Managing stress as a woman means juggling a myriad of responsibilities and an endless to-do list, in addition to managing the hormonal changes that accompany perimenopause and menopause.
Unfortunately, there’s no “convenient” time for menopause to begin—and if you’re not prepared, menopause, and its potentially disruptive symptoms, can take a toll on your fitness, body image, and mental health. It’s important to realize that despite the strain that menopause symptoms can put on your daily life, you still need to prioritize and maintain a healthy lifestyle and work toward prioritizing self-care.
Creating space for “me time” – meaning time that you take for yourself to focus on the things that make you happy – can be an intrinsic part of keeping a healthy outlook throughout this evolution.
Why You Should Prioritize Self-Care During Menopause
During menopause, symptoms like hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, dizziness, anxiety, depression, mood swings, and weight gain are commonly experienced by many women. Despite how difficult it may be, finding a way to manage these symptoms without letting them rule your life can be crucial, albeit a bit stressful.
Did you know menopause and its symptoms can last from ten months up to an average of seven years1?
Having a routine for adopting more “me time” into your schedule and working to incorporate some menopause relaxation techniques to your daily routine, can be a helpful way to manage your symptoms, no matter how long they hang around.
Minimize Menopause Stress with Time Management
When we’re busy juggling our jobs, families, friends, and hobbies, we don’t often make enough time to take care of ourselves. As the symptoms of menopause start to set in and perhaps intensify, it’s important to carve out time to manage and deal with whatever symptoms you may be experiencing at the time.
It’s important to also try and avoid burning yourself out by doing too much. Do your best to find a balance between your job, family, and personal time so you don’t over-stress your system.
To alleviate feelings of being stressed out, it’s also important to not overbook yourself or your schedule. If you need it, allow yourself time and space to cope with the symptoms you’re experiencing during menopause, rather than ignoring them or trying to just push through them.
Try Some Menopause Self-Care
The stresses of everyday life combined with the added stress of menopausal symptoms can feel like a lot to handle. Don’t be afraid to treat yourself to activities and moments that will make you feel happy and relaxed. Whether that means going to a spin class, walking around your favorite park, or simply making time to watch your favorite TV show; try to do at least one thing every day that makes you feel relaxed, no matter how “productive” the activity may be.
You may also want to consider trying guided meditation for menopause stress. The practice of meditation may help you to control your racing thoughts and elevated stress levels that are often brought on by both aging and external circumstances. Adding daily meditation into your menopause self-care routine may be just what the doctor ordered.
Additionally, it’s not unusual for many women to start to feel more introverted during menopause. If you are normally a social, extroverted person, the idea of social activities may start to feel stressful and exhausting when previously, you anticipated them with excitement.2 This is normal as well, and it’s important to give yourself the time you need, when you need it if you feel like you need some space.
Consider Dietary Changes to Help Manage Stress
Maintaining a healthy diet can help you combat the stress, weight gain, and irritability that can be caused by menopause. A diet rich in dark, leafy greens will help keep iron, calcium, and vitamin D at healthy levels. Cooking meals yourself will help you know exactly what you’re putting into your body, as you won’t need to worry about the added chemicals that can often be included in many highly processed foods.
Try Something New to Help you Relax
When you feel like the symptoms of menopause are starting to take over your life, don’t let them! Encourage yourself to try something new. Maybe start a new hobby you’ve always wanted to try or take an online class in an area that interests you. Keeping your mind active and engaged can go a long way in helping to reduce stress during menopause.
Trying out a new exercise routine can also do wonders for reducing the intensity of stress, irritability, and weight gain that can accompany menopause. Some of the best exercises for menopausal women dealing with disruptive symptoms can include cardio, such as running or walking, yoga, and dancing, 3 as well as strength training.
Sometimes trying something new can pertain to dietary changes or adding supplemental vitamins and minerals into your daily routine. Dietary supplements are often helpful for filling nutritional gaps, especially when you may not be obtaining all of the nutrients you need from your daily, dietary intake. Dietary supplements can also be helpful when we are looking for ways to support our wellness or achieve specific symptom relief.