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Embrace Calm This Holiday: Top 10 Self-Care Tips for Menopausal Women

Christmas and various other celebrations are approaching fast and furious. The festive cheer often comes hand in hand with a manically busy schedule, high expectations from all around us, and an array of often complex and emotionally charged family commitments.


For women undergoing menopause, this time can be particularly demanding. The physical and emotional changes that accompany menopause can be intensified by the holiday stress.

However, with thoughtful planning and self-awareness, celebrations can be both manageable and, dare I say it, enjoyable.

holiday chrisstmas

None of what has been written here is particularly rocket science. But sometimes, having it written down can help our brain accept what usually are obvious facts.

 

Here's a guide on how to navigate this festive season while prioritising your well-being:


1. Prioritise Your Needs


Your well-being is paramount. It's crucial to remember that self-care isn't selfish; it's necessary, especially during menopause.


Recognise that it's completely fine to turn down some invitations or delegate tasks if they seem overwhelming. Recognising and respecting your limits is crucial, especially during menopause when your body and emotions require extra care. By setting and respecting your personal boundaries, you're not only looking after your health but also ensuring that you can enjoy the festivities in a way that's right for you, and in all honesty, you probably will be helping everyone else, too!


Listen to your body's cues — if you're feeling fatigued, allow yourself a quiet evening in; if social engagements are causing anxiety, select the ones that bring you joy and politely pass on the rest. Remember, your needs are valid.


woman by the sea relaxing

2. Schedule 'Me Time'


Amidst the festive chaos, carve out time for yourself. Taking time for yourself is not just a luxury—it's necessary to maintain your equilibrium. This could be a quiet morning enjoying a book, an evening spent in a relaxing bath, or a solitary walk. These moments of solitude are essential for mental clarity and stress reduction.


Remember, 'me time' isn't selfish; it's a form of self-respect and a necessary practice in nurturing your psychological and physical well-being amidst the holiday bustle.



woman doing yoga

3. Maintain a Routine


The holiday season often disrupts our regular routines, affecting our sleep and exercise patterns. Try to keep to a familiar routine as much as possible. Consistency in your daily habits can help in managing menopausal symptoms like mood swings and sleep disturbances.

 

mindfulness

4. Practice Mindfulness


I get that mindfulness may not be everyone's 'cup of tea', but hear me out.


Integrating mindfulness into your daily life is a gentle way to help maintain a sense of inner calm and centeredness. Mindfulness involves paying full attention to the present moment with kindness and without judgment. I view mindfulness as an opportunity simply to pause and acknowledge what we are feeling at that moment.


It can give us the space to breathe and feel so that we stop the hamster wheel.


One way can be through mindful breathing exercises; this can be as simple as focusing on the inhalation and exhalation, observing the natural rhythm of your breath, and feeling the sensations as air moves in and out of your body.


Meditation is another mindful practice that can be particularly beneficial during menopause. It can be a structured practice, such as guided meditation sessions, or a quiet moment of introspection. Regular meditation has been shown to reduce stress hormones in the body, which may help alleviate some menopausal symptoms like hot flashes and mood swings.


Remember that mindfulness is absolutely not about perfection.

 

5. Healthy Eating Habits


Navigating the holiday season often means facing a parade of rich foods and sweet confections, which, while delicious, can pose a challenge to anyone trying to maintain a healthy diet—especially during menopause.


Indulgences are a part of the festive tradition, and there's no need to completely deny yourself the pleasure of seasonal treats. However, try to maintain a balance - moderation is the word. Too much sugar and alcohol may trigger or worsen menopausal symptoms like hot flashes, night sweats, and mood fluctuations.


Try to savour smaller portions of those high-sugar desserts and, if possible, limit alcohol intake to avoid these potential side effects.


When possible, focus on filling your plate with nutrient-rich foods to help balance hormones and stabilise mood. Lean proteins, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats should form the cornerstone of your meals. These foods can help keep your energy levels steady and support overall health.


Hydration is also vital, as it helps manage body temperature and supports metabolism. Carry a water bottle when you're out and about, and remember to drink regularly throughout the day.


Remember to listen to your body's signals of hunger and fullness. While this may sound a bit OTT - mindful eating—paying full attention to the experience of eating—can enhance your enjoyment of food and prevent or reduce overeating. Take the time to chew slowly, aiding digestion and giving your brain the time it needs to register satiety.



two holding hhands

6. Seek Support


Connect with friends, family, or support groups who understand your menopausal journey. Sharing your experiences and feelings can provide comfort and a sense of community during this challenging time.




7. Set Boundaries


Communicate your needs and set clear boundaries with loved ones. Whether it's about conversation topics, activities, or personal space, setting boundaries is essential for maintaining mental and emotional well-being.


 

8. Find Joy in Small Things


The festive season is full of simple pleasures – decorating your home, baking, and listening to Christmas music. Embrace these small joys, allowing them to bring light and happiness into your days.


9. Stay Hydrated and Rested


Keeping hydrated and ensuring enough rest is fundamental. Dehydration and lack of sleep can worsen menopausal symptoms and make coping with holiday stress more challenging.



woman writing in a journal

10. Find Gratitude in everyday events


When the weight of challenges feels heavy during a bustling holiday period, pausing to acknowledge the aspects of our lives that are good and fulfilling can shift our perspective significantly. This act of thankfulness is more than just a list of positive items; it's a practice that can rewire our brains to recognise and celebrate the joys that coexist with stress. Whether it's appreciating the warmth of a friend's smile, the comfort of a cozy blanket, or the privilege of having a festive meal, gratitude grounds us in the present.


It reminds us that, amidst the chaos, there is still goodness to be found.


Regularly cultivating gratitude can nurture a sense of contentment and peace that helps us navigate life's stressors with a more balanced and hopeful outlook. I use a gratitude journal every night – which, over time, I have found exceedingly beneficial.


 

Conclusion


Navigating the Christmas season during menopause may require a delicate balance of celebration and self-care. By prioritising your physical and emotional health, setting boundaries, and finding joy in the small moments, you can make this festive season a time of peace and happiness.


Self-care is not just a gift to yourself; it also enables you to be fully present and enjoy the company of your loved ones.


This Christmas, embrace the season with a focus on your well-being and celebrate your journey with warmth and self-compassion.



Please schedule a complimentary call with me to discuss your experiences or how I may help you. This conversation is an opportunity to explore your symptoms and the possible ways to manage them with absolutely no obligation.


Either way - if you are celebrating at this time of year - look after yourself first.


Nx



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