SEX & HEALTH
Like many things, menopause is an unavoidable part of life. With symptoms lasting up to 8 years, women between the ages of 45 and 55 are the most commonly effected. And while when you’re in the midst of menopause, it can sometimes feel like an uphill battle – with hot flushes, a dwindling sex drive, bloating and more besides - rest assured that there is light at the end of this particular tunnel.
In days gone by, life post-menopause was viewed by many as a time in which women were certifiably over the hill, and it’s safe to say that menopause was dreaded by women the world over. These days, however, more and more women are choosing to embrace the change, and throw caution to the wind in both the years and decades to follow. To help you navigate what can be an unsettling time for many, we’ve rounded up some expert tips for ways in which to cope with life after menopause, whether you’re anticipating its arrival, in the throws of hot flushes, or have transitioned to the other side.
1. Ditch the cigarettes: if you smoke, now is the time to stop. Not only can the nicotine make hot flushes worse, but it can also affect the absorption of nutrients that are vital during menopause and beyond.
2. Reduce caffeine intake: while that morning cup of coffee might help get you through the day, excess amounts of caffeine is a sure fire way to increase the frequency of hot flushes, and can also cause headaches. Try limiting your tea and coffee to a couple of cups a day.
3. Recharge your exercise routine: whether pre, mid or post-menopausal, now is a great time to start a regular exercise routine. While something as intense as a marathon might not be on your radar, try introducing daily walks, Pilates or swimming as a great way to strengthen bones, reduce the risk of osteoporosis and help increase your sex drive.
4. Drink red wine: while we’re not suggesting you turn to the bottle as a way of coping or celebrating menopause, a glass of red wine has been proven to help reduce the risk of heart disease among menopausal women.
5. Embrace the new chapter: for many women, the start – or indeed end – of menopause can mark a time in one’s life when children have flown the nest, and slowing down at work may very well be on the horizon. For those that are lucky enough to find more time – and money – on their hands, start a new hobby, take up a new sport, and enjoy everything that this new stage of life has to offer.
6. Indulge in self-care: self-care is important at all stages of life, but can be particularly pertinent when coping with menopause and all its symptoms. Whether investing in something like hormone replacement therapy or acupuncture to ease hot flushes, or something as simple as a daily bubble bath, taking the time to look after yourself can help alleviate anxiety, depression and far more besides.
While there’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to menopause, following our tips and remembering to be kind to yourself will help you to maintain a sense of happiness and positivity throughout the changes your body will go through. Whether you opt to treat yourself to build confidence, or take up regular exercise to build strength, remember that there is much to look forward to in the months that follow menopause.