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Menopause — keeping cool and calm in summer

Menopause in summer can feel unbearable, but luckily, there are a few things you can do to help manage your own personal heat wave — and keep your cool when it feels as though the entire world is out to irritate you.

First of all, what is menopause? In a nutshell, it’s when your body has stopped producing eggs and you haven’t menstruated for a full 12 months. However, many people think of menopause as the period before then, known as perimenopause, which can last between a few months and ten years. This is when your ovaries start producing less oestrogen, and your periods change and become erratic.

Menopausal symptoms that may affect you (and remember, each woman is different) include: mild depression, mood swings, irritability, hot flushes (aka flashes), night sweats, insomnia, weight gain, loss of libido, hair thinning, and your skin, mouth and eyes becoming drier (especially after menopause).

Trying to cope with these symptoms while working and running a home can make life challenging. And when you add summer to the mix, it might explain why you sudden feel so grumpy.

How can you lessen menopausal symptoms?
Always consult your doctor first as he or she will take your medical health and health profile into account when considering your menopause management decisions. One way of dealing with these symptoms is hormone replacement therapy (HRT). This isn’t a solution for everyone, though, especially if you have a risk of breast or endometrial cancer, blood clotting, or active liver disease, among other health risks.

5 Ways to keep cool and calm this summer
Give these simple lifestyle changes a try to help prevent hot flushes from happening as severely or as frequently.

  1. Try meditating and yoga, and practice deep, slow abdominal breathing (six to eight breaths per minute) for 15 minutes in the morning, in the evening and at the onset of a hot flush. This is a great way to help relieve stress and build up tension.
  2. Switch caffeine and alcohol for chilled water and iced herbal teas.
  3. Go for cooling foods, like salads or chilled cucumber soup.
  4. Swap tight, synthetic clothing for loose-fitting clothing; remember to layer so you can strip off without giving the world more than an eyeful of yourself.
  5. Keep cool and invest in a fan. Carry a cool wet cloth or soft ice pack with you and when you feel a “power surge”, place it on the back of your neck. Walk barefoot on cool tiles. Keep your bedroom cool – get an electric fan or air conditioner. Mist your sheets before bed with a water spray mixed with lavender oil and rosewater.

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