High fives! The holiday season is almost upon us and it’s synonymous with festive times. But the rockin’ and rollin’ aren’t always menopause-friendly.
Indeed, we wish it could be all fun and games however it’s often wildly busy and oh-so-stressful.
There’s work to organise – especially if you’re taking a much-needed break. Then there’s decorating to do, presents to buy, kids to organise, cards to send, gift wrapping to perform, and food to prepare. Phew!
As a result, you could find yourself eating, drinking and sleeping badly and juggling even more than usual.
True confessions? We’ve been there, done that, too.
Are you feeling tense & irritable this holiday season?
Go easy on yourself. Because no matter how we like to reframe it the truth is none of the above ingredients are menopause-friendly.
In fact, they can put you on the fast track to mood swings and irritability. True story. Remember, in midlife, we cope less well with stress and the mood swings are real!
So, what’s a girl grappling with perimenopausal / menopausal symptoms to do?
Never fear. We’ve got you covered!
7 menopause-friendly ways to say cheers to your health & happiness first
1. Start self-care stat!
Put YOU at the top of your to-do list.
Reserve a minimum of ONE TO THREE HOURS to do whatever’s going to make you feel fabulous.
Mani’s, pedi’s, massages, time out are all goodies.
Or it might be taking a walk or swimming with the kids. Catching up with close friends for a Christmas long-lunch or floating around the pool.
Whatever rocks your world make this step non-negotiable. It’s not light and fluffy woo, it’s mental health nurturing.
When your self-care cup is filled to the brim, you become more “present” and better able to avoid unpredictable outbursts.
What’s more, your friends and family will love you for it. And so will you!
2. Move your beautiful body
Exercise acts like a “chill pill” so it’s super menopause and mental health-friendly.
Moreover, the science has spoken. It consistently shows that moving on the regular improves mood.
You see, the body releases neurotransmitters like endorphins, serotonin and dopamine when we move.
Often called ‘happy hormones’, they can suppress adrenalin and cortisol aka stress hormones. Indeed, we go into stress and anxiety mode when cortisol and adrenalin are triggered.
But, moving for 20-30 minutes works like magic to bring their levels down. Consequently, you’ll be able to keep your cool. Happy dance!
So, if you feel your losing the plot take a walk around the block for a lap or two. Or, if you’ve got a punching bag give it a few wallops. You could also try putting on some music and having a boogie.
Tip: Maybe ask Santa for a Fitbit or SmartWatch if you haven’t already got one?
3. Use the 90/10 or 80/20 rule
It’s the season of cocktails, wine, chocolates and pavlova.
We get it! Oh we soooo get it.
It’s also berry, melon, salad and light meal season.
The truth is the first group of food and drink will play havoc with your blood sugar, and your liver. Oftentimes, it may affect your cortisol and/or thyroid too.
You kinda know it, don’t you? But sometimes we need a reminder.
So here's a nudge:
- One of the hallmarks of an unhappy liver is anger
- Spiking blood sugar can trigger mood swings
Ultimately these guys can trigger symptoms such as hot flushes, irritability, and energy crashes.
Of course, there’s a lot more to it but you can keep it uncomplicated by focusing on reducing just those two things.
On the other hand, opting for natural, whole foods will make you feel good and even help ease unwanted signs of menopause. So make it broader and choose the fruit, veg, lean proteins and healthy fats on offer.
The 80/20 or 90/10 rule
OK. So here’s the thing. One way to get by all the tempting treats of the season is to ensure you’re filling up on fresh, whole foods 80-90% of the time.
And with the remaining, 10-20% allow yourself the odd ‘treat’.
It gives you wiggle room so you won’t experience too much FOMO (fear of missing out).
Tip to try: start your day with this protein smoothie to set you up (and help keep blood sugar stable).
Let’s cut to the chase. Given the choice what would you choose? To feel happy and in control of your menopause symptoms? Or in hormonal chaos?
4. Drink to your health
Sorry, we don’t mean oodles of cocktails, Champagne and wine!
OMGosh we love them too, but we’re talking icy water and refreshing mocktails here.
They’re your best choices if you want to manage symptoms of perimenopause / menopause well.
The good news is there are plenty of ways you can make them sing and zing!
And don’t forget the 80/20 rule (number 3 above).
You probably already know your body’s over 70% water. But you might not realise you lose hydration volume as you grow older.
And you need to be well-hydrated for things like breathing, digesting food, keeping regular and…. this is a big one for you and I…regulating your body temperature!
Plus, you’ll find if you’re experiencing night sweats or perspiring through regular hot flushes you’ll need more to keep hydrated.
A good rule of thumb? Try to go for 8-10 glasses a day.
Tip? The colour of your pee is a good indicator of whether you're well-hydrated or not. If it’s not fairly clear and light coloured you might need to drink more.
Operation hydration for the holidays
- Start each day with two glasses of water. Or make like Cameron Diaz and try a full water bottle if you can manage it
- Add fresh lemon juice to support for your liver – particularly when employing the 80/20 rule of wine
- Keep a jug of iced water in the fridge – for entertaining, have plenty of these on hand
- Try adding lemon, mint leaves, cinnamon sticks, fruit or veggies
- You can eat your water too. High water content foods include strawberries, watermelon, cucumber and lettuce
- Choose sparkling water – for a festive feeling serve it in a wine glass
- Try mocktails (see above) or iced tea
- Make a simple mojito with lime wedges, juice, mint leaves and sparkling water
5. Give feelings of calm & sleep a big hug
We know it can be tricky to keep a lid on sleep disruption and night sweats when the pressure’s on.
And added to that is when the summer heat dials up.
But there are some steps you can take to try and lighten the load.
In essence, practising every step on this list will help in a big way.
And making good sleep hygiene part of your rituals will help too.
Our gift to you is our FREE hygiene sheet which you can get here.
A few extra tips:
- Try not to stay up drinking wine and watching Netflix
- Or wrapping presents and eating chocolates
- Meet Calm. If you haven’t found the Calm app yet, it’s a treat. It has beautiful meditations and practices to help you keep…well…calm. You’ll find rituals to quieten the mind. In addition, there are white noise recordings like raindrops. Practising daily acts as a preventative as well as first aid.
6. Tell your friends & family where you’re at
So this is Christmas
We hope you have fun
The near and dear one
The old and the young
– John Lennon
We all do it different doings at holiday time.
Some of us have huge extended families. Others, more compact groups. We might be single. Widowed. Separated. Divorced. Have parents. Not have parents. Parent children. Not parent children. We might be grandparents. Or not. Spend the time with our friend posse or fur babies.
Wherever you are, if you’re struggling with menopause signs open up the conversation.
Talk to your significant other if you have one, particularly if they’re male.
And share with your sons and daughters if they’re old enough to understand.
Because one of the things that can be affected when you go through the changes of perimenopause / menopause and into post-menopause are your relationships. The key lies in understanding.
Hats off sir rod
Rocker Rod Stewart’s wife Penny Lancaster has been open about her struggle with menopause on UK television. And seriously? We couldn’t love Rod more because he’s got in on the act now too.
He told the world that men need to be educated after Penny struggled.
“I googled and googled and googled. I googled menopause so much when she was going through it. She was in a fragile situation. I just had to listen and learn and get ready for saucepans being thrown through the kitchen. It was frightening because this really wasn’t the person I married. We talked about it, which I think is the most important thing a couple can do, and she explained to me – through the tears, as Penny likes a cry – and talked it through, and that’s what couples do.”
7. Lean on
Yes indeed, it’s all fun and games. Until the to-do list gets too long. Or our perimenopause / menopause symptoms go through the roof.
Wherever you’re at, we’ve got your back.
You might be wanting to run away and gulp down a
glass bottle of wine. Alternatively, you may be feeling lonely due to loss of loved ones.
Then again, you could be feeling superbly in control. (For which we salute you!)
We understand it ALL.
And we added Happy Go Tummy® to our family because it helps the gut and digestion after all of that lovely festive food and drink. EVEN with the 80/20 rule.
We wish you the happiest of holidays and if we can help, don’t hesitate to hit us up!
Come and share with us in our private Facebook Group The 40+ Club For Ageless Goddess.
Let’s crack the lid open on premenopause, perimenopause and post-menopause.