Brace Yourself for Menopause With These Tips
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Published by TOP4 Team
Until recently, menopause was seen as a dreary time of health problems and endings. Now, luckily, women look at life more positively. There’s no longer any need to define ourselves by our youth or ability to have children. Most of us will be working for at least another decade. Our activities, families and friends are there to help us through low times.
The menopause is another of life’s transitions, like your first day at school, puberty, first day at work, setting up home and having children. Not all the changes are necessarily welcome. But this can be one of the most energetic times of a woman’s life. Even old age need not be frightening if you plan for it and look after your health.
Here are tips to prepare yourself for it.
Take some energetic exercise at least three times a week, to keep depression and weight-gain at bay. If it’s also weight-bearing exercise (like aerobics or running), you’ll be keeping your bones strong too. This reduces your risk of osteoporosis, one of the major problems faced by older women.
Try exercising for just ten minutes when you get up in the morning. You will be amazed at the difference it makes, not just in keeping you supple, but in changing a perhaps depressed mood into a cheerful one. You can start by doing the exercises shown on “stretch - relax like a cat”.
When you feel stressed and irritable, find a quiet spot to do your favourite relaxation technique. Organize for your own needs instead of everyone else’s.
Cut down on animal fats, coffee, fizzy drinks, sugar and alcohol, but eat plenty of fresh vegetables and fruit. This will protect your bones and help keep your moods on an even keel. Japanese women, who rarely suffer menopausal symptoms, eat masses of vegetables and soya products such as tofu (beancurd).
It’s no use pretending losses are not painful. Sometimes a letting-go ritual can help you say goodbye and move on.
Write a letter to the person or thing you’ve lost, whether it’s your job, your marriage, your children who have left home, or anything else. Be clear what you’re missing, if you’re mourning your youth, for example, is it your fertility, role as mother, youthful looks, or all of these? Do you suspect your sex life is over? Do you think you’ll be despised and ignored? Do you fear weakness and ill-health?
Write it down without holding anything back. When you’ve got it all out, spend some time thinking it over and let yourself cry as much as you want. Then burn the letter and blow the ashes out of the window. Take a few deep breaths and say, “I’m moving on to the rest of my life”. Then do something you enjoy, preferably with friends.
Make time to go out with friends. If they’re melted away over the years, find some more through evening classes or community groups. Talk problems over when you need to, but don’t get into downbeat habits. Spend time with people who lift you up -- not with those who bring you down.
Promise yourself at least one thing a week that’s nothing but fun. Look through the local paper for new things to do and book ahead.
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