In most women, menopause begins somewhere in their late 40s or early 50s. The symptoms of menopause, however, can last for up to 10 years or even more.
Women face numerous physical changes during this time, such as weight gain, lack of sleep, hot flashes, night sweats, and reduced energy. In addition to these changes, there are also emotional and mental changes that occur, including stress and poor mental health.
Living with these symptoms and going about one’s life can be difficult for most menopausal women. Therefore, it’s vital to learn about the coping strategies that can help you deal with these symptoms.
In this article, we will be discussing the different ways in which women can deal with the symptoms they face during this period of transition.
Coping Strategies for Menopausal Symptoms
Menopausal symptoms aren’t just external but also internal. There are various ways to deal with these symptoms. Let’s take a look at the different menopausal symptoms and the coping strategies associated with them:
Feeling overheated is a common menopausal symptom. Here’s how you can deal with it:
- Dress in layers so that it’s easier to remove the various pieces of clothing when you begin to feel too hot
- Adjust the temperature within your home in a manner such that it’s comfortable for your body
- Practice controlled breathing the minute your hot flashes begin, as it helps in making them less severe and also shortens their duration
- Water helps in regulating the internal temperature of your body and therefore stay hydrated throughout the day
- Try flaxseed oil
- Stay away from hot environments and activities, such as saunas and sunbathing.
- Don’t consume spicy food
Loss of Bladder Control and Vaginal Dryness
The hormonal imbalances that occur during menopause cause women to experience loss of bladder control and also vaginal dryness. The latter can make sexual intercourse painful and affect a woman’s sex life.
The ways to deal with these problems are:
- Use a lubricant during sex
- Try out Kegel exercises, as they strengthen the pelvic floor muscles and also help in dealing with urinary incontinence
- The urinary and vaginal symptoms you face during menopause can often be dealt with flaxseed oil and vitamin E that comes in the form of creams or supplements
Loss of muscle mass and reduced energy levels are some of the many reasons why women gain weight as they go through menopause. However, maintaining a moderate weight is essential to cope with menopausal symptoms.
If you’re experiencing weight gain during this transitional phase, here’s what you can do:
- Cut back on processed foods and refined sugar
- Exercise more regularly and keep your body moving
- Stay hydrated
- Avoid caffeine and alcohol
- Incorporate plenty of fruits and vegetables in your meals
- Consume foods that are rich in vitamin D and calcium
Experiencing problems with your sleep cycle is something many women face during menopause. It could be due to hot flashes, night sweats, or even stress. You can deal with insomnia by taking the following steps:
- Try relaxation techniques, such as yoga, meditation, and listening to soothing music before going to bed
- Bring down the temperature of your bedroom, as a cooler environment can help you sleep better
- Take a bath before going to bed
- Antidepressants can often keep you awake at night. Talk to your doctor to see if this may be causing insomnia
Stress and Mood Swings
The changes women face, and the fluctuating mental health can all combine to cause immense stress as they journey through menopause. Attempt to lower your stress levels through the methods listed below:
- Join Support Groups and Discuss Your Issues with Your Loved Ones
When you have conversations with the ones who are facing the same problems as you, it becomes easier to deal with the situation. It also allows for the discussion to become more lighthearted, instead of the worries constantly weighing you down.
- Make Sure to Get Enough Sleep Every Night
Create a nighttime routine for yourself that allows you to fall asleep easily. Stay away from electronic devices before going to bed, and also avoid caffeine and alcohol as they can impact your sleep. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is also an effective way to deal with sleep disturbances during menopause.
- Try Positive Affirmations
Although the affirmations may seem like mere words in the beginning, they hold more power than you realize. The more you keep repeating these powerful statements to yourself, the more improved your mental health becomes. This allows you to take the time you need to embrace this transitional period of your life and do things at your own pace. After all, being kind to yourself is the best thing to do, especially while going through menopause.
- Change Your Diet and Don’t Indulge in Binge Eating
While it could be tempting to reach for a bag of chips or a tub of ice cream every time the symptoms of menopause get too much to bear, those added calories do you more harm than good in the long run.
Although it may not seem appetizing at that moment, making a salad rich in protein will be much more beneficial for you when it comes to handling menopausal symptoms.
Here’s what you should remember about your diet during menopause:
- Be sure to incorporate calcium, magnesium, vitamins, and fiber into your daily diet.
- Use salt and sugar only in moderation.
- Consume fiber-filled whole grains, lean protein, vegetables, and fruits as much as possible.
- Reach out for fish oil as it is rich in omega-3 fatty acids that can aid in soothing anxiety and mood swings.
A couple of the common symptoms of menopause are hot flashes, mood swings, insomnia, night sweats, and weight gain.
Menopausal symptoms can last for 10 to 14 years.
Some of the ways to deal with the symptoms of menopause include exercise, meditation, getting proper sleep, and maintaining a healthy diet.
Yes, exercise does help in providing relief from menopausal symptoms.
Yes, there are quite a few coping strategies for the emotional and mental menopausal symptoms.
There is absolutely no reason for a woman to feel ashamed by how overwhelming it is to go through menopause. It’s a life-altering event that comes with multiple physical, mental, and emotional changes.
While it may seem daunting at first to experience these symptoms, it’s not at all impossible to deal with them. Different women experience different menopausal symptoms in varying capacities. Therefore, the ways to deal with them differ as well.
For example, while some women indulge in exercise, others try out meditation and massages. It’s also important to talk to your doctor regarding your symptoms so they can suggest helpful coping strategies to make this transitional period as smooth for you as possible.