Guest Author - Tammy Elizabeth Southin
Feeling stressed? Menopause symptoms add a lot of extra tension in daily life and test your inner strength and resilience. Here are some tips to help beat the stress blues and cope with those days when you just want to scream. Ready, set, relax!
1. Find out what triggers your stress button by keeping a journal. Take a few minutes a day to write about what is happening in your life and how you are reacting. Do you notice that you have extra stress in your life due to big events like caring for aging parents or the kids moving out? Are the little things beginning to bother you? Once you identify what is causing your stress you will be able to find ways to manage your life.
2. Get moving! Getting enough regular exercise is one of the best ways to relieve stress and blow off some steam. Take the dog for a walk, toss a ball with the kids, or sign up for an exercise class. If you are crunched for time, buy a couple of DVDs that you can work out to on your own schedule.
3. Eat a healthy balanced diet. Reaching for the cookies or sugary soft drinks will only give you a temporary high, followed by a crashing low. Make sure you are getting plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean meats each day. Cut back on sugar, salt, and fat intake.
4. Learn to prioritize. It is all too easy to say yes to everyone and everything but before you know it, you have more chores than you can handle. Decide which daily activities are really important, delegate household chores, and say yes to those obligations you honestly care about and say no to those duties you take on to please others.
5. Take time for yourself. In a hectic household and with a job (or jobs) it is never easy to carve out some much needed you time. But it is important to have a few minutes to yourself to read, have a bath, or meditate. Get up earlier before the rest of the family. Delegate a space in the house where you can go for even just 15 minutes where it is clearly understood that your family members need to respect your personal time and space.
6. Get a social support group. Numerous studies indicate having a social network helps women manage their menopause symptoms and lifestyles. Find a balance between the virtual world and the real world; look for support groups for discussions and schedule time to meet with friends for coffee.
7. Talk to your doctor about your menopause symptoms. Discuss the various treatment options, both traditional and alternative, that may help alleviate the discomfort that is affecting your daily life.
8. Learn various relaxation methods and find one that helps you to unwind. You may find yoga helpful. Try meditation, even just a few minutes, to help change your mindís focus and shift to a more mellow tone.
9. Breathe! It seems so easy and natural, yet many of us do not breathe properly. We tend to take quick, shallow breaths that keep our heart rates in the fast lane. By taking a few good, slow, deep breaths we can help relax our hearts and work towards lowering blood pressure.
10. Learn the difference between what you can and cannot control (but would like to!) in life. There are many upsetting things over which you have no real power such as traffic, difficult co-workers, or the state of the economy.
Stress is a part of life but it does not have to take over life.
Keep track of any stressors with Menopause, Your Doctor, and You