The last year has been hard on everyone. For women when you add in the changing hormones of perimenopause and menopause that can lead to a lot of stress.
It seems like a vicious cycle to try and deal with stress and the physical changes we deal with during menopause. Normal stress can also increase menopause related anxiety, so it is important to develop strategies to deal with stress to help maintain happiness.
A few stress management strategies include:
Plan ahead – take some time during your weekend or at the end of the day to plan ahead. If you set up a plan for the week this can help you avoid rushed feelings. A daily journal can be a great tool. Set aside 10 minutes at the end of each day and set a plan for the next day if a weekly plan feels like too much.
Learn to relax – like really relax. This one can be a challenge, but it is important to find something that helps you to relax and release your tension.
Increase your social support - during these times we are experiencing this one may feel challenging but remember to lean on your friends and family for support. A phone call can be a powerful mood boost.
Meditate – remember meditation doesn’t have to be sitting on a mat, meditation can be done in many forms as long as it is a practice that helps you to focus on positive things.
Do not engage in self-judgement – as women this is probably a challenging one. As part of your daily planning consider coming up with a positive affirmation that can help you feel good about yourself.
Our diet can also provide positive benefits. The first question to ask yourself “are you drinking enough water?” Water consumption is vital especially as we age. If you are dehydrated it may lead to feelings of fatigue and causing any menopause symptoms to be more intense.
There are several superfoods that can help promote calmness and support an ideal weight. Make sure you are adding these foods into your meal plan each week.
1. Dark green leafy vegetables are high in folate, which stimulates the serotonin and dopamine neurotransmitters to fight any onset of depression and stress.
2. Fermented foods, such as kombucha tea, are great for the vagus nerve that sends soothing signals to the brain.
3. Omega-3 oils act like a soothing coat for your nervous system.
4. Blueberries and blackberries contain anthocyanins that help the brain make dopamine. Blueberries also help in the production of white blood cells to boost the immune system.
5. Pistachios help to dilate arteries for less vascular restriction, thus decreasing the stress on the heart.
6. Dark chocolate contains anandamide which is a neurotransmitter that helps to prevent depression.
7. Avocados contain minerals, vitamins, and healthy fat that create satiation and control blood sugar.
By making small positive changes each day you can live your ideal life. It is important to remember that life is a journey, not a destination. Stay as positive as possible - you are doing great.