Menopause and summer may not seem like the perfect combination, especially for those experiencing vasomotor symptoms like hot flashes and night sweats. As someone who has personally dealt with these challenges, I understand the impact they can have on your daily life. However, there are several self-care strategies that can help alleviate these symptoms and make the summer months more manageable. In this article, I will share my "no matter what" list of self-care practices that have helped me cope with menopause during the hot summer season.
NO MATTER WHAT #1: Rest and Relaxation
During summer, the days are longer and the nights are shorter. I've found it beneficial to capitalize on this by dedicating the first hour of my day to myself. This sacred "ME time" involves activities such as journaling, reading or listening to something inspiring, and fitting in exercise if time permits is my ultimate summer self-care weapon. By giving myself this hour of self-care, I feel less overwhelmed by daily responsibilities. It's important to note that not everything on my to-do list gets completed within that hour, and that's perfectly fine. I can incorporate other tasks throughout the day, but that first hour remains exclusively mine.
TIP: If you have children at home who wake up early, consider adjusting their bedtime to allow for more time in the morning. Alternatively, gradually train yourself to wake up earlier, starting with 30 minutes and gradually extending it to two hours.
NO MATTER WHAT #2: Embrace Outdoor Play
Remember the joy of spending time outside during childhood? It's time to reconnect with your inner child. Since I have kids at home and believe in limiting their screen time, I encourage outdoor activities. That means me too. Whether it's engaging in water balloon fights, setting up slip and slides, or simply allowing them to play while I indulge in reading, writing, or mindfulness exercises, being outside brings a sense of rejuvenation. Research shows that we are spending less and less time outdoors so we are missing out of the benefits of nature. Even if you live in a hot climate, try going outside during the coolest parts of the day, such as early morning or evening.
TIP: If you have children, encourage them to play outside right before dinner. Not only will it stimulate their appetite, but it will also help them fall asleep more easily. If you don't have children, use this time to engage in physical exercise. You'll work up a sweat faster and experience better sleep.
NO MATTER WHAT #3: Establish Your DND (Do Not Disturb) Hours
In the era of smartphones, we've become accustomed to constant connectivity and fear of missing out (FOMO). However, setting boundaries and allowing yourself uninterrupted time is crucial, especially during menopause. Set your phone or other devices to "do not disturb" mode during specific hours. Personally, I've configured my phone to allow only calls and notifications from my household members and two other important contacts during these hours. This simple adjustment has brought me more peace than I anticipated. Initially, there may be a sense of FOMO, but with time, you'll appreciate the tranquility it offers.
TIP: Choose do not disturb hours that work best for you. If evenings are challenging, consider enabling it overnight until you leave for work. Prioritizing a good night's sleep is essential and connects with the first tip.
NO MATTER WHAT #4: Engage in Learning Something New
The summer months provide an excellent opportunity to pursue activities or subjects you've been wanting to explore. Dedicate time to learning something new or expanding your knowledge in areas that interest you. Personally, I'm indulging my techie side and learning about artificial intelligence (AI). Often, we become consumed by managing our day-to-day symptoms and our interests take a back seat. Now is the time to rekindle the joy of learning and exploring new territories.
TIP: Look for free classes or webinars that can teach you a new skill. Utilize your journal to identify topics or subjects that resonate with you. If you're drawing a blank, spend a few minutes meditating and jot down any thoughts that come to mind.
NO MATTER WHAT #5: Grant Yourself Grace
One of the most significant lessons I've learned recently is the importance of self-compassion. As women, mothers, and wives, we often place unrealistic expectations on ourselves, striving to accomplish everything just as we did a decade ago. However, that version of ourselves may no longer be sustainable or healthy. Embrace the concept of grace and allow yourself to rest when needed, even if it means doing nothing at all. Let go of the need for perfection and having everything organized. While it may not be achievable every day, granting yourself grace should be a priority.
TIP: Reflect on the forgiveness and leniency you extend to others. Ask yourself if you offer the same level of grace to yourself. Examine your self-talk and self-perception. If self-kindness is lacking, explore ways to cultivate a more compassionate and understanding mindset.
In conclusion, I hope these self-care tips prove helpful in managing your menopausal symptoms during the summer. By incorporating these practices into your routine, you can reduce stress-related symptoms and create a more harmonious relationship with your body. Remember to listen to your body's cues at all times, as it will guide you towards what it needs most. During the summer, I personally embrace the saying, "glitter makes everything better." That's why I've introduced the Shimmer Luxe Body Oil. This unique product, inspired by the allure of shimmer, adds a subtle radiance to your skin, enhancing the beauty of your legs or any other body part. Try it out and let me know what you think.
By prioritizing self-care, embracing the joys of summer, and allowing yourself moments of relaxation and exploration, you can navigate through menopause with greater ease. Let this summer be a time of self-discovery, growth, and well-deserved self-indulgence. I know I am enjoying it and officially summer hasn't even started yet.