Menopause is the end of a woman’s menstrual cycle. When the woman no longer has her period for about twelve months, it can be officially diagnosed as menopause. This usually happens between the age of 40 to 50.
Menopause is not an abrupt condition. It is actually a slow process, and it can start a few months or even a few years before it actually happens. The main three stages are perimenopause, menopause, and postmenopause.
The period before menopause is called perimenopause. This is the time where you’ll start experiencing some symptoms and notice changes in your sleep pattern, chills, night sweats, vaginal dryness, weight gain, hair thinning, irregular menstruation, and mood changes. It is where your ovaries are producing fewer eggs and estrogen.
As the woman transition to menopause, more symptoms will manifest, such as fatigue, low sex drive, headaches, depression, and muscle pain. Hot flushes are common during this phase, and this is where menstruation stops. To confirm menopause, a doctor’s diagnosis is needed.
Postmenopause happens years after menopause. Hot flushes will eventually fade, but the woman is exposed to several health risks with the absence of estrogen.
Why is self-care important during menopause?
According to the World Health Center, self-care is part of promoting health, disease prevention, and control. The concept of self-care includes hygiene, nutrition, and lifestyle.
Self-care is not about being selfish. It’s more than going to a weekly spa. Self-care is an effort made for yourself in order to maintain your mental, emotional and physical health.
Self-care is not a weekly thing. It can be done daily and consciously. Anything that can nourish you mentally, emotionally, and physically, no matter how small, can be considered self-care.
Self-care is a way to develop resiliency and overcome the stressors of life. It shouldn’t be treated as a luxury but a necessity for mental health. When you take self-care seriously, you’ll have a better sense of wellness, and it will make it easier to cope with whatever comes your way.
Poor self-care often leads to serious physical and mental illness. Everyone has a different preference, but in general, anything that you do to stay healthy is considered self-care.
7 Ways to Self Care During Menopause
You shouldn’t stop exercising as you age. In fact, movements are an essential part of staying healthy. It improves mood, blood circulation, reduces the risk of osteoporosis, promotes sleep, and builds strength.
A minimum of thirty minutes a day is sufficient to stay fit and healthy. There are many forms of exercise that can fit into your lifestyle. Explore the options by enrolling in different classes.
Consume foods that are low in salt and avoid processed food as much as you can. Choose rich in nutrients, minerals, and vitamins to support your body. Whole foods are the best. Also, reduce intake of fats to minimize the risk of weight gain and cardiovascular diseases.
Menopausal women are often at risk with the lack of calcium and vitamin D, and you can take a daily supplement for this. Alcohol and high sugar drinks are discouraged as this can contribute to hot flushes.
Those who are in the menopausal stage are often irritable and moody. The easiest way to cope during this stressful time is smoking. However, nicotine can only worsen your symptoms, particularly hot flushes. Avoid smoking and replace it with eating gums or eating plenty of fruits to cope with the urge.
Drink water regularly because it can help you cope with hot flushes, bloating, and dryness. Hydration effectively regulates body temperature. It is also a good way to make you feel full which assists in your weight management.
Get Enough Sleep
Menopausal women are prone to insomnia, and it might seem like a hard task to get enough sleep. If you are constantly experiencing poor sleep patterns, get help and ask your doctor for recommendations. Nonetheless, there are some things that you can do to get enough sleep, such as getting enough exercise, avoiding phones before sleep time, and doing some relaxation techniques prior to sleep.
Get support and connect.
The decrease production of estrogen can significantly affect mood, and it can be a confusing period for any woman who is going through this process. When you are feeling down, always reach out and find support from your circle. Connect with old friends or go to a similar support group to help you unwind and process your emotions.
Explore New Things
The menopausal period does not equal the end of yourself. This is a perfect time for you to explore new hobbies, new places, and new interests. Go out, travel, and explore. This can be a therapeutic way for you to cope with life’s changes.