Health and wellness touch everyone’s life differently. We asked a few people to share their personal stories. These are their experiences.
What does self-care mean to you, and why is it so important during menopause?
“Self-care means ensuring I make the time to have my physical, emotional, and spiritual needs met. So often women are caregivers for their children or spouse, only to find themselves caretaking their aging parents while they’re going through menopause.
During menopause, our bodies are changing, and it’s very important that we shift some of that focus of caretaking onto ourselves. It could mean even 10 minutes a day for a meditation or journaling, a nice bath, or taking time to meet with a girlfriend.”
“To me, self-care means being honest with myself, dealing with the stresses in my life, creating new habits to get myself back to the person I was before menopause, prioritizing some “me time” to pursue hobbies, and engaging in calming activities such as meditatation.
Self-care is having a positive mindset, sleeping well, exercising, looking after my physical and mental health, and eating healthily to give my body a chance to deal with midlife changes.”
“Women so famously get drawn to help everyone else in their lives, often neglecting their own needs. Menopause is a time when they need, for once, to focus on learning to meet their own needs if a smooth journey through menopause is what they have in mind.
Adequate knowledge about the self-help tools, supported by research, is as important as application. Learning how to meet our needs and looking after ourselves at midlife is the key to reclaiming our well-being and “future-proofing” our health.”
What are some things you did for self-care during menopause?
“For me, self-care during menopause included dietary changes and doing everything in my power to ensure that I got enough sleep at night. I also understood the value of exercise to help shake off the stress of what was happening in my body. I did all of those things in spades.”
“My daily self-care routine includes exercising (walking and resistance training), following a clean and healthy eating program, meditating twice a day, and learning to say no so I’m not biting off more than I can chew. I also try to spend as much time as possible with my grandchildren, and lunches with my girlfriends are a must!”
“My menopause began when I was 47, which I wasn’t expecting at all. When I started feeling hot, I brushed it off as stress related, as I was going through a divorce at the time. Eventually, I had to admit it was my hormones at play.”
What’s one piece of advice you’d give to someone currently undergoing menopause in regards to self-care?
“Be gentle with yourself, and listen to what your changing body needs. If you feel stressed, find someone to talk to. If you’re concerned with putting on weight, up your exercise and pay attention to the extra calories you may be eating unconsciously. But make sure you’re patient with yourself and your body. Oh, and sleep in cotton! Those night sweats can be wild!”
“I’d tell her first that menopause is a transition and not a life sentence. The changes of menopause can be so intense and seem never-ending. This can make it feel as though you’ll never feel “normal” again. But you will.”
“Don’t stop looking after yourself at the exact time in your life that you need to care for yourself the most.”