Aim for at least 2-3 hours of moderate aerobic activity each week. Weight-bearing exercises such as walking and running are particularly effective.
In addition to physical exercise, relaxation and stress-reduction techniques, such as deep-breathing exercises, yoga, massage, and stretching exercises, can help to manage menopause-related symptoms.
Reduce your alcohol intake
Menopausal women must limit their alcohol intake to no more than one glass of alcohol per day. They are particularly vulnerable to anxiety and depression, which heavy drinking can exacerbate Also, several studies suggest that, in pre-and postmenopausal women, alcohol consumption can trigger hot flashes due to dilation of blood vessels.
Research studies indicate that smoking can make menopausal symptoms, such as hot flashes and heart palpitations, worse. Results of the studies indicate that women who quit smoking were less likely to suffer from hot flashes, than women who continued to smoke.
Look after your skin
Menopause can harm your skin in ways you may not have anticipated. Oestrogen deficiency during and after menopause can cause noticeable changes in your skin, often causing it to become drier, less plump or less elastic. Hot flashes can cause redness, and changing hormone levels may cause acne. Use skincare products that contain essential antioxidants and other anti-ageing ingredients.
Go for regular health screening
It is vital to go for preventive health screenings such as colonoscopy, mammography and triglyceride screening. during menopause. Your body undergoes changes and these screenings test for some of the most common issues that arise during this time.
One of the most important things you can do to look after yourself during menopause is to reach out to your doctor to discuss the health risks associated with oestrogen loss.
Staying hydrated in menopause is very important. Water contains various nutrients, minerals, electrolytes, that our brains and bodies need. During menopause, dryness is often an issue due to decrease in oestrogen levels. Drinking 8 to 12 glasses of water a day can help with these symptoms. Drinking water can also reduce hot flashes and bloating that can occur with hormonal changes.
Menopause is not an illness or a disorder. It’s a natural part of biological ageing that happens to 100 per cent of women at some stage of their lives. Medical research clearly depicts that menopause doesn’t indicate the beginning of the end of quality of life.
There is no doubt that most women find the symptoms associated with oestrogen depletion difficult to traverse. But, eating the right diet and exercising regularly may help alleviate and prevent them.Experiment with the tips above to start a whole new, fulfilling chapter in your life.