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Navigating perimenopause and menopause



Perimenopause and your transition to menopause.


Perimenopause means “around menopause” and refers to the time during which your body makes the natural transition to menopause, marking the end of your menstrual cycles and  ovulation, and hence, your reproductive years.

This “around” time can take months or years, during which time your body starts transformation, into our later stages of life. We may acquire a few extra pounds, develop joint pain, have trouble sleeping, and feel our physical energy become a bit less. Our hair may start showing some gray, and skin and nails may feel dryer, we may become aware of some early wrinkles and muscle flaccidity.

Emotionally, as we become aware of our age, we may feel more conscious of the years gone by and feel some regrets, or second guess the decisions we have taken in life. Hormones, and lack of sleep may make us cranky and restless. This can take a toll on us, and our relationships.

The transition into menopause is a normal process for every woman. Men go through their hormonal transitions as well, as they navigate andropause.

The last thing we want to do is start a war against our natural changes, as it is a lost battle. Mother Nature will always win, so, what can we do to navigate this transition feeling well in body and mind? Here is a list of tips I can offer:

  1. Take your days one at a time, as you take your hot flushes. Use light clothing, consult with an herbalist for the best herbal route.
  2. Healthy diet. Understand that your metabolism is now a bit slower, so eat lighter. More protein and less carbohydrates. Stay away from sugars.
  3. You need hydration in your body, as well as your skin. Drink plenty of water, electrolytes, and use a good, natural moisturizer.
  4. Eat earlier, so you can digest earlier and go to bed earlier. You will feel more refreshed and less cranky and tired in the morning.
  5. Concentrate on being healthy. That is a priority and priceless as we age. We cannot change the size of our hips, or our height. Work with what you have.
  6. Feel grateful that you have gotten here, many have not. Be grateful for the people in your life, the achievements you have made. This is a transition, not the end of life. Re-invent yourself.
  7. If you have now finished the job of raising children and have a partner, rekindle. Enjoy each other’s company and having fun doing the things you love. Accept each other’s body changes with grace and love.
  8. Find support. Your best support system is a combination of good healthcare providers and friends and family. Keep close those that have a positive attitude, stay away from those that are in constant fight of aging, or the opposite, those that feel they are now old.
  9. Acupuncture, massage, Reiki, herbs, homeopathy, all have been found to help the perimenopause and menopause stages.
  10. And finally, HUMOR. Take it all with a grain of salt. Take that Yoga class, go to Pilates, enjoy the gym, the walks, the runs, learn to laugh at your new quirkiness and learn to love and nourish your new self. This is you; this is natural. Life may have changed but it didn’t stop.
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