Natural methods you can use to reduce the increased stress experienced during peri-menopause.
Between hormonal surges, hot flashes, insomnia and the stress of work and family, the period of peri-menopause can be quite stressful for most women. Most women at this stage of life are busy with their careers, paying bills, maintaining a home and are quite often coping with raising children on one end and issues with their parents on the other. Earlier this year I was a menopausal sandwich between my son's Autism and my mom's delirium.
I know I am not alone in feeling this way. Some women may not mention it or even realize it is happening. But this stress can create a host of health issues and exacerbate pre-existing medical conditions.
Learn to Say NO!
Say it with me now, "No, I can't take on something else right now."
Not "Oh sure, I have no time for myself and am about ready to snap but I will do it."
Not "No, I'm really sorry, but..."
Give yourself permission to say NO to added responsibilities. Just be honest with people if they ask you to help out with something you simply don’t have time for right now.
If you can't say no completely, at least limit your extra activities. Not one parent wanted to step up in my son's 5th grade class to take on the responsibilities of Room Parent. However, five of us agreed to split those responsibilities. Less stress for all of us, and the job is still getting done.You can't pour from an empty cup. Women need to learn it's okay to say NO to added responsibilities and stress.
Reduce Your Caffeine and Alcohol Intake
Yeah, I know, what is life without coffee and wine?
Both caffeine and alcohol can trigger stress, as they are both stimulants. These types of stimulants might give you a short-term boost in your mood, but then when it wears off, you feel even worse than you did before. Not only are they bad for your stress and can actually make it worse, but they are also depressants.
Caffeine has also been shown to have a negative effect on the stress hormone cortisol, which is only going to make your stress worse. Plus, alcohol tends to affect the normal REM sleeping cycle.
Try gradually reducing your caffeine and alcohol consumption to see if it helps.
First I tell you to limit caffeine and alcohol and then I say to exercise. Next thing you know I will be telling you to eat healthier (oh wait, I did mention how that can help reduce menopause symptoms in this post.)
You don't need to join a gym, take up yoga or buy a bunch of exercise videos. You can start simply just by walking. You don't even need to buy a tracker, GASP! Start with a simple walk around the block 3-4 times a week, then gradually increase the time, distance and speed.
Exercise helps to relax you which will help you sleep, helps you lose weight and helps elevate your mood with production of endorphins. Win! Win! Win!
Improve Your Sleep
Well, pinning is cheaper than Amazon I guess.
If you are dealing with high stress levels while going through menopause, then you should really start focusing on getting better sleep. Insomnia is unfortunately a common side effect during menopause, so take your time and figure out what works best for you. This might be taking a relaxing bath with lavender essential oils, drinking a cup of herbal tea before bed, or doing your workout at night so that it can make you tired enough for adequate sleep before bed. Check out this post for tips on dealing with hot flashes and night sweats.
Do Something Good For Yourself
Easier said than done. But, if you learn to say NO to things once in awhile, maybe you can carve out a little time for you.
Many women find themselves overwhelmed with personal and work responsibilities, and rarely have time for themselves. If this sounds like you, then it is time to pamper yourself more. Schedule out time for yourself to get your hair done, get a manicure, go to lunch, or go for a walk on the beach.Stress happens, especially during menopause. Here are a few tips for reducing it naturally.
I am trusting the old adage "this too shall pass" and hope that eventually most of the joys of menopause, especially the stress part, will eventually subside.