Self-care During Menopause
One of the most well-known menopause symptoms is the hot flash, a sudden, overwhelming sense of being overheated, complete with the expected flush, sweat and feeling that you’ve just stepped outside during a heat wave – whether you’re in your home, at work, in the mall, or in a park. Many women come to dread having a hot flash, along with other menopause symptoms that can negatively impact daily life, but are there ways to make this time easier?
Menopause symptoms can be managed, often with preparation. Of course, if you find that symptoms associated with menopause are unbearable, you should contact your provider in order to determine if prescribed treatment is appropriate. For example, sometimes hot flashes can become so frequent and intense that you are not able to effectively function – in this case, a visit with your provider is needed.
What are common menopause symptoms?
- Hot flashes
- Difficulty sleeping
- Difficulty concentrating
- Mood swings
- Bone loss / weakness
How can I prepare / treat menopause symptoms?
As you can imagine, it’s one thing to deal with a hot flash during periods in which your mood can fluctuate, and it’s another to deal with menopause symptoms while also struggling to sleep peacefully. Fortunately, there are steps women can take to help alleviate symptoms as well as the stress that comes from not knowing just how much menopause will impact your day.
- Create a hot flash “kit” – water bottle, change of clothing (or at least a shirt), scarf, tissues, travel deodorant, face wipes, granola bar, hair ties, and blotting papers. Keep a version of this kit either in your purse or at the office for easy access.
- Learn your triggers for symptoms – sometimes women find it easier to sleep if they avoid caffeine after a certain point in the afternoon or avoid or lessen a hot flash if they skip spicy foods, wine, and / or tobacco.
- Monitor stress – unfortunately, stress is one of the top reasons behind flare-ups of menopause symptoms. Stress can be difficult to avoid, but awareness that it can contribute to the intensity of menopause symptoms can help. Again, women whose symptoms impact their daily life to the point they are forced to miss responsibilities such as work, are encouraged to speak with their provider soon.