As I press publish on this post, it’s International Women’s Day, and my social media feeds are full of well-wishes and women’s health advice for fitness, nutrition, and even menopause, but most women don’t realize three crucial things:
- Menopause is only one day long.
- Perimenopause can last 10-15 years.
- What we do during pregnancy and perimenopause will dramatically impact our quality of life post-menopause.
It can be challenging to navigate the many physical, emotional, and lifestyle changes that come along with the transitions between pregnancy, periods, and no more menstrual cycles. But there are ways to make perimenopause (the transition years between childbearing through menopause) an empowering and positive experience.
Here are 5 tips for women who want to improve their experience with perimenopause:
Stay Informed – Knowledge is power! Educate yourself on the medical aspects of perimenopause such as what hormones are involved, what systems they interact with in the body, and how they fluctuate during this time. This information can help you better understand your own body’s needs and develop an action plan to maintain health during this period. Additionally, learning about treatments options like hormone therapy can help you make informed decisions about managing symptoms associated with perimenopause. Take a look at our ProActive Perimenopause course to start learning!Proactive Perimenopause
Embrace the Change – Perimenopause can be a difficult time for many women as it marks changes in their bodies and lives that feel out of their control. However, you can control a lot. You can eat, exercise, sleep, and schedule your life in ways that can lessen and hold off a lot of the more difficult changes. Also, many of the changes offer opportunities for growth and a chance to create a new normal for yourself after this transition period is over. You won’t be the same when it’s over, and maybe that’s alright?
Prioritize Self-Care – Taking care of yourself should always be top priority when navigating this stage of life! Make sure you are getting enough restful sleep each night, eating healthy foods, exercising regularly, taking breaks throughout the day to relax, engaging in activities you enjoy, spending time in your community, and whatever lowers your stress + elevates feelings of well-being. These simple steps can make a huge difference in how you feel during perimenopause by keeping your body and mind strong and resilient and ready to handle the tough days. Here is another article I wrote about some key things I do personally for myself as I’ve been going through perimenopause.
Connect with Others Experiencing Perimenopause – A great way to cope with perimenopausal symptoms is by connecting with other women who are also going through similar situations so that you don’t feel alone in dealing with these changes in your body! Local support groups dedicated specifically to helping women cope with issues related to menopause (like hot flashes or insomnia) are especially beneficial for providing camaraderie and practical advice from individuals who have been through similar experiences before you. If you can’t find one, consider starting your own to help others.
Find Ways To Manage Hormone Fluctuations – Finally, understanding hormone fluctuations during this time can help you find ways to best ways to manage them. We offer a lot of strategies in our ProActive Perimenopause course. For instance, depending on what symptoms arise due to any imbalances caused by changing levels in estrogen or progesterone, you may adopt strategies including seed cycling, using magnesium cream, lifting weights to manage hot flashes (it’s weird but works) using natural supplements such as black cohosh or chasteberry extract, and – of course – if symptoms are severe, discussing treatment options like hormone therapy and topical cremes with a qualified, experienced doctor who can help you find relief.
One more thought on preparing for perimenopause:
Preparing for a better menopause – which is simply the actual single day that you’ve gone without a period for one year – means being proactive in perimenopause which includes the 10-15 years of slow changes that culminate and surround menopause. In an ideal world, the knowledge to handle perimenopause well would be gathered earlier… during pregnancy… even better: during puberty! Imagine a world where young girls get quality, body-positive information about how to have better periods and pregnancies which then would impact their perimenopausal experience!?!
It begins here with you, with the women and girls around you. Let’s model this: an intentional, informed approach to our own perimenopausal experience because the younger generations are watching and learning from us. Let’s show them that we don’t have to turn into hysterical hot messes. We can reverse osteoporosis and hot flashes with weightlifting. We can improve our period pain with certain stretches, castor oil packs, seed cycling, and self-care. We can practice good sleep hygiene and seek out help for our mental health with our heads held high because we plan to age. We plan to live. We plan to be here and be strong for them when it’s their turn.
Leave A Comment
We love hearing from you, so tell us below: What did you know when you were younger about perimenopause? Did you know that menopause is just one day? Did you know that weight lifting can help with hot flashes and brittle bone disease? What step do you think you’ll take first to change your experience with the change? How can we help the next generation?