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Self-Care Practices for Feeling Better During Menopause

Self-Care Practices for Feeling Better During Menopause

Here are five simple ways to start feeling more like yourself:

1. Move Your Body, Boost Your Mood

  • The Mood-Lifting Power of Exercise: Feeling blue, frustrated by those extra kilos, or struggling to sleep soundly? Exercise is a natural remedy! It brightens your mood, aids weight management, and promotes the deep sleep you crave. Plus, it keeps your bones strong – vital as we age.
  • Find Your Fun: The best activity is the one you actually enjoy! Perhaps brisk walks with a friend, a refreshing swim, or a gentle yoga class. Don’t forget strength training – a brilliant investment in your future strength and mobility.

2. Nourishing Foods for a Nourished You

  • Fuel Your Best Self: Eating well isn’t just about your waistline. It’s about giving your body the tools it needs to thrive during this transition. Think plenty of colourful fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins.
  • Hot Flush Help?: Some women find relief from hot flushes by including foods rich in phytoestrogens. Give soy products like tofu or edamame a try.

3. Make Time to Unwind

  • Menopause and Your Stress Levels: The changes menopause brings can leave you feeling a bit frazzled. Unfortunately, stress tends to worsen all your symptoms! Finding ways to relax has a wonderful ripple effect on your well-being.
  • Your De-stress Toolkit: Experiment with deep breathing exercises (there are helpful apps!), meditation, or a calming yoga class. Even a simple walk in nature can soothe a busy mind.

4. Prioritise Restorative Sleep

  • The Magic of Sleep: Quality rest is essential for feeling your best, both physically and mentally. Menopause, however, can make it harder to drift off. Prioritise good sleep habits – consistent bedtimes, a cool and inviting bedroom, and saving the caffeine for mornings.
  • Battling Night Sweats?: Those dreaded hot flushes can interrupt your sleep. Consider lightweight pyjamas, a bedside fan, or a cooling pillow – anything that helps keep you comfortable.

5. The Power of Connection

  • You’re Not in This Alone: Menopause is a significant life change, and sometimes it helps to talk to someone who understands. Confide in trusted friends or family, or consider joining a support group. Sharing your experiences and supporting others can be incredibly uplifting.
  • Your Doctor is Your Ally: Don’t hesitate to speak with your doctor about the changes you’re experiencing. They can provide answers, tailored solutions, and additional ideas to enhance your self-care routine.

Remember, you don’t have to go through menopause alone!  These self-care tips are a great starting point, and there’s always more to learn. Experiment with what works best for you, and know that feeling better is absolutely possible.

Those five starting points are the foundation of feeling your best during menopause. 

But let’s explore two areas where the rewards are particularly worthwhile: exercise and your intimate life.  

Not only can focusing on these boost your physical well-being, but they can also re-energize your sense of vitality and pleasure – something many women crave during this time of change.  

Let’s dive deeper…

How Exercise Helps Menopause – The Inside Scoop

We already know exercise makes us feel better during menopause – but how does it actually work?  Here’s the breakdown:

1. Finding a Balance

  • The Oestrogen Assist: Yes, menopause means our bodies make less oestrogen. But get this – exercise encourages your muscles and other tissues to pick up the slack! They can make small amounts of oestrogen, which helps even things out a bit and can take the edge off symptoms like hot flashes.

2. Your Natural Happy Pill

  • Hello, Endorphins! Working out makes your body release something called ‘endorphins.’ These little guys give you a natural mood boost! It’s why exercise is so great if menopause has you feeling down or stressed out.
  • Brain Power: Exercise also gives a boost to important chemicals in your brain that keep your mood on track. Less mood swings, more feeling like ‘you’ – win-win!

3. Keeping Weight in Check

  • Revving Up Your Metabolism: Menopause can sometimes feel like it slows everything down, including how fast your body burns calories. Exercise to the rescue! It helps you build muscle, and muscle is a calorie-burning machine – helping you stay in control of your weight.
  • Fighting Belly Fat: Exercise helps shift where your body stores fat. Less of that stubborn belly fat (which is the unhealthy kind) is what we’re after!

4. Strong Bones = A Strong You

  • Protecting Your Skeleton: After menopause, our bones need more love than ever. Weight-lifting and exercises where you work against gravity help keep your bones dense and strong – reducing your risk for breaks.
  • Bonus: Better Balance: Exercise makes you stronger overall, helping with balance and coordination. This makes those accidental falls (and the broken bones that can come with them) way less likely.

5. Sleep – The Sweet Relief

  • Finally, a Good Night’s Rest: Exercise helps your body wind down naturally at night – meaning you fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly. That deep sleep is where your body does its best repair work, so you wake up feeling more refreshed.
  • Cooling Down Hot Flashes: While scientists are still figuring out the exact connection, exercise seems to help lessen hot flashes for some women. Anything that makes those less intense is a major win!

6. Taking Care of Your Heart

  • A Healthy Ticker is Key: Did you know menopause affects your heart health too? Exercise tackles the usual suspects – high blood pressure, cholesterol issues, and keeps weight under control. All this adds up to a happier, healthier heart.

The Big Takeaway: Exercise helps in so many ways during menopause! Better mood, less weight gain, stronger bones, good sleep, plus your heart will thank you!  The changes that come with menopause are no joke, but adding regular exercise to your routine can have a HUGE positive impact.

Sexual Well-being: It Matters During Menopause Too

We don’t often talk about how menopause can change things in the bedroom, but keeping that part of life healthy is important!  

Sex (and even solo time) offers real benefits for women going through menopause, both for the body and mind.

How Sex Helps with Hormone Stuff

  • The Feel-Good Factor: Sex gives you a boost of endorphins – those ‘happy chemicals’ in your brain. This is great for fighting off mood swings and that ‘blah’ feeling menopause can sometimes bring.
  • Keeping Things Healthy: Regular sexual activity, even on your own, helps keep blood flowing to the area and can help prevent tissues from becoming too thin or dry, which happens to some women after menopause.

Boosting Libido & Overall Function

  • Sometimes Desire Takes a Break: Menopause can mess with your sex drive. Staying active sexually can help keep desire alive and well!
  • Bye-Bye Dryness: Sex naturally increases lubrication, which can be a big help when menopause causes dryness and discomfort.

Important Note: It’s perfectly normal if your body changes how it responds during sex after menopause. Open communication with your partner (if you have one)  and exploring ways to keep things enjoyable is key.   Also, never hesitate to talk to your doctor if you have concerns about pain or other issues.

Feeling Connected and Confident

  • More Than Just the Physical: Sex is a great way to feel close, both to your partner and to yourself! This kind of intimacy is great for your emotional health, and it can boost your self-confidence too – something menopause can sometimes chip away at.
  • A Natural Stress Buster: When you’re feeling overwhelmed with hot flashes, mood swings, and everything else, focusing on pleasure can be a powerful way to relax. Better relaxation can mean better sleep too!

Strengthening Your Pelvic Floor

  • Hidden Benefits: Orgasms flex your pelvic floor muscles, and that’s a good thing! A strong pelvic floor helps with bladder control, something that can become a problem during menopause.

It’s Time to Talk & Explore

  • Chatting with Your Partner: If you have a partner, be open about what’s changed and what feels good now. Finding new ways to enjoy intimacy together makes things better for both of you!
  • Discovering What Feels Good: Menopause is a time of change, and that can apply to sex too. Don’t be afraid to experiment and learn what makes you feel amazing. There’s no pressure, just the chance to discover new pleasures!

The Bottom Line:  Sex is still part of a healthy life, even with menopause in the picture.  It can help your mood, your body, and even relieve some menopause symptoms.  

Don’t be afraid to have honest conversations (with yourself, your partner, or your doctor) about what you need to enjoy this part of life to the fullest.

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