Today on A.Vogel Talks Menopause, I'm taking a look at good habits you can adopt during menopause.
So, following last week's fifth-anniversary video, I thought it would be a good idea this week just to reflect on some of the good habits that are worth adopting during menopause.
So, these are self-help tips that I share regularly. They're not difficult ones on the whole and by adopting them, a lot of women find that it just helps to reduce their menopause symptoms. It can help them to feel better and it can help them just to go through that menopause just that little bit easier.
I will also share some of the really helpful tips that I've been given to me over the years from you lovely ladies that follow my blogs or ask me your questions.
The good habits everyone menopausal woman should adopt
These 6 simple things can make a big difference to your menopause journey, think of them as your menopause basics that every menopausal woman should follow!
1. Getting plenty of sleep
I know this is one of the more difficult ones because so many women tell me that their sleep gets disrupted during menopause. It can be a combination of falling hormones. It can also be to do with anxiety and stress. And it can be because sleep is being disturbed with things like joint pain or night sweats.
There are lots of nice remedies you can take for sleep, including our lovely licensed Dormeasan. And there are good habits that you can try before going to bed. Check out my blog 'How to sleep better during menopause', for tips and advice.
If you're not sleeping well, then trying to address that can make a huge amount of difference. If you sleep well, your body is going to be more rested. Your emotional and mental side is going to be more relaxed and rested as well. And that is all going to help you to cope better the next day.
2. Regularly exercising
Again, this can be a difficult one. If you are fatigued, if you've got joint aches and pains, if your get up and enthusiasm has gone, then the thought of exercising is just so unappealing.
But it is really important for several reasons. Firstly, women post-menopause are more prone to heart disease, so regular exercise is going to help to keep your heart healthy.
Regular exercise is also going to help with weight control. And I know a lot of women can suffer from weight gain, so keeping active can be one of the things you can do to keep this under control.
Regular exercise can also help to improve your circulation. As we get older, we're more prone to things like varicose veins, so keeping our circulation working well has got lots of benefits, also to our joints themselves.
If your muscles are strong and healthy, they are going to protect and support your joints and you will be less likely to suffer from joint problems such as arthritis.
It doesn't need to be mad exercising. Please don't think you've got to be down in the gym an hour a day for five days a week.
That can be counterproductive. Even something like a 15-minute brisk walk a day can make a huge amount of difference. And many women tell me that once they get into the habit of doing a little bit of exercise, it makes you feel better. It can lift your mood as well. And that little good feeling hit can very often last quite a long time after you finish the exercise, so it's certainly worth putting a little bit of effort into.
3 Drinking enough water
For those of you that have been following me for a while, you'll know all about the importance of drinking plenty of water during menopause.
Falling oestrogen can dehydrate us and if you're also suffering from hot flushes and night sweats, you can get extra dehydrated. And dehydration will make just about every single menopause symptom worse. So, drinking a litre and a half of plain water, over and above your other drinks (such as tea and coffee), can sometimes be the best medicine for menopause.
And so many women have got back to me to say that just by increasing their water intake, they have felt so much better.
4. Eating well
Our bodies are going through so many changes during menopause and that takes a lot of energy. Our bodies' nutritional needs go sky-high, so we need to eat well to give our body everything that it needs at this moment in time.
A lot of women decide to go on a diet during menopause and they find that cutting calories or going on a low-fat diet, can even cause weight gain.
So, it's about giving our body the nourishment that it needs. I do say to people, "Please try and eat regularly. Don't skip meals and have a little, healthy snack in between meals, purely to keep your blood sugars level."
Our blood sugar control can get a bit out of control during menopause. And if your blood sugar is going up and down, it can cause sugar cravings. It can make you feel unwell. It can trigger dizziness, headaches, hot flushes, and sweats, too.
So, eating well to keep our blood sugar level stable is a good thing to do. And that, in itself, again, can make you feel better really quickly.
5. Breathe better
I always say, "Don't forget to breathe." And someone will go, "Why breathing? It just doesn't seem to fit in with everything else."
Anxiety is a big issue in menopause. And when we get anxious, very often, we shallow breathe. Our brain, at this point, needs lots of oxygen to stop that fuzzy-headedness or memory issues.
Deep breathing also helps to calm our nervous system. And I had one lady who had only been practicing deep breathing for a week and she said that her panic attacks and anxiety had decreased considerably, and she felt more in control.
So, just learning some really simple deep breathing techniques every day until they become second nature can be of great benefit.
And as I've said before, if you're getting that fuzzy-headedness and memory issues, very often, it's just because we are not breathing properly.
6. Take some "me" time every day
This is so important. And I think it's one of the things that women struggle with more than anything.
I say to them, "Go and have that 30-minutes 'me' time." And very often the response I get is, "When am I going to fit it in? I'm too busy. I'm looking after other people. I'm doing things for other people." And very often, in menopause, we don't even put ourselves on our daily list of priorities.
We should be top of the list. And giving ourselves that "me" time can be worth its weight in gold.
It calms the nervous system. It gives us a break from the outside world. And it can help to calm us down generally. And that's all good things.
Over the years, women have shared lots of other tips with me which they have found helpful during menopause. So, here are a few of the best ones:
Coconut oil for vaginal dryness
This is the coconut oil that you cook with. It's so versatile, but make sure it's organic and a really good quality one. Some women have told me that it eases vaginal discomfort. Other women have told me that it can act as a natural lubricant. So, this is one that's certainly worth trying.
And the coconut oil, it's great for the skin. If your skin is getting dry, then this is something you can give yourself, a nice treatment once a week. Rather than using body lotion, you can just use coconut oil.
Using natural body care products eases symptoms
So, these would be things like shampoos, conditioners, shower gels. One lady told me that she had decided to start making her own natural body products and realised after about a month that she wasn't getting any of her hot flushes.
The chemicals in a lot of body care products can affect your hormones, believe it or not. And she felt that these were disrupting her body system and this is what was triggering the hot flushes.
So, swapping over to more natural or organic products can make a huge amount of difference, both to your skin, your hair, and maybe even your hormonal balance.
The right bedsheets could ease night sweats
If you're suffering from night sweats, two things can be really helpful. One is to make sure that you are using pure cotton sheets, not poly cotton or artificial fibres, because these tend not to let your body breathe. But one lady told me that when she changed over to just pure cotton sheets, her night sweats eased off tremendously.
Another lady told me that she uses a natural fleece under blanket. It has to be natural rather than man-made fibres because she felt that if she was sweating during the night, this absorbed a lot of the sweat and it didn't leave her feeling cold and clammy.
So, I hope you found this helpful and interesting. I am just so grateful to still be here, talking about the menopause and helping you lovely ladies. And, again, please keep those questions and comments coming in because they are so helpful for me and also for all other women out there.
Also, don't forget you can visit my menopause blog or check out the A.Vogel Talks Menopause playlist on YouTube to see all the menopause topics I have covered before, there is lots of tips and advice to help support you through menopause.
So, until next week, take care.