If you’re going through the menopause transition you may already have difficulty sleeping, feel fatigued, and have brain fog and now the demands of the holiday season are upon you.
Who do you want to be this holiday season?
A calm woman enjoying a meaningful holiday? Or a frazzled, overwhelmed b*@%h who’s at the end of her rope and just wants the holidays over with?
Anxiety can trigger hotflashes/night sweats and the extra work and stress of this busy time of the year can exacerbate other menopause symptoms— insomnia, irritability, anger, brain fog.
What to do?
Assess how you’re feeling (is menopause making you exhausted, overwhelmed, anxious, tense, angry, drained?) and adjust your holiday plans AND EXPECTATIONS to help you have an easier holiday season and menopause.
The gap between reality and perfection is satisfaction!
Don’t give in
…to stopping your healthy routines because of lack of time or too much to do. If you have a routine—for exercise, walking, breathing, or for relaxing at bedtime—you need to keep it up during the holiday season, more than ever!
… to FOMO.
… to saying yes to all requests. If your heart isn’t in it, just say “No, thank you”.
… to “must dos”. Ask yourself, is _____(insert option) something I really must do? If the answer is no then don’t. Saves you time, effort, and energy.
…to what the holidays ought to be and look like. Like me you may be missing a deceased relative and may not be surrounded by family. As sad as that may be we can still celebrate the holidays, our way. Not the “expected way”…
Don’t give up.
It may be even harder to find time to look after yourself and your needs, to move intentionally, eat nutritiously, and have enough rest, but don’t give up.
Eat the desserts and sweets sometimes AND vegetables & wholesome non-processed food most of the time.
Drink one glass of wine AND one glass of water.
Make sleep a priority. Go to bed earlier. Watch less TV (do you really need to watch It’s A Wonderful Life for the 35th year in a row?) and less social media feeds (you don’t need one more Pinterest or Instagram decoration idea!).
Be choosy. Keep it simple.
Do you really need three sets of lights on the staircase?
Do you really need to decorate the house and the yard with a million Christmas decorations?
Do you need to bake three different recipes of cookies to share?
Would the family be satisfied with just one side dish versus three?
Don’t do it alone.
No, you are not superwoman. You’re human and going through a hormonal change; fatigue tends to stymie your best intentions.
If you have a partner or family, let them know what you have in mind for this year’s holidays so you don’t get pushback when you unexpectedly change traditions. Manage expectations for the holidays, yours and your family’s. A S K F O R H E L P.
Memory loss and difficulty concentrating (brain fog) are common and normal in menopause.
Make a list, rather than trying to remember the many things you must get done in the next few weeks.
Take it out of your brain and onto paper. Lists are useful because they document what we ordinarily forget.
Make lists for meals (menu and accompanying shopping list), cards to write, gifts to wrap, people to call or visit…
Plan ahead. Start early.
Plan ahead (and make lists!) for your decorating, gift giving (intentional, appropriate, meaningful), gift buying (local and small business), meals, cooking, and baking (ahead of time as much as possible), wrapping (reuse gift bags, use flyers or magazine pages to reduce waste and save trees), and sharing (cookies, recipes, cards, happiness, smiles, and joy).
Start earlier and do a little bit at a time. You’re more likely to keep up your energy and not burn out.
Be kind to yourself.
Give yourself a break, literally. If you’re less tired you’re less likely to be irritable and snap at those around you.
Take a nap. Up to 20 min, before 3 PM. Seriously good for you!
Multitasking used to be highly prized until the brain specialists discovered that it is the most toxic thing you can do for your brain (Multitasking Damages Your Brain And Career, New Studies Suggest).
You aren’t actually getting more done, you’re just performing several tasks one at a time quickly. No one can focus properly on two simultaneous tasks. So give your brain a break and do one thing at a time. Better concentration, better results, less brain fatigue.
I hope these tips will help you be and feel like the woman you want to be during the holiday season. And beyond.
For this Holiday Season I wish you what I wish for myself: good health, peace, calm, contentment, and joy!
For every challenge that (peri)menopause poses there’s a solution. I can help you!