Plan ahead and keep it simple! 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:
#2 PLAN AHEAD
Plan EVERYTHING AND WRITE IT DOWN (don’t figure out on Christmas morning that you forgot to buy the turkey).
Memory loss and brain fog are normal and common in menopause. It’s easier and saner to look at a list of things to do and cross items off as they get done than trying to remember the million things you need to do in the next few weeks.
Make a list of things you need and want to do and things you don’t have or don’t want to do.
You know, those things you only do because it’s the right thing to do or because it is expected of you?
Ask yourself do I HAVE to do it? Why? If the answer doesn’t stand your scrutiny for an easier and healthier holiday (like going to parties that leave you drained, too full, or too drunk, calling your negative friend who only talks about midlife diseases and makes you feel so down, getting your nails done at the expense of gym time, going to the mall for the third time in a week looking for that special gift), then DON’T DO IT.
#3 KEEP IT SIMPLE (if you haven’t in the past this is a great year to start)
Take stock of what your holiday traditions have been and assess what must stay and what can go to make your life and your holidays simpler, easier, and more enjoyable. Decide what can be trimmed down, eliminated, or delegated. Simplify and declutter your holidays (and your life).
Let your loved ones know what you have in mind for this years’ holidays so you don’t get pushback by unexpectedly changing traditions – more on this in #1 MAKE YOUR LIFE EASIER DURING THE HOLIDAYS (and afterwards). Peace is expected during the holidays …
Use the way you feel (menopause is making you exhausted, overwhelmed, on edge, angry, drained, etc.) as the driving force to simplify, plan, and enjoy a holiday that is as stress-free as possible.
Do you really need three sets of lights on the staircase? And to decorate the house and the yard with a million Christmas decorations? Do you need to bake three different recipes of cookies to share? Won’t three batches of the same recipe make it easier and just as delicious and acceptable? Or even better, save yourself some work and skip the cookie exchange at work this year.
Do what you can and don’t feel guilty. Plan ahead and keep it simple!
If you need help finding a personalized path to hormone happiness, I can help you!
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.