How to look good during menopause

How to look good during menopause

How to keep looking good during menopause

As you go through menopause, the fluctuation of hormones can cause your skin and hair to change. Skin can become dry and start to lose some of its elasticity. Your jowls may start to sag a little and it’s not unheard of for spots to appear when previously your skin has been clear and blemish-free. You might find that fine lines and wrinkles start to appear.

But it’s not all doom and gloom, there are lots of things that we can do during menopause to keep us looking good and feeling great.

Having a good skincare routine is key

Time may be short and you may not always have time for a full daily skincare routine (if you have, great!)

Wear a facial cream containing SPF

The most important thing is to protect your skin from the sun. Wearing a facial cream with a spf factor of at least 25 is vital.

Wash your face using a good quality cleanser morning and night. Use firm upwards sweeping moves when you apply product to your skin to help keep it looking youthful. Treat yourself to regular facials or facial reflexology. 

Have Regular Facials or Facial Reflexology

Having regular facials or facial reflexology will help keep your skin supple, ensure that oxygen and nutrients are delivered to your skin, will keep it moisturised and also assist lymphatic drainage. This will keep your skin looking radiant.

Get well-fitting lingerie

Having a good, supportive bra makes all the difference to how we look and feel. You may find that your breasts have changed size so it is important to get measured properly and to use that measurement as a starting point as there can be variations in fit even within the same size bra. 

Spruce up your wardrobe

Go through your wardrobe and get rid of anything that no longer suits you or that looks tatty or out of date. Pick a few new key pieces to mix and match with other items in your wardrobe.

Have a great hair cut

A great hair cut can make all the difference to your appearance and give you a great confidence boost. 

Know who does a good lip and chin wax

 Having a few chin whiskers is common as we get older. Find a good beautician who will pluck them for you. 

Avoid environmental stressors

Avoid environmental stressors like smoking, alcohol, refined food and sugar. If you smoke it can be useful to join a smoking cessation programme.

Drink alcohol in moderation, and reduce the amount of refined food and sugar in your diet.

Stay Hydrated and eat lots of antioxidant rich foods like fruit and vegetables. 

Hay Fever: What is it and what can you do about it?

Hay Fever: What is it and what can you do about it?

Hay fever: What is it and what causes it?

Hay Fever (or seasonal allergic rhinitis) is caused by an allergic reaction to pollen from grass, trees, or weeds, usually in the warmer spring and summer months between March and September, especially when the pollen count is high. 

This causes the nasal passages, eyes and throat to be irritated producing cold-like symptoms.

For many people, hay fever couldn’t come at a worse time, falling right amongst exam season and at the time of year when outdoor social events like picnics and barbeques are popular and all the neighbours are mowing their lawns!

Just when you’d love to be sitting outside with a nice cool drink, the pollen count rises and you’re left with itchy eyes, a runny nose, a cough and feeling lethargic!

image of woman with dark shoulder length hair sneezing into a white tissue

Symptoms of Hay Fever

  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • Itchy eyes which may be red and/ or watery
  • Runny or blocked nose
  • Sore throat
  • Pain or pressure in sinuses
  • Earache
  • Headaches
  • Tiredness/Fatigue
  • Itching around mouth, nose, throat and ears
  • Loss of smell
  • Possible exacerbation of asthma in asthmatics
itchy eyes

How can I tell whether I have Hay Fever or a Cold / Covid?

It can be hard to differentiate between having hay fever, a common cold and symptoms of covid. Generally hay fever gets worse when there is a high pollen count and doesn’t go away quickly. Colds often go away within a week of first onset.

Often with a cold or covid you get a temperature, where as hay fever (despite its name) is not associated with having a fever.

If you are concerned that your symptoms may be covid it is worth taking a lft test to be on the safe side.

Hay Fever: When to see a G.P.

For many people, over the counter antihistamines will be sufficient to keep your symptoms at bay.  Your pharmacy should be able to advise you on the right hay fever remedy for you. 

If you are still struggling after trying over the counter medication, speak to your G.P as there are some stronger medications and treatments that they can offer which are prescription only.

If you find that you start wheezing or find it hard to breathe, or have a diagnosis of asthma and that seems to be getting worse seek immediate medical help.

Image of woman suffering with hay fever to illustrate hay fever what it is and what you can do about it

 What can I do about Hay Fever?

 

Eat Local Honey

Some people swear by having a teaspoon of local honey every day during the run up to hay fever season, right until the pollen count drops in the autumn. Whilst there isn’t any scientific evidence to suggest that this will work, many people seem to think it does so it may be worth a try!

Use steam to unblock your nose

If you have a blocked nose try drinking a hot drink out of a wide-mouthed mug, the steam will help decongest your nose. Alternatively try having a hot shower or bath or taking a steam inhalation (apart from if you’re asthmatic as sometimes steam can bring on an asthma attack!)

Eat Well

Eating foods that have anti-inflammatory properties can be helpful so things like ginger may help. It is also thought that vitamin C may be helpful so try eating citrus fruits.

Take over the counter antihistamine remedies

Over the counter medications may help, most pharmacies and supermarkets have some kind of over the counter remedy for hay fever in the form of antihistamine tablets or sprays. If you’re taking any other medications it is worth speaking to a pharmacist first to avoid any clashes. There are some varieties of antihistamines that don’t make you drowsy, which are good if you plan on driving or operating heavy machinery.

Have regular reflexology treatments

Regular reflexology sessions may help the symptoms of  hay fever by reducing stress levels, keeping the sinus reflexes clear, helping to clear head congestion and to balance mucus production. Reflexology also helps keep the lymphatic system working efficiently which boosts the immune system.

Try having a cold compress over your itchy eyes

If your eyes are very itchy, try steeping chamomile teabags in boiling water, leave to cool in the fridge and then gently use as a compress.

Hayfever tip do not hang washing out when the pollen count is high

Keep out of the way of allergens where possible!

  • It is useful to keep doors and windows closed on high pollen days. You can buy fans and portable air conditioning units to help keep the air flowing.
  • Avoid being outside during the peak times for pollen. Pollen counts raise during the day, peaking around lunchtime and then fall towards late afternoon.
  • Avoid mowing the lawn, especially on high pollen days.
  • Wear a hat that shades your eyes, use wrap around sunglasses, and a face mask or scarf to help keep pollen out of your eyes, nose and throat.
  • Use a barrier layer to keep pollen out of your nose. Vaseline is popular for this.
  • Cooling eye gels can help soothe sore eyes.
  • A Facial Mist may help soothe your face
  • Wash your face when you come back indoors. You can also buy facial wipes designed especially to help with hay fever symptoms.
  • Avoid hanging washing on the line. Instead dry it indoors or in a tumble dryer, or wait until the pollen count drops again.
  • Wash your hair daily, especially when you’ve been outdoors during the day. Change your clothes and shower when you go back inside so you remove any pollen that may be clinging to you.
  • Avoid having flowers in the house, especially ones that have a lot of pollen like lilies.

Hay Fever Resources

More information about Hay Fever from Allergy UK

https://www.allergyuk.org/types-of-allergies/hayfever/

Check the pollen count for the next few days

https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/weather/warnings-and-advice/seasonal-advice/pollen-forecast

What are the most common symptoms of stress?

What are the most common symptoms of stress?

What are the main symptoms of stress?

When we think of stress we often think of having sweaty palms or a fast heart rate or of butterflies in your tummy.

But there are lots of other symptoms associated with stress. 

 

Physical Symptoms of Stress include:

  • Headaches
  • Aches and pains
  • Muscle tension
  • Reduced libido
  • Skin breakouts/ acne
  • Nausea
  • Irritable bowel syndrome, constipation or diarrhoea
  • Panic attacks
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Tiredness and fatigue
  • Fast heart rate
  • Struggle to lose weight or weight loss
  • Insomnia
Image of woman holding her head and screaming with symptoms of stress

Emotional Symptoms of stress

  • Aggression
  • Changes in mood
  • Poor decision making
  • Pessimism
  • Low mood
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Racing thoughts
  • Constant worrying
  • Feeling weepy/emotional
  • Feeling unable to cope
behavioural symptoms of stress include drinking too much alcohol

Behavioural Symptoms of Stress

  • Reaching out for alcohol, recreational drugs and tobacco
  • Changes in appetite and under or over eating
  • Sleep disorders – sleeping too little or too much
  • Lack of motivation

Resources

Let’s Talk about Stress

How to stop feeling stressed

Get Help with Stress – NHS

#stressawarenessmonth #stress #stressawareness

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How can I feel better during perimenopause?

How can I feel better during perimenopause?

Perimenopause is a time of transition between having a regular menstrual cycle and your periods stopping completely. During this time your hormones will rise and fall (often erratically) and you may start to experience a range of physical, emotional and psychological symptoms leaving you feeling grumpy and frazzled.

The good news is there are a range of things you can do to help yourself feel better during perimenopause.

Most of them are fairly quick and easy to implement and won’t add too much extra time to your already hectic day.

If ever there was a good time to really start to look after yourself properly, this is the time.

Have regular meals that are as nutritious as possible

Diet is really important – not only does it fuel your body, it is also vital for stabilising your blood sugar. If you’ve ever found yourself so hungry you’ve ended up feeling ‘hangry’ you’ll appreciate how important it is to have regular meals made up of foods that keep you feeling full and that doesn’t leave you having an energy dip after an hour or two.

Aim to eat 3 meals a day made up with good quality lean protein, whole grains, fruit and vegetables and a couple of energy-boosting snacks to keep you going.

Ensure you drink enough water throughout the day to keep you hydrated.

Limit your consumption of caffeine and alcohol if at all possible.

Exercise Regularly

Exercise helps your body produce feel-good hormones called endorphins. It can also help keep you toned up and your blood flowing. It can even be fun (honestly!) 

Pilates can be great for helping you keep your core strength up and also for helping your pelvic floor stay in shape.

Zumba can be great for getting your heart pumping and yoga is good for keeping you calm as well as building strength as you do poses such as downwards dog. Swimming is also a good gentle form of exercise. 

If you prefer having fresh air, a daily walk is a good form of exercise. If it’s raining how about doing a dance to some music as you boil the kettle for a cup of tea?

Get plenty of sleep

Sleep is really important – it helps you feel refreshed and replenished and helps you repair yourself overnight.

It’s really beneficial to get into a regular sleeping pattern, going to bed and getting up at the same time every day (including weekends).

Ensure your room is cool, that you don’t go to bed hungry and that it is dark enough. If possible charge your mobile up in a different room and avoid having any electrical equipment like TVs emitting lights which may keep you awake.

Manage your stress levels and avoid known stressors

Try to avoid stressful situations where possible. Some are unavoidable but if you possibly can avoid stress, do.

Get rid of any time-wasting activities which don’t add anything to your life. This could be boring meetings, clubs you’ve joined but dread going to or meeting people for coffee if you’ve outgrown them!

Treat yourself to regular massages or reflexology treatments to help you feel calm and balanced. Having a massage or reflexology treatment at least once every 3-4 weeks can make a huge difference to your stress levels.

image of woman doing her skincare routine

Use good quality skincare suitable for your skin type

Hormones fluctuating can cause your skin to change – it is not uncommon for menopausal women to end up with adult on-set acne due to these fluctuations of hormone levels.

As you go through perimenopause you may find that your face loses some of its natural padding, your cheek jowls may look looser and you might find that your skin becomes drier or more sensitive.

You may start to notice some fine lines or wrinkles. Using a good quality skincare routine can help with these, leaving you looking radiant. 

image of woman doing her skincare routine

Calm your mind and make time for doing the things you love

Mindfulness can be helpful in perimenopause. Especially if you have a mind full of things that you need to think about and you’re feeling overwhelmed. Doing just the one thing at a time and concentrating only on that can be very helpful.

It can also be really beneficial to take some regular time out for doing the things you love doing, like hobbies or meeting friends for a (decaf!!) coffee.

lets talk about it

Let’s Talk about it!

Talking about how you feel to your friends, family, colleagues and GP can be really helpful. Especially if your friends are a similar age and life stage and probably going through the same things too! 

Struggling along in silence means you’re facing this alone. Whilst it can be embarrassing talking about how you’re feeling at first, it can be hugely helpful.

Your friends and colleagues may be able to share with you what has worked for them. It can be helpful to talk to your partner about how you’re feeling and what you need (whether it’s a tub of ice cream or to be left alone for an hour!) 

What is Complementary Therapy?

What is Complementary Therapy?

We’ve all heard of Complementary Therapy but what actually is it?

As its name suggests it’s a therapy that goes alongside (or complements) other treatments. You continue to take your medication and having any treatments you’ve been prescribed from your GP or hospital specialist.

Complementary therapies like Reflexology are now offered routinely in some hospital cancer clinics whilst people are receiving their chemotherapy. 

This is completely different to Alternative Therapies where you don’t take medication or have procedures or treatments but ‘just’ rely on holistic treatments to heal you.

I always recommend that you DO continue to take your medication and having your treatments.  If you find that your medication or treatments are not agreeing with you go back to the GP or health professional who prescribed them for advice. 

Image of a lady lying down having Indian Head Massage Boroughbridge. The lady has brown hair and has hands on her head. She is wearing a white towel

How can Complementary Therapies help you?

Usually complementary therapies are calming and supportive and help you to take an hour or two away from whatever you’re dealing with.

For you to be able to off-load some of your worries, to put them down for an hour or so. To be tucked up under a blanket and to simply let go without fear of judgement. That’s what Complementary Therapy allows you to do. That in itself can be very therapeutic.

They are also good for helping tackle some of the problems you may be facing at the source of the problem. For instance if you are suffering with low mood, having a treatment will help produce naturally occurring feel good hormones called endorphins which will help your mood lift a little.

If you’ve got tense muscles having a massage or reflexology treatment may help to release tension. 

Having a reiki treatment may help you feel calm and reconnect your mind and body leaving you feeling calm and replenished. 

If you’re struggling to sleep you may find Reflexology helpful. Also whilst they’re helping you to feel more relaxed and calmer, less tense and less stressed or anxious they also (usually!) feel really good. 

Examples of Complementary Therapies include Massage, Aromatherapy, Reiki, Acupuncture, Reflexology, Indian Head Massage, Osteopathy etc. 

 

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