“There is no more creative force in the world than the menopausal woman with zest.”
— Margaret Mead
September is Menopause Awareness Month so I’ve teamed up with HealthyWomen.org, the National Osteoporosis Foundation, and The Three Tomatoes to bring you a bunch of information about what you can do to weather this inevitable storm. (And, while you’re at it, follow all three of these incredible organizations).
Whether you’re pre-menopausal, smack in the thick of things, or running for the light at the end of the tunnel . . . you might want to heed the words of Bette Davis in one of my favorite movies, All About Eve: “Fasten your seat belts. It’s going to be a bumpy night.”
Except it’s far more than a night. It’s years.
Perimenopause–the transition to menopause–usually starts in your 40s or even earlier, and according to the North American Menopause Society (NAMS), the average woman doesn’t actually reach menopause until age 51. What happens then? Voila’ . . . you are a post-menopause woman, for the rest of your life.
Fact: Once you’ve gone through menopause and then come out of it, you are officially a post-menopause woman . . . for the rest of your life.
Whatever stage you’re in, you WILL make it to the other side (I promise!), especially if you follow some of the great science-backed tips we’ll be bringing to you all month long, starting with these small steps to manage what I call the Terrible Menopause Trifecta (TMT): hot flashes, night sweats, and mood swings:
- Don’t smoke.
- Get to and then maintain a healthy weight.
- Exercise every day, including vigorous workouts to get your heart rate up 3 to 4 times a week.
- Eat plenty of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains, and aim for minimal saturated fats and sugars.
- Dress in layers to help combat hot flashes.
- Go to bed early so you can get plenty of sleep–even if the night sweats hit.
- Keep your bedroom cool and bedclothes light to minimize night sweats.
- Ask for help if you’re feeling down.
- Find a relaxation practice that works for you, whether it’s massage, yoga, deep breathing, meditation–or all of the above.
- Have more sex, not less.
- Address any symptoms as soon as you start to feel them.
- Talk with your doctor!
Stay tuned for more information coming your way about everything you need to know to feel your best pre-, during, and post-menopause!
PS: I devoted an entire chapter to managing menopause — Menopause: The Magical Mystery Tour — in my newest book, which you can get by clicking here.