Menopause can be a hard time for women. The hormones enter a jumbled up mode which welcomes all kinds of effects such as hot flashes, mood swings, and so on. At a crucial time such as that, it is essential to take care of yourself, which is where self-care pops into the picture.
For several women, self-care can be confusing. They don’t understand what falls into it and what does not. Simply put, anything that relaxes you and assists in de-stressing is part of self-care. This helps improve your emotional and mental well-being.
But that is not all. You have to take steps to protect your physical health too. Diving deeper into the definition of self-care, let’s have a look at what people have to say about it. Healthline asked some women what self-care meant for them.
In this regard, one of the women, Jennifer Connolly, highlighted, “Self-care means ensuring I make the time to have my physical, emotional, and spiritual needs met. So often women are caregivers for their children or spouse, only to find themselves caretaking their aging parents while they’re going through menopause.”
Now that the idea of self-care is clear, let’s dive into what you can do promote your health and wellness and relax:
One of the first steps to take is to cleanse your body. It is entirely possible for your perimenopausal and menopausal symptoms to surface due to the accumulated toxins in your body. This can set off the hormonal balance and make you feel bad.
Therefore, it is best to detoxify and get rid of these environmental toxins from your body. The positive effects of cleansing your body free from the harmful toxins are almost immediate.
2. Eat healthily
One of the best self-care measures that you can take is to eat clean. This is critical as you hit menopause. You don’t want free radicals or food contaminants to be roaming free in your body. Thus, eat healthy.
You can always observe the 80/20 rule of eating. It denotes that you eat healthy 80% of the time. However, it is okay to occasionally give in to your food cravings and enjoy a chocolate lava cake or French fries. Make sure that you follow such eating habits for no more than 20% of your dietary composition.
3. Keep cool
Hot flushes and sweating fall among the leading symptoms of menopause. Therefore, it is best to keep cool as part of your self-care regime. You can try to keep these hot flushes and night sweats at bay in several ways.
For instance, wear loose clothing, keep your bedroom cool at night, try to keep away from stress, and exercise. Additionally, avoid foods such as spicy foods that can trigger hot flushes.
4. Quit smoking
If you have already not taken action with your smoking habits, then menopause is the right time to do so. Smoking takes a toll on almost every part of your body with the serious cases being the impact on your bones, heart, and skin.
Heart diseases are the number one killer of people in the US. Thus, heart diseases cause the greatest numbers of death in the US. Moreover, as you age and enter into menopause, your likelihood of developing osteoporosis shoots. Plus, the odds of fine lines are also fairly high, so it is best to quit smoking.
6. Pursue a hobby
One of the best ways to take care of yourself is to invest in yourself and follow your hobbies. The daily hustle and bustle of life, however, means that you aren’t able to make time for yourself.
Now is the time that you pursue your hobby. Or, if you don’t have one, find one. Hobbies provide a creative outlet. This helps to get rid of stress. Therefore, it is essential that you pay attention and give time to your hobbies.
6. Get support from supplements
There is no denying that our diet may miss a nutrient or two. You need all the vital minerals and vitamins to stay healthy. Any deficiency can culminate in a problem. For instance, a lack of vitamin D can make weight management a problem.
At the same time, this vitamin alongside the mineral calcium is essential for your bone health. To make certain that you are not lacking any of the important nutrients you can take supplements. In this context, the basic supplements that you need during your menopause entail omega-3s (fish oil), B complex, probiotics, vitamin D, and quality multivitamin supplements.
7. Get an annual mammogram
According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), two-thirds of all the cases of invasive breast cancers occur in menopausal women who lie above the age range of 55. Therefore, you need an annual mammogram.
A mammogram is dedicated to helping you discover breast cancer in its early stages when it is still otherwise undetectable. The ACS suggests that women should get an annual mammogram. If not, then you should at least talk to your physician yearly to discuss your risk of breast cancer.
8. Look after your weight
It is very common to witness weight gain as you enter into your menopause, specifically, during your transition. A good way to take of yourself is to ensure that you watch your weight. Two good ways to maintain your weight include healthy eating and exercising.
We have already discussed the need for eating clean above and talked about adding supplements to your diet too. In addition to these, you should continue exercising. It is critical for maintaining your weight so that you don’t give up on it before or after your menopause.
9. Take care of your bones
Another very useful self-care tip is to maintain the health and wellness of your bones. Owing to the hormonal changes associated with menopause, women are more likely to develop osteoporosis.
Therefore, maintaining your bone health is crucial. In this regard, eat foods that are rich in calcium and vitamin D. Spend more time outdoors to get enough sunlight, which is a natural source of vitamin D. That said, don’t forget to exercise to keep your bones and joints active and flexible.
10. Fetch enough sleep
Lastly, you need to get enough shut-eye. Not only will this help maintain your energy levels but it will also help you deal with night sweats and other symptoms of menopause. Hence, don’t compromise with your sleep.
Some of the best ways to get proper sleep include removing distractions from your bedroom before you sleep, shutting off your phone or other electronic devices, and dimming your light until you darken your room. Don’t smoke, take caffeine or drink in the evening because all the three agents are sleep-stealers that make it difficult for you to sleep or stay asleep.
Self-care does need some investment and dedication from your end. However, it is mainly about what makes you feel good. All the other steps such as exercising and healthy eating are for your wellness in the long run.
Don’t skip your annual discussions with your doctor. Also, get regular scans for colon and skin cancer. Last but not the least, even if you are past the possibility of the pregnancy stage, still you should use contraceptives to protect yourself from STDs.