Breathe, and bet on humour! 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:
#4 BREATHE (intentionally, deeply and often)
Inevitably, regardless of how well you planned everything and how much you trimmed down, something will go awry and you’ll feel anxious and stressed. It’s normal and expected.
Sit down, stop thinking, and start breathing, deeply.
Close your eyes, breathe in through your nose, slowly, to a count of five, hold for five, breathe out through your mouth slowly for a count of five, wait for five, and then repeat a dozen times or until you are calmer and ready to go on. Try it now. Stop reading this and breathe this way for 10 breaths. Aren’t you feeling MUCH calmer? It’s an amazingly easy thing to do and has such great effect!
It’s good for your mind, your heart will slow down, and you’ll reduce your stress and the amount of cortisol which consequently will reduce hot flashes, fat around the waist, and anxiety.
Ideally you remember to do this breathing exercise throughout the day at regular intervals and often. Not just for when you’re “losing it”. Remember, whenever things get out of hand STOP THINKING AND START BREATHING DEEPLY.
#5 BET ON HUMOUR
My life would be a lot worse without humour. Do you rely on humour to put things into perspective? To see the pettiness of some of the things you do? I do and it’s great. Humour helps me to see the (big) things that are worth “sweating” for – I already get hot (flashes) unwillingly, so I don’t want to add self-imposed sweating to it!
If you find your phone in the cutlery drawer and the sugar in the fridge, just LAUGH! Remember, it’s not Alzheimer’s, it’s lack of estrogen! If you bought presents in advance and can’t remember where you hid them, LAUGH! Life is too short!
Do what you can and don’t feel guilty. Breathe, and bet on humour!
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) and #2 PLAN AHEAD, #3 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.