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 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.
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.
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.
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!)
I am a Reflexologist, Reiki Master Practitioner and Writer from Boroughbridge, North Yorkshire. I love writing about Health and Wellbeing, Mind Body Spirit and Reflexology. When I’m not at work, you can find me in the kitchen cooking up a storm!