Change is not something most people can entirely avoid. One such development that women tend to navigate at some point in their lives is menopause. Many women find this to be a particularly challenging period, due to a combination of factors ranging from immediate physical discomfort to cognitive disruptions.
It’s important to recognize that the inevitability of menopause doesn’t make you powerless. There are actions you can take to mitigate and manage the symptoms effectively. This isn’t necessarily dependent on hormone replacements or other treatments prescribed by medical professionals. Rather, taking adaptive steps in different areas of your daily wellness can positively impact how you navigate menopause.
We’re going to look at some of the ways you can combat menopausal symptoms with self-care.
You likely already know that your dietary choices have an impact on various areas of your physical and mental wellness. Similarly, some aspects of your nutrition can influence your menopause symptoms. One of the most important areas of self-care during this time is establishing a balanced diet that helps you address your needs.
On a physical basis, one of the more common and frustrating symptoms of menopause is hot flashes. Studies have shown that the frequency of hot flashes can be reduced by incorporating more fruits, vegetables, fibre, and soy into the diet. It’s also not unusual to experience disrupted sleep during this time, which can impact your energy levels. You may also find that introducing more good-quality proteins such as eggs and fish can help you address symptoms related to lower muscle density.
It’s important to understand too that any changes you make in your diet can impact your mental health. Working with a nutritional psychologist can give you practical insights into the link between food and symptoms of depression or anxiety. They can also guide you in making dietary plans that allow you to navigate your mental health related to menopause alongside ensuring that you don’t trigger or exacerbate other psychological symptoms.
We all know that exercise is generally considered essential to a healthy lifestyle. It can also help you to combat some of the symptoms of menopause. This isn’t necessarily a cure by any means. Nevertheless, this form of self-care can help train your body to better cope with menopause and improve your quality of life during this challenging time.
This doesn’t have to be centred on particularly strenuous activities. Even gentle routines can be impactful when performed regularly. Indeed, incorporating sports can add an element of socialization that may help during periods of low mood. Not to mention that a commitment to daily exercise is more conducive to minimizing common sleep disruptions during menopause, which also supports your overall mental wellness.
Many women also find that hormonal changes and simply the stage of life can result in varicose veins. Effective ways to treat varicose veins can include minimally invasive surgical procedures, such as radiofrequency ablation and ambulatory phlebectomy. However, you can manage the symptoms of varicose veins during menopause with exercise that stimulates circulation. Walking, routines that elevate your feet, and even avoiding staying in one position when walking are all helpful here.
Meditation and Mindfulness
Menopause can be a stressful and anxiety-ridden time for a lot of women. This can certainly be considered a direct psychological symptom of menopause, alongside the other experiences of mood changes and brain fog. However, it’s important to also understand that your approach to managing your state of mind can also influence symptoms. One recent study found that women with higher mindfulness scores experienced fewer other symptoms of menopause.
Therefore, it’s worth adopting meditation and mindfulness practices into your self-care routine. One of the things that tends to put people off such activities is the impression that this requires a lot of time or is linked to specific spiritual traditions. In fact, they’re practical steps that you can likely fit around your day. Even simply sitting quietly for 5 minutes a day can be impactful.
Start with some deep breathing exercises and aim to stay in the present moment. This can help you to better recognize and address difficult thoughts and feelings you experience. It can also become part of a response for managing symptoms like hot flashes. While mindfulness can’t cure the physical symptoms, being able to control your breathing and the stress response can minimize the associated discomfort.
You may also find it helpful to combine your mindfulness and meditation with other activities. There are many yoga and guided meditation groups designed for women living with the symptoms of menopause. You might also benefit from meditative walks in nature, experiencing the sound of the surf as you walk along the beach or listening to the birds in wooded areas to induce a sense of calm.
A commitment to regular self-care can effectively combat many of the symptoms of menopause. Incorporating certain foods into your diet can address specific physical and psychological challenges. Gentle exercise routines can help everything from sleep quality to varicose veins. A frequent meditation and mindfulness practice is also considered vital for managing hot flashes and maintaining your mood. Menopause is rarely an easy experience, but your self-care routines can empower you to navigate it.