Menopause is a challenging time for many women. Marking a crossroad in our lives, this part of the journey stirs up a perfect storm of emotional unrest and physical change.
Inevitably, stress exacerbates the situation; and though it is impossible to eliminate stress, you can learn to manage your mental state and keep stress at bay so you – and those around you – can better cope with this hormonal roller coaster ride. Here are some ways to retain a sense of calm during menopause:
Exercise – A tremendous way to combat stress, exercise boosts the production of endorphins, which are natural “mood-lifting” and “feel good” hormones. Stress also raises our cortisol levels, and one powerful way to decrease this stress hormone is to basically use it up through exercise.
While you are engaging in a workout regimen, it’s important to keep your bones healthy and strong. Taking extra calcium in a supplement will insure your bones retain their resilience, especially since menopausal women have an increased risk of osteoporosis.
Rest – Not many women realize that even mild exhaustion can contribute to stress. But ironically, menopausal women also have trouble sleeping. Some tips before you hit the pillow: turn off the phone and TV at for at least a half hour, don’t eat for two hours, take a warm bath, and jot down your agenda for the next day to relieve your active mind.
Mindfulness – Staying focused and in the present moment will bring about a necessary inner peace. Try meditation, which has proven very helpful for so many. If that’s not your thing, an herb like Black Cohosh has been shown to reduce tension and irritability through its serotonin-like compounds.
Diet – Limit alcohol, processed foods, and sugar, which can all add to weight gain and mental fog, and inherently increase stress. Tea is a great addition to your diet, especially green tea, whose long list of virtues includes keeping you calm, increasing mental clarity, and facilitating weight loss – all priority concerns faced by menopausal women. Taking green tea in a supplement is an ideal way to add it to your daily diet.
Life Balance – All work and no play can really wreak havoc on your overall mental well-being, especially for women during menopause. Injections of joy sprinkled throughout your day, whether it’s playing music, talking with a friend, cuddling your pet, spending time with friends and family, or just doing something you that makes you smile can be a game changer. You owe it to yourself to take some time for fun, laughter, and inspiration.