10 self care tips for perimenopause menopause and postmenopause

Eileen Durward
Ask Eileen

11 July 2022

Today's topic

Today on A.Vogel Talks Menopause, I outline my best 10 self-care tips to help you through all stages of menopause, including perimenopause, menopause, and post-menopause.

One of the things I love about my job is when women get back to me and say, "I've taken your tips on board. I'm drinking more water. I'm exercising. I'm taking these supplements, and I feel better." I love to hear this! Sometimes, it's the littlest, simplest changes that can have such a big benefit.

However, the one area where I get total stubbornness is self-care. When I say "Take some 'me' time and look after yourself", it's amazing how many women say, "Ah, but I'm too busy. I've got too much to do. I don't have time." So, what I want to do today is go through 10 simple tips, ones that I found helpful during my menopause and afterwards, and hopefully you will start to incorporate them into your life and reap the benefits as well.

If you're on HRT, if you can't go on HRT, if you don't want to go on HRT, these tips are all helpful for you all. And it's important to understand that self-care is imperative for your health. It's not a luxury. So, here are 10 of my best self-care tips:

1. Get the menopause basics right

First and foremost, I recommend that you go back to basics. Have a look at your diet. Are you eating well? How are you sleeping? Are you drinking water? Are you exercising? Are you doing your deep breathing? Are you taking that little bit of "me" time?

I have explained the importance of these 6 menopause basics in more detail in my blog, '6 good habits every menopausal woman needs to have!'

2. Explore alternative therapies and supplements

I'm not a doctor, so I don't normally talk about HRT or other medication, but I have communication and access to wonderful practitioners like herbalists, nutritional therapists, and naturopaths who give me their advice and their knowledge, and I use that in a lot of my blogs.

Over the years, for me, and also for a lot of women, I've found that these can be helpful. So, the supplements and products that I tend to recommend a lot are Sage for hot flushes and night sweats. And recent research has shown that sage can also help with brain fog.

If you are having sleep problems, I recommend the herbs Valerian and Hops for sleep. For all those dry issues, such as vaginal dryness, dry skin, and dry mouth, I recommend taking a Sea Buckthorn Oil supplement. And one mineral I recommend for just about everything is magnesium!

Therapies that I recommend include Acupuncture. I use this myself at the beginning of my menopause and it helped me. Nutritional therapists, herbalists, and homeopaths are all practitioners who can help support you through menopause.

You can also look at therapies and exercises, such as yoga, meditation, Pilates to help support your pelvic floor muscles, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) for anxiety; and even just getting a massage or some aromatherapy to help make you feel better.

3. Spend time outdoors in nature

This was a saviour for me! Getting outdoors and going on walks; having a little bit of company with other friends who enjoyed walking; and also gardening, are all my favourite ways to spend time in nature.

In Japan, they have something called forest bathing, because they have realised how important getting out into nature is for both your physical and mental well-being.

It has been shown in studies, that spending time outside in nature can help reduce stress and anxiety, as well as blood pressure, and also benefit your emotional health, all of which can be impacted during menopause. One study found that just five minutes of exercise in a park, on a nature trail, or other green space will benefit mental health. (1)

4. Turn off electronics and take a break from social media

This is especially important before you go to bed. It's blue light from devices that can interfere with sleep, so you shouldn't be looking at anything for at least an hour before going to bed. I also recommend that you don't have a TV in your room.

Have a social media detox now and again. We can get so wrapped up in what people think of us or if someone has liked a post, and what other people are posting about, and that can make any anxiety a lot worse. So, I recommend having the odd day where everything just gets put away, or trying to cut down your daily social media time.

5. Listen to music

This can be so therapeutic and calming. I try and listen to meditation music before I go to bed because it helps me to sleep. But if you need a little bit of energy, put some upbeat or up-tempo music on.

Some women tell me that they have a little dance every day, maybe for about 20 minutes, and it works wonders for boosting your mood and energy.

6. Set healthy boundaries

One of the many lessons that I learned during my menopause was to start saying "No" more often. I found that family, work, and friends were all asking so much of me that it got to the point I had no time for myself because all my time was spent helping other people, and doing things for other people.

So, once I learned to say no, without explaining why I said no, what a relief it was. It took such a lot of pressure off me. I think, sometimes, we think that people will not like us anymore if we say no; but very often they will just accept it and go and ask someone else.

7. Write a gratitude list every day

Write down 5 things each day that you are grateful for. I used to do it in the evening when I had a little bit of time. I would just sit and think of five nice things that happened to me during the day. It could be that lovely cup of tea with a friend. It could have been listening to birds singing first thing in the morning.

Focusing on what you're grateful for can help put things into perspective; it can help calm you and also help you see the positives in your life. So, try to take some time to do this each day.

Some women also find journaling is a great way to reflect on each day and its impact on them.

8. Declutter your home

When your personal space is cluttered, you can be mentally cluttered too, which can lead to extra anxiety and low mood. It is also hard to feel relaxed in a cluttered environment, so as part of starting a self-care routine, declutter your space.

I'm so bad at this, honestly, so I need to take my own advice on this one. I try to make sure that my bedroom is free of clutter because it has been found that a cluttered bedroom will affect the way you sleep. And also, I try to keep my sitting room clear so that I can sit down and relax and not feel as if I'm being oppressed by everything that surrounds me.

9. Request a health check from your doctor

One of the best ways to take care of yourself is to understand when you may also need medical support.

So many women say to me, "Oh, I don't want to bother my doctor." But you need to make sure that everything's going okay during menopause. So many other health issues can manifest during menopause, and complicate matters.

It could be things like high blood pressure or low iron. It could be underactive or overactive thyroid function. It could be something simple such as low vitamin D or B12. And these issues can all make menopause symptoms worse. So, it's always worth asking your doctor for a general health check and blood test, and if anything comes up it can be sorted so really quickly.

10. Remember: self-care isn’t selfish, it’s important!

Self-care is essential. It's not a luxury, as I mentioned at the beginning. Take the time to prioritise your self-care without guilt, and please don't be one of those "ah, but" women. You are important, so it's time to look after yourself as much as you can.

So, I hope you enjoyed this. Let me know how you get on even if you only implement one or two of these things into your daily routine. I'm sure it will make a difference, so please let me know.

Until next week, take care.

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A.Vogel Menopause Support tablets with Soy Isoflavones, Magnesium and Hibiscus for all stages of menopause

30 tablets

€ 11.49

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Menopause Support can be used to help you through all stages of the menopause.
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