Menopause: 9 Essential Supports To Help You Thrive
As soon as we lose estrogen’s support, we’re also told to lose weight, give up sugar, stop drinking alcohol and abandon most — if not all — of the ways we cope with life's b.s., exactly at a time when we need the most support. Maybe it’s time to focus on what can be added to our lives (instead of taken away) when menopause makes things challenging...
- Sexual Pleasure and Mind-Blowing Orgasms
Your doctor may have mentioned the health perks of regular sexercise, but we want to emphasize the importance of pleasure. Many benefits of sex, like cardiovascular health, actually hinge on the quality of sex. Menopause can be a time of unparalleled sexual freedom. With or without a partner, set aside time to explore every pleasurable sexual activity you can imagine. Need a little help? Try a CBD-infused lube to help get that blood pumping.
- Healthy Boundaries
Perimenopause loves to arrive when our lives are overburdened with responsibilities. If this sounds like you, maybe you should take it as a sign that you’ve been pushing yourself too hard. Whether you’ve been focused on your career, family or community, it might be time to take your foot off the accelerator and learn to love the word “no.” Stress will damage your health all the more quickly without estrogen’s protection. Identify the most draining aspects of your daily life and start putting up some healthy boundaries to protect your future wellness.
- Calming Rituals
What grounds and recharges you? Bubble baths? Massage? Meditation? Acupuncture? Coloring books? Whatever it is, find it and schedule more of it into your life. So many problematic symptoms of menopause are caused or exacerbated by changes in neurochemistry, which means that any ritual that calms your nervous system could help improve your symptoms. Regularly focusing on your body and mind will also help you quickly catch and support any new health issues that arise.
- Manageable Exercise
You might already have an exercise routine, but is it doing more harm than good? Regular exercise can help prevent osteoporosis, burn fat, keep our minds sharp and relieve depression. But high-impact or imbalanced exercise could lead to injuries and inflammation. If you enjoy rigorous exercise, a few sessions with an experienced personal trainer could help ensure your exercise routine is balanced and supportive of future mobility. If you’re not a fan of exercise, try swimming, qi gong, therapeutic yoga or a walk in nature. Or just put on some music and move your body in the most enjoyable ways you can think of.
- A Healthy Diet That Fits Your Lifestyle
Having trouble deciding what kind of diet is best for your body? Researchers consistently find one thing; which is that they cannot agree on a perfect diet... Scientists can’t even decide whether a low-carb or a low-fat diet is better for your health. The good news is that you have the freedom to choose from a wide number of diets — and the most important thing is that it’s easy and enjoyable to stick with. If you don’t like restrictive diets, focus instead on increasing your fruit and vegetable consumption. Additionally, whole grains and flaxseed are high in lignan, which might help reduce hot flashes.
- Tracking Symptoms
If you’re suffering from nagging health issues — like hot flashes, joint pain, insomnia or indigestion — and you feel powerless against them, start tracking your symptoms. Keep a record of the intensity of your symptoms along with tracking what you eat, what you do and what else is going on in your life. After a few entries you can start looking for patterns and experimenting with your routine. Underlying food sensitivities and other triggers could aggravate your health conditions. You might find that a few simple changes give you significant control over your symptoms. If you’re stumped, share your records with a doctor.
- A Shared Experience
Menopause is not a medical condition — it is an inevitable transition through which all wise women must pass. Welcome to the club. Women who view menopause positively, as a time of liberation and self-actualization, actually suffer from fewer menopausal symptoms. If you want to foster more positive feelings about menopause, you could create a women’s circle to celebrate life’s transitions together. If that’s unrealistic, find an online community, read books or simply binge-watch Grace and Frankie. Menopause is a universal experience — it’s not meant to be shouldered alone.
- Natural Supplements
Without estrogen, our bodies’ inflammation levels rise and neurochemistry changes — which leads to many of the typical menopausal symptoms. Ideally, a healthy diet can help you counteract these issues, but in reality, many of us will turn to supplements to help us balance our bodies. CBD oil could be especially useful throughout menopause because of cannabidiol’s anti-inflammatory and serotonin-modulating properties. Fish oil supplements and curcumin are also highly recommended for fighting inflammation. Phytoestrogens, black cohosh and red clover are reported by some women to help relieve menopausal symptoms, although none have been demonstrated to be more effective than placebo. (For more on the science underlying 8 common menopause symptoms, check out this article).
- Supportive Medical Professionals
You might be able to meet all your needs naturally right now, but going forward, it’s important to know when to seek medical care. You should feel comfortable discussing all your health concerns with your doctor and how they might be related. If you feel unsupported or uncomfortable discussing topics like masturbation with your current doctor, find a new doctor — TODAY. More and more doctors are waking up to the importance of holistic health care. Your doctor might prescribe hormones or antidepressants to treat your symptoms, or they could identify simple vitamin deficiencies or other easy fixes that help your life flow much smoother.
Bonus: A new wardrobe!
Not that we’re suggesting you blow your budget on a massive shopping spree, but you might want to evaluate your fashion style and how you want it to evolve. The way our bodies store fat changes with menopause, and new clothing might help you embrace this transition. First items to get rid of? Anything you would like to fit into again “someday.” Free yourself from that burdensome expectation! Even if you’re planning on losing weight, you’ll be happier with fabrics and cuts that fit today but could also accommodate a slimmer body.