If you are experiencing symptoms of menopause, you are well aware of how debilitating and heavily interfering with your life it can become. Receiving appropriate guidance and suitable medication from a health professional is still a privilege which not everyone has access to.
There are times when you might not get the support you desperately need. In these cases, it is good to have a community and platform to exchange first-hand experiences and share alternative strategies to help you through this trying phase.
Self-care strategies to help you navigate through times of distress
Here are 5 strategies and natural remedies to help provide some comfort.
1. Soothe the hot flushes and night sweats
One of the most common symptoms of peri/menopause is hot flushes and night sweats.
A lifestyle change that can help is to reduce or eliminate foods and substances, like coffee, alcohol, spicy foods and sometimes chocolate (as if it wasn’t bad already) that trigger these particular symptoms. Instead, go for cooling drinks. Soft and breathable clothing can make you more comfortable, and dressing in layers makes it easier to adjust to changes in temperature. Cool or warm compresses and pain relievers can help you to manage discomfort.
Whenever the parasympathetic nervous system gets stimulated, it will make you feel more relaxed. Deep breathing, yoga, and meditation are beneficial practices that can help you to reduce stress, as well as calm feelings of anxiety and depression. Yoga may also improve sleep and ease some types of pain.
Attempt a regular meditation practice. These techniques help you learn to stay present and sit with painful or unwanted emotional states without acting on them by exploding in anger, dissociating, or numbing yourself. It will not only relax the body and calm the mind but make you more focused and aware.
Moreover, when breathwork, yoga, or meditation gets practised in groups, it will lead to new friendships. You might find yourself in a circle with many intelligent and stimulating people, which brings us to the next important strategy.
2. Ask for support when you need it
In difficult times, don’t hesitate to ask for advice or support. Many women grapple with anxiety and depression while going through their menopause. These symptoms can sometimes become so severe that you might have suicidal thoughts.
Talking about depression and suicidal thoughts can be challenging. However, reaching out to loved ones, calling or meeting up with a friend can make all the difference in that it will pull you out of a persisting frame of mind. Opening up about what you are going through to someone you trust can provide an immense measure of comfort — especially if they are going or have gone through a similar experience.
If you don’t feel like you want to open up to someone in your close social circle out of fear that they won’t understand, consider joining a support group. Not being able to share your experiences and have some form of guidance can feel quite isolating.
There are also modes of therapy where a trained professional can help relieve emotional symptoms, like cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), which can help you identify, challenge and replace intrusive or distorted thought patterns. Dialectical behaviour therapy takes a similar approach, but it adds in emotional regulation techniques.
3. Don’t take offence
If you encounter ignorance or dismissal from people in your social circle and this adds frustration to your symptoms, here is a friendly reminder: Stop taking peoples’ opinions to heart. There will always be those who don’t understand or can’t relate; people who are so busy with their own lives and trouble that they won’t have the empathy to provide any support or solace. Don’t take offence. Move on to people who have the capacity to be there for you.
4. Try alternative therapies and natural remedies
Alternative therapies, including acupuncture, can also make a difference. It is worth mentioning that it takes time to access these treatments, and they might not work right away.
A more approachable self-care method is natural remedies. You can support your body to feel better by adjusting your diet, eating more nutritious food, and taking supplements that help your body to deal with the added stress of menopause.
For example, vitamin D, pivotal for bone health, helps prevent osteoporosis. It also helps your body absorb the calcium that you get from food which, in turn, is necessary for bone calcification.
Sunlight is the natural way to synthesise Vitamin D. In summer, basking in the sun will ensure that you have your Vitamin D reserves all filled up, but in winter, consider topping up with a supplement!
5. Make superfoods and supplements your friends
Superfoods like acai, chlorella (a type of algae that grows in freshwater), maca root (also known as the “Peruvian ginseng” and a natural energy booster), and wheatgrass are well-established sources of nutrients, minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, and so much more.
Vitamin C contributes to normal collagen formation of the skin and bones. Complex B vitamins like folic acid, Niacin (Vitamin B3) & Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5) contribute to reducing tiredness and fatigue. B6 vitamins will help regulate hormonal activity.
Your body will appreciate all the help it can get. If you want all of the above-mentioned goodness in one, we created the Meno Blend, a specially formulated vanilla-flavoured food supplement with all the active ingredients you need for optimum health in menopause.