Perimenopause can be such a hard transitional time in your life.
I hear you, and I am right there with you.
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed with the changes in your body.
It’s easy to let the stress of life weigh you down.
It’s easy to continue putting others’ needs ahead of your own.
It’s not easy to prioritize yourself. But that is exactly what you need to do.
Quality self-care rituals could be the difference between thriving and merely surviving during this stage of your life.
Here are 5 practical ways to take care of yourself as you work through perimenopause. The bonus with these ideas is that many of them will not only help improve your mood but will also pack a punch for your physical health too!
#1 – SWITCH TO GENTLE EXERCISE
We all know it: moving your body is important. But what should exercise look like during the perimenopause years? Do things need to change?
Most experts agree that high-intensity workouts are not recommended as you enter perimenopause. Instead, switching to gentler forms of exercise will bring you the biggest return for your health.
As estrogen levels decline, weight tends to stick a little easier (particularly around the belly). Hormone shifts can also contribute to bone and muscle disorders, as well as some cancers.
Staying active can be the answer to help reduce your risk of bone diseases and some cancers (including breast cancer), lower your blood pressure, and improve your mood. (1) Even if it is just a few minutes each day, it will make a difference for your overall health and how you feel. (2)
Whether you have been hitting workouts hard and need to cut back, or you have been neglecting this area and don’t know where to start, here are some ideas for gentle exercises that will keep you healthy: (3)
- Yoga and stretching
- Walking, hiking, or gentle jogging
- Swimming or water aerobics
- Strength training
- Yard work
Aim for 30 minutes of activity at least five days out of the week. As you can see, exercise doesn’t have to mean sweating it out in the gym. Find something you enjoy—that is the key to making it something you will continue to do!
#2 – GET ENOUGH SLEEP
Perimenopause is a time when many women struggle in the sleep department. Whether due to stress related to work or family situations, night sweats, or just pure insomnia, not getting enough sleep can really take a toll on your health and mood.
Establishing a nighttime routine full of rituals and free of screens is one way you can set yourself up for success. These rituals can be journaling, meditating, gentle yoga, reading a book, or anything else that helps you process through your day and wind down your brain.
I talked about the benefits of exercise above, and it applies here too. Being intentionally active during the day can really contribute to getting more restful sleep at night.
Essential oils are a great way to help your brain wind down. Some of my favorite oils for sleep are Lavender, Cedarwood, Vetiver, Sandalwood, Roman Chamomile, Clary Sage, Marjoram, and Ylang Ylang. Applying a combination of these to your feet right before you go to sleep is a great way to help your body relax. You can also diffuse them next to your bed, get your partner to give you a massage using these oils, or put some in a spray bottle with water and spritz down your sheets before climbing in.
Whatever rituals you establish, be consistent. Your body will learn to relax and recharge so you can start over on your best foot each day!
#3 – WATCH WHAT YOU’RE PUTTING IN (AND ON) YOUR BODY
Toxins can wreak havoc on our hormones at any stage of life, and particularly in perimenopause, they can create even more chaos than what you are already experiencing. It is so important to watch what you put on and in your body and to detox regularly so you can keep your body in balance.
Spend those couple extra dollars to eat organic foods and get non-toxic cleaning and personal care products. You’re worth it! Check out my book Smart Mom’s Guide to Essential Oils for great recipes and ideas for nontoxic products you can incorporate into your routine.
You may not want to hear this, but caffeine and alcohol can have strong negative effects on you during perimenopause, as well. Caffeine and alcohol can both make hot flashes worse. (4, 5) Just watch how much of each you are consuming — one cup of coffee or a glass of wine is not a problem. But if you are turning to caffeine or alcohol to cope with stress and you are consuming several servings per day, it could be making your symptoms worse and putting you at higher risk for diseases and cancers. (6)
Switch out your coffee for a matcha latte or herbal tea.
Instead of going out for drinks with your girlfriends, take a walk or hike together.
Your liver is the critical organ to focus on during perimenopause. The combination of changing hormones, excess toxins, and the added stress of caffeine and alcohol can make it even more sluggish, leading to a cycle of a buildup of excess hormones/toxins, inflammation, hot flashes, sleep struggles, belly fat, and more.
#4 – ASK FOR HELP
It’s easy to feel like you should be able to handle everything in your life. We all carry the weight of the world on our shoulders and feel like we need to keep a million plates spinning perfectly or the world is going to crumble.
It’s ok if you need to get help.
During perimenopause, your body is going through so many changes that it can wear you out more easily. Stress is the worst thing for your symptoms, so anything you can do to keep it to a minimum will have lasting benefits for your health.
Have a quality conversation with a girlfriend. Tell her how you’re feeling — chances are, she will be able to relate. Knowing you aren’t in this alone and that you have a support system can make all the difference!
Get help around the house or with your kids. If keeping your house clean is stressing you out, get someone to come in occasionally to help. It’s an easy thing to delegate and takes one thing off of your never-ending to-do list! Or if you still have young kids in the house, find someone to help watch them or shuttle them to their various activities occasionally.
If your mood is unstable, get help — don’t let it linger. Find a trusted friend, counselor, pastor, or confidante to talk to. Anxiety, depression, and mood disorders are so common during perimenopause because of the hormone shifts. It’s better to act sooner if you suspect you may be slipping into one of these things so you can get the help you need! My newest book, The Essential Oils Menopause Solution, has even more mood-supporting tips to help you continue to feel calm, in control, and at peace during this time.
#5 – LEARN THE VALUE OF NO (AND YES)
It’s ok to say no.
Know your limits.
Trust me, I’ve been there. It’s a constant battle to keep myself from overcommitting to things. Maybe you’re thinking that there’s nothing you can let go of or that everything you are doing is good. Maybe that’s true — but is it the best thing for you and your health right now?
Try to let go of doing all the good things and focus on identifying what the best things are. Spend your time on those.
It’s also ok to say yes if it is something that is going to bring you joy.
Don’t be afraid to add something to your plate if it is going to bring life to your soul.
It’s all about balance and finding a rhythm that works for this stage of your life. Care for your body by caring for your mind and soul in the choices you make on a daily basis — it will make a world of difference for how you feel!
I’M HERE FOR YOU!
My goal is to empower you to thrive during this stage of your life. Perimenopause doesn’t have to be a dirty word — we can reclaim it as a time of power and joy.
Together, we can rewrite the narrative and find our power as we conquer perimenopause and menopause with ease and grace! The Essential Oils Menopause Solution is going to become your go-to resource to understand what the heck is going on in your body—and how you can get relief naturally with research-backed, proven solutions.
No more calling hot flashes, pelvic pain, insomnia, and tanked energy “normal”…
No more putting up with disruptive symptoms…
No more believing that “this is just what life is like over 40”…
You CAN live the life of your dreams in a body that works for you at age 40, 50, 60, and beyond and THIS BOOK is going to help you get there!
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