As a mental health counselor, I help women face emotional roller coasters, and menopause is one of the craziest rides out there. I remember, watching my own mother going through the change. She would break a sweat while everyone around her was shivering and then, fast as lightning, she’d be reaching for a sweater and a blanket to snuggle into as her temperature came back down. For her, the symptoms of menopause were heightened due to her thyroid condition but I recall feeling really bad for her and, to be honest, also really scared about ever having to go through the whole ordeal myself! So to honor my lovely mother and her menopause as well as you and yours I´ve reasearched the three most common symptoms of menopause and some practical, relatively easy, ways to deal with them.
Is it hot in here? No, it’s just you
Oh you already have hot flashes and night sweats? Well then I won’t bore you with an explanation of what they feel like. But I will tell you that treatment ranges from hormone therapy to figuring out and avoiding food triggers (often spicy food, caffeine and alcohol). If you prefer to avoid taking hormones to balance yourself out, you can easily add phytoestrogens to your diet with more soy and flax seeds or a supplement of evening primrose oil.
Pain during intercourse does not improve the mood
I imagine it’s hard enough to get in the mood for sex when you’ve been sweating all day, even in the coldest temps. But then when you get cozy under the sheets with your gentleman, the letdown when penetration hurts must be the worst! This is actually something I can identify with. I too had low lube levels after having my first baby (remember that now? That’s right, you’ve been there and done this too if you´re a mom). Oh, boy did that lead to painful sex! The solution is simple and cheap and I promise it works: Coconut oil. Coconut oil is one of the best lubricants out there. Sure, it’s a little greasy if it gets on the sheets but it’s natural, effective and smells like a tropical vacation. What’s not to love?
Also Read: When Missed Periods May Mean Menopause
You’re not much fun to be around.
You’re most likely experiencing anxiety and mood swings like never before. My older friends tell me it´s like having PMS round the clock. When you feel you just can´t stand yourself, take a deep breath and try to just chill for a minute. Make the time to start a regular yoga or meditation practice, get enough sleep at night and pamper yourself regularly despite your busy schedule. Finally, if you need it, don’t feel ashamed about getting help from a therapist. The hormonal and emotional roller coaster you’re on for these few years is one that can be supported by professionals that include your physician as well as a mental health practitioner.
That’s all I’ve got for now, ladies. I’m sure I’m leaving out quite a few extra-special symptoms of the Big M so feel free to comment with your favorite way to deal with your least favorite symptom to keep the conversation going! By the time I get there, I want to know that there’s a vast array of tips and tricks from the women I know and love who are going through it now. And then, I promise, I’ll send you flowers and chocolate… Who am I kidding? I’m keeping the chocolate, you can have the flowers!