Self-care habits that you can create in menopause
Menopause is a time of change, sometimes physical, often emotional. Self Care in Menopause
We are often told that one of the most difficult events to deal with in life is moving houses. Well, guess what.. in menopause, it can feel like you are being moved from one body and into another, in a manner of speaking of course!
You have to deal with a host of new things that you did not have to deal with before: Hot flashes, insomnia, short temper, impatience, to name just a few.
It is precisely at times of stress when we have to take better care of ourselves. Let’s look at our to-do list and put ourselves on it, preferably near the top! Menopause is a time for you to focus on self-care in order to reduce stress and make the move into the new phase easier on yourself. Here are ten proven ways that you can invest in your health and wellbeing:
1- Create a morning routine
Schedule a time for yourself in the morning for a routine that helps you feel energized and sets a positive tone for the day. It can be 10 minutes or an hour. Have a coffee in silence, do meditation, stretch, or walk; anything that starts your day well for you. Follow the same steps in the same sequence every morning. This will help you to feel more centered and in control.
2- Learn New Things
Life is busy. It is full of distractions and chores, but taking good care of our minds is as important as taking good care of our bodies. Science has repeatedly shown us that we can maintain a youthful brain and body if we continue to challenge them by learning and doing new things. You can learn a new language, a new cuisine, yoga or another skill. Indulge in something you have always wanted to learn about; learning anything new creates fresh neural pathways and prevents mental decline.
The evidence in favor of meditation is overwhelming. Meditation helps to calm anxiety and makes us feel more centered. Many have incorporated meditation into their daily routines, but others think that it is too ‘out there’ or feel that it is not for them. Only 8 weeks of meditation has been shown to affect the frontal cortex of the brain positively. Starting with 5 minutes or less of meditation can be beneficial. Try using apps like Headspace or Calm, which offer a range of guided meditations.
You have heard it before: Exercise is good for you. It is good for your bone health and also does wonders for mood and wellbeing. You can start small and work up to a longer walk. Trackers such as Fitbit can help you stay motivated, and listening to music or audiobooks as you walk is multi-tasking at its best.
5- Talk to a Friend
There is no question that having close friends is good for you. Science has shown the importance of a strong social network for health and longevity, but sometimes, we let friendships lapse. Call up a friend to have a coffee and a chat. Better still, schedule a regular friendship day in the week where you meet a friend and reconnect.
6- Pamper Yourself
Go on! You deserve it.
A facial, a manicure and pedicure, a hot stone massage, a foot massage, a new hairstyle; anything that makes you feel pampered and at the center of your universe is a good idea. If you are not able to afford to go to a beauty center, create your own. Have a bubble bath, give yourself a nail treatment, or even a crazy hair color.
7- Start a Gratitude Journal
Happiness research has found that feelings of gratitude lead to a more fulfilled and happy life. Get yourself a beautiful notebook and keep it by your bedside table. Jot down a couple of sentences every evening before you go to bed listing the things you are grateful for that day. Really… it works… give it a try!
8- Get Creative
Take out those old paintbrushes, write a memoir, create a garden, join a choir, go to dance classes. Art and creativity are music for the soul; they lift us out of the ordinary and give us a welcome reprieve from the more mundane side of life.
9- Schedule Checkups
Taking care of your health is of the utmost importance. Please schedule annual medical checkups with your health provider. Get your breast exams, mammography, pap smears, blood tests, bone density scan and the other exams recommended by your doctor on time. This is one of the essential steps in self-care.
10- Create a Bedtime Routine
Good quality sleep is vital for health and cognition. When we don’t get enough sleep, nothing seems well with the world. Getting good sleep might become more challenging during menopause, so you have to create better sleep patterns to help with such disruption. Go to bed at a regular time every evening. Stop using electronics or digital screens at least half an hour before bedtime. Try to stop eating two hours before sleeping. A darkened room that is kept cool is better for sleep. All of this will reinforce positive sleep hygiene.
Do not overwhelm yourself. These suggestions are not a new to-do list, but ideas on how you can help yourself have an easier time through menopause. Try one, try them all, but make changes gradually and incorporate these new habits into your daily life.
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