Last Updated on August 22, 2022 by Editorial Staff
By Patri Hernandez, founder of ohmightyhealth.com
Menopause is a stage of life that many find difficult because it can be accompanied by a number of uncomfortable symptoms. For example, you might notice an increase in your blood pressure or hot flushes. But it’s also the perfect time to engage in some menopause self care!
“Changes in hormones during menopause can lead to weight gain and make blood pressure more sensitive to salt in the diet — which, in turn, can lead to higher blood pressure.” – Mayo Clinic
Hopefully, you may also feel more inclined to take care of yourself in a very nurturing way. Whether this is with taking time for yourself, getting back out into the dating pool, or having some fun indulging in guilty pleasures like chocolate cake every now and then (I certainly do, there’s a chocolate vegan cake I’ve been enjoying lately that is a dream come true), there are numerous ways to stay healthy and happy through menopause and beyond.
It’s natural that at this stage of your life, you’re going to want to care for yourself. That has been my experience, and I’ve noticed that my health has improved in the last few years. The key is to make sure you’re taking the right steps and really indulging in menopause self care. Now is not the time to hold back!
Here are some ways to stay healthy and happy during menopause:
1. Eating healthy as a general rule
It’s a no-brainer, but eating healthy is always the first step in staying healthy. Eating well means making sure you’re getting all of the nutrients you need from food (I’m not keen on supplements). I’m a huge fan of vegan diets because there are ample nutrients to be found in unrefined plant-based foods.
“New ‘game-changing’ research has found that a vegan diet can improve menopausal symptoms. A new study has connected dietary changes to the improved symptoms of menopause. Researchers discovered a vegan diet rich in soy reduces the number of vasomotor symptoms, including hot flashes, for menopausal women.” – Plant Based News
2. Sleeping patterns that vary, but that’s ok
There is no doubt that sleep is a crucial element in staying healthy, and it’s a good thing to take the time to get seven or eight hours of sleep every night. My insomnia levels have worsened since going through the menopause, but I don’t let this get me down. If you struggle with sleep, you could try lavender essential oil on a pad under your pillow, or you could test my favourite sleep aid – a glass of hot plant milk with dark chocolate powder. It works wonders. When I wake up in the middle of the night, I enjoy the fact that I am alive and well and understand that waking up regularly is just a part of what happens during the menopause.
“Chocolate with a cocoa percentage of at least 70% is healthiest. Eating these foods, as well as following the Mediterranean diet pattern, may not only help improve symptoms of menopause but also boost your health long term.” – Lisa Health
3. Movement of some sort
Getting enough physical activity is also essential for optimal health, and it is especially important to get out there and stay active during menopause. I have never been a fan of the gym: too dark, too much sweating and too many mirrors. In fact, I’m the complete opposite of “gym girl” because I don’t like to exercise in that way. But this does not mean I do not stay active.
A few years ago I moved to an island and own my own land, where I grow organic fruit and vegetables. There’s plenty of daily activity, believe me. I consider this to be one of the main keys to my success in staying healthy, and it’s a big part of why I’ve been able to go through menopause effectively. I have plenty of walking to do, no matter what the weather is like, and most importantly I am outside doing work that gives me a sense of purpose. The fresh air and sunshine are also important factors. Let’s not forget the fabulous food I eat daily – all from my own garden.
“Try brisk walking, jogging, biking, swimming or water aerobics. If you’re a beginner, start with 10 minutes a day and gradually increase the intensity and duration. Strength training. Regular strength training can help you reduce body fat, strengthen your muscles and burn calories more efficiently.” – Mayo Clinic
4. Real, nurturing, meaningful menopause self-care
One of the key ways to stay healthy and happy during menopause is to take time for yourself. Whether this is with getting some maintenance work done, seeing your friends on a regular basis, or developing a hobby you’re passionate about, there are countless ways to do so.
Menopause has been a “game-changer” for me in the sense that I feel I have a connection with myself that was not there before. This connection started gradually but then became more prominent later on. For example, I started to discover my love of plants, cooking and playing the piano again, which I now enjoy daily. Connecting with myself has certainly helped me feel better and more healthy in so many ways. There are many self-care ideas you can think of, the possibilities are endless.
“Self-care is incredibly important. It is imperative to stop and take the time to “restore, renew, and refresh”. It is also necessary to make more time for yourself, so you’re not feeling burnt out.” – Oh Mighty Health
5. Keeping a healthy environment
Another key component of staying healthy and happy during menopause is making sure your home/environment is well balanced and aesthetically pleasing. I’ve learned to keep my home as clean and tidy as possible, which has helped me feel good about my place. I’ve also replaced many of my furnishings with wood furniture, which adds a cosy atmosphere to the home.
“Menopause can be a time of changing needs in our homes. This is an opportunity to make sure that we are living in the way that best suits our needs today and into the future.” – My Second Spring
Menopause: a game-changer for many
Menopause can be a game-changer; it definitely has been for me. I feel connected to my inner world, to my spiritual side and to nature. I have a sense of peace and balance that has never been there before, and I am grateful for every day that passes.
I consider being able to go through menopause in such a positive way is a major achievement, but the truth is it’s not an easy journey by any means. There have been plenty of challenges along the way, but also many moments of joy and happiness.
Being able to accept the changes that come with going through menopause and embracing them has been key. I’m still learning to do so, as a matter of fact. It is important to be flexible and adaptable because the idea is to be healthy and happy in the present moment, no matter what is happening around you.
The key for me was accepting this transition, which cannot be avoided and learning from it.
Listen to Clarissa Kristjansson on the Magnificent Midlife Podcast
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Patri Hernandez is the founder of ohmightyhealth.com, where she helps individuals get started on their journey to healing and build a strong foundation for their future self-care practices. Going through the menopause herself, she has turned her passion for holistic self-care practices into a career, where she helps women develop a better understanding of their bodies, improve their health and create the life they want to live. She is also a certified natural cosmetics formulator, with over 4 years of experience.