If you’re managing menopause, you’re probably all too familiar with the way it can disrupt daily life. During the holidays it can be worse because there are more social and family commitments and logistics to work out. To avoid hot flashes and mood swings that can ruin the festive season, take these tips for managing menopause during the holidays.
1. Delegate Responsibilities
The holiday season is supposed to be full of festive fun and quality family time. However, women are often responsible for making all the fun happen. Planning logistics of family trips, celebrations, meals, shopping, and decorate add stress to an already busy life. If you’re also trying to manage menopause symptoms, you can feel overwhelmed.
To avoid getting frazzled, don’t take on too much yourself. Get the whole family involved in planning and prepping for the holidays by delegating tasks to them that will lighten your load.
2. Limit Alcohol and Caffeine
Holiday parties often present opportunities to enjoy an alcoholic beverage. However, alcohol consumption has been linked to increased hot flashes in some menopausal women. Also, alcohol can hurt sleep quality. The same goes for that morning or after-dinner coffee. Caffeine might make you more likely to sweat and disrupt sleep patterns. Try to stick to non-alcoholic beverages and replace coffee and other caffeinated drinks with herbal tea.3
3. Prioritize Holiday To-Do Lists
Just like delegating responsibilities can lighten your load, prioritizing the items on your list can prevent you from becoming overwhelmed. If you try to do too much all at once, you’ll get run down. Instead of clustering all your tasks at one time, decide what is most important. Get those things done first, then move on down the list and get smaller things done later.
4. Pay Attention to What You Eat
Holiday celebrations like parties and big meals present many opportunities for rich foods and desserts. During menopause, many women gain weight or have trouble losing it. According to the Office on Women’s Health, women gain an average of 5 pounds after menopause. So, you might want to come up with a plan on how to handle your holiday diet. That doesn’t mean complete deprivation, you just need to pay more attention to what you’re eating.
Have a meal with healthy items like vegetables, fruits, and whole grains before going to a party to avoid overeating when you get there. Bring healthy options to share at a potluck. Use a smaller plate and don’t go back for seconds. And when you do have a treat, have just a small portion and limit the number of times you do indulge.
5. Manage Stress
There’s a lot of hustle and bustle during the holidays. More activity means more triggers for stress. And if you’re trying to manage menopause, then added stress is the last thing you need. Practice relaxation and stress management techniques like meditation, yoga, or focused breathing to help you clear your head. Make time to do this and you’ll have more positive feelings during the holidays.
6. Get Plenty of Rest
Getting enough rest is crucial for your general health and wellbeing at any age and in any season. However, during the holidays it is essential to get adequate sleep because of the extra stress and responsibilities. Sleep deprivation can cause stress levels to rise. And if you’re feeling sleepy, you might be inclined to rely on caffeine and sugar to get you through the day.
7. Pamper Yourself
If you have a lot of responsibilities for planning and executing holiday celebrations, make sure you take some time to enjoy yourself. Try to have fun with family and friends at gatherings, but also take time to take care of yourself. Get a massage or a manicure/pedicure or plan a lunch with a friend to take a break from your responsibilities.
8. Sit Back and Enjoy
Yes, the holidays can add stress to your life. But, when all is said and done, the focus should be on spending time with the people you care most about. So, try to take some time to sit back and soak it all in. Appreciate the fruits of your hard work and share some laughs and good times with friends and family.
Make an Appointment
At Chapel Hill Gynecology, we are dedicated to finding a personalized menopause management plan that is right for each woman. If you have questions or concerns about managing menopause during the holidays, or any other time of year, call (919) 960-2720 to make an appointment. You can also request an appointment online.