By Rick Porter

So it’s that time.  You’re not sure you’re ready to admit it’s here, but you know it’s been coming since that time you spent an hour looking for your glasses only to discover them on top of your head, or woke up in the middle of the night inexplicably warm.  Congratulations!  You’ve been admitted into Menopause Central, complete with hot flashes, mood swings and all around fatigue.  In times like these, there seems like no relief from the strange and sometimes unexplainable feelings.  But remember!  You can do this!  There are three simple steps to making it through menopause as a Mona Lisa, not a Picasso.

First step?  Prepare yourself.  You’re getting older!  Just like the first time you menstruated, your body makes changes with or without your approval, and you have to be ready for that.  Expect hot flashes and night sweats; keep a fan near your bed or wear light pajamas.  Be aware of possible cravings and mood swings; keep a level head as possible and regulate your sugar intake.  Acknowledge the validity of what your body is telling you, even if it may be frustrating, and listen to your needs!

Second step?  Check yourself.  Are you eating a healthy diet?  Are you getting regular exercise?  Menopause can cause an extra strong desire for sugary treats or cause you to retain weight, so be aware of your limits.  Aside from these generic tips, you should also look into having your hormone levels checked and regulated by a licensed physician, and of course, direct any questions about your health or symptoms to your regular doctor.  Weigh yourself daily and keep a record of any changes in your body, including frequency of hot flashes, increasing or decreasing weight, or even mood swings.  The more information you have, the better your doctor will be able to help.

Final (and most important) step? Indulge yourself.  Your body is going through a lot of changes, and there’s absolutely no reason to put more stress on yourself.  Now’s the time to schedule that couple’s massage you’ve been considering for years, and getting a fancy room at your local hotel for a special night.  Call up your girlfriends and have them over for a hen party with facials and makeovers; after you’re all dolled up, go out on a date night with as many couples as you can gather.  Host a jewelry night or passion party, complete with a gathering of your favorite people.  Do whatever it takes to enjoy yourself whenever possible.

Most of all, ladies, remember that menopause is a part of life that every woman has to go through, and every woman deals with it differently.  Listen to your body, ask any questions you may have, and above all, don’t be afraid to indulge in a little fun!  Mother Nature may have painted you as a rough sketch, but there’s no reason you can’t still come out a masterpiece. 

Remember that menopause is a part of life that every woman has to go through.

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