Ask for help and be mindful! Keeping your life under control while experiencing poor sleep, memory problems, hot flashes, fatigue, mood swings, and other unpleasant menopause challenges is hard enough. Add to that the stress and “must dos” of the Holiday season and you may want to get under the bed and resurface on December 26th, or go on a vacation by yourself.
I’ve been there! But I’ve learned some useful strategies not only to survive but also to thrive and enjoy the holidays that I want to share with you:
Menopause Tips – How to Thrive in the Holidays
#6 ASK FOR HELP
For me this is one of the hardest things to do, especially outside my immediate family because I think people are busy and I’m bothering them. But when someone asks for my help, for the most part I feel honoured and very willing to lend a hand if I can. But I also learned to say YES less often, for less-important tasks, to keep with my plan for an easier and healthier life (during the holidays and afterwards).
Tensions rise during the holidays (read more on #1 MAKE YOUR LIFE EASIER DURING THE HOLIDAYS (and afterwards). Everyone (except the “children” who are living with us still!) is busy and stressed and has a million things to do.
There’s the pressure to clean the house, write and send cards (mass email saves me time and trees), decorate, cook, bake, buy and wrap gifts, and on and on – DELEGATE.
Ask for help and be mindful! Any help is better than none. Don’t have enough help? Then put fewer things on your To Do List and give yourself the gift of an easier holiday.
#7 BE MINDFUL OF WHAT YOU EAT AND DRINK (in your house and at parties)
Alcohol can trigger hot flashes and increase the risk of breast and other cancers. Only go to parties that make you happy or a better person (fundraisers, for example).
Plan ahead how much you’ll eat and drink, such as “I’ll have one alcoholic drink and one plate of food”. This will keep you from overeating and drinking too much alcohol that would add to your weight (alcohol is high in calories) and disrupt your sleep. Remember to drink a glass of water for each glass of alcohol to avoid dehydration. This tip will also keep you from drinking too much because your bladder is only so big and your skin and your brain will thank you for the extra water. Two more reasons to drink wisely are the fact that alcohol can trigger hot flashes and more than one alcoholic drink per day increases the risk of breast cancer above the average.
#8 BE MINDFUL OF WHAT YOU WEAR
Hot environments, crowded rooms, and alcohol are all great hot flash triggers. Keep the kitchen well ventilated. Put a spray bottle filled with water in the fridge and spray your face and neck when you feel flushed.
When you go out to parties, wear layers so you can take some off when you get hot and put them back on when you get cold. Get outfits free of scarves and avoid turtlenecks and the heavy Christmas sweater.
My cold flashes bother me more than my hot flashes these days, and since I never know what the temperature will be where I’m going I wear something light (blouse or short sleeve dress) and another layer (a cardigan, throw, pullover, vest) that I can put on if it’s cold.
Do what you can and don’t feel guilty. Ask for help and be mindful!
If you missed the earlier tips (or just want to read them again), you can find them on my blog, starting with #1 MAKE YOUR LIFE EASIER DURING THE HOLIDAYS (and afterwards) , #2 PLAN AHEAD, #3 KEEP IT SIMPLE, and #4 BREATHE, #5 BET ON HUMOUR.
Here are my upcoming workshops:
Wednesday, December 11th, 8:15 – 9 PM (ET) ONLINE
To help improve your sleep I’ve asked Caryl Ayerst, a Registered Holistic Nutritionist, NLP Coach, Hypnotherapist, and Reiki Master, to be my guest speaker at the December online meeting of the WHIM Network with her talk called “What’s the deal with sleep around menopause? Learn what you can do about it”. You can still attend even if you’re not a member. Learn more about this event and register here.
If you need help finding a personalized path to hormone happiness, I can help you! Ask for help and be mindful!
Teresa Isabel Dias is a pharmacist and a menopause practitioner (NCMP) certified by the North American Menopause Society (NAMS), she lives in Toronto but all her services are available online – one-on-one consultations, live workshops, and webinars. Sign up for her free biweekly MenopausED Newsletter www.menopaused.org to learn more about menopause and women’s health.