Life Stress in Menopause – The Last Thing You need!
You’d think someone was having fun at our expense wouldn’t you?!? As if dealing with the symptoms of fluctuating hormones wasn’t enough, menopause often coincides with some of life’s big events! Kids leaving for uni, parents with health issues, a change in career or job concerns, divorce!!! The list is infinite!
I was listening to a podcast the other week by Dr Michael Roizen, an American anaesthesiologist with a special interest in longevity. After years of research, he and his team have concluded that the largest indicator of longevity is how well we manage our stress or how resilient to stress we are. This factor was above what we eat and how well we exercise!! Sadly, we can’t wave a magic wand and rid ourselves of the real life stressors but we can, in fact we must (!) get a handle on how we cope with these events. Even if it’s easier said than done, we really must keep stress management front and centre in our thoughts.
So How do I achieve this ?!?
So first of all, and I would say this! You must cut the crap out or your diet. Sugar, booze, shitty oils and baked goods harm your symptom and can cause low grade, chronic inflammation. These foods do not support a body that is being compromised (temporarily) by fluctuating hormones.
Adopt new habits!
Gratitude journaling can actually change neuronal pathways. The act of writing in a note book, once a day, can literally rewire pathways that regulate our emotions. Last thing at night or first thing in the morning is best.
Meditation has been used for thousands of years to regulate the parasympathetic (calming) nervous system. There are so many types to choose from. Both mantra based and silent meditation have been shown to improve our response to negative events. This improves our physical resilience!
Exercise of any kind improves longevity. Even if it’s walking with friends. Find something you like and schedule it in your diary as you would any other important event. Yoga is incredible for connecting body and mind via the vagus nerve.
Saunas are great way to force your body to relax! And hugely detoxify too. Try the German / Scandi way and swap hot with cold / cool temperatures. Be sure to rest after the sauna for 10 mins before getting cold. Exert caution, cold therapy isn’t great for everyone. Extremes are not necessarily good.
Breath work is such a useful tool. You can do box breathing (in 4, hold 4, out 4) or 4 – 7 -8 breathing absolutely anywhere! It takes only a couple of minutes to trigger your parasympathetic nervous system.
Foster friendships! Dr Roizen’s research showed that when you have 6 people in your life that you ‘feel vulnerable’ towards, meaning you are accountable to, your physical resilience is stronger.
These are great tools. Try and get them into your diary one way or another. When you notice you are feeling stressed, remember to try and make time to support your body. But don’t feel stressed about feeling stressed!
Additionally, there are a number of nutrients that support the nervous system especially at this time. Magnesium is the most important of these nutrients but there are others too. Check our supplement shop to read more about then.