Want to find your zen, stat? Try these easy but effective tricks.
Slowing yourself down isn’t easy, but the payoff—a less-stressed, more comfortable you—is well worth the effort. If you have a hard time letting your mind go blank, try listening to soft music. Also try running a bath (hint: use lukewarm water if you have hot flashes). “For extra indulgence, throw in some salts, light a scented candle, crack open a good book, and allow your body to let go”, says Holly DuBrey, RN, of Amberen NurseAid.
“Everybody needs to unwind, but especially so during this time,” she explains. “Through meditation, women can focus on themselves, which helps relieve stress and can help bring down symptoms.”
Clean the house.
A recent study concluded that everyday chores like washing dishes, dusting or vacuuming can help calm your mind and make you feel more positive. The secret is to do the tasks mindfully, meaning you concentrate on every aspect of the job: from the smell of the newly cleaned carpets to the feel of the vacuum handle in your hand to the satisfying crackle when it sucks up dirt. By refocusing your attention on the minutia, you effectively silence whatever stressful chatter is going on in your mind.
When you’re in the throes of a mood swing, the last thing on your mind is exercise — yet that could be just the thing to help ease your discomfort (and maybe even help with achy joints). Marcy Letourneau, LPN, of Amberen NurseAid, is a big fan of adding a few brief but brisk walks to your weekly workout regimen, especially if you’re sitting down most of the day. Stretching—whether on its own or in a yoga or Pilates class—can also help. “You don’t have to completely change your lifestyle, but adding in some mild exercise will help,” she says.
Get in touch with Mother Nature.
When the going gets tough, the tough go outside. Just listening to the sounds of the great outdoors can be enough to help you bounce back from a stressful situation faster. Can’t get away from your desk? Download an app with your favorite nature sounds for a just-as-good-as-the-real-thing experience.
Keep a journal.
Kristin Dutton, Amberen Customer Care Supervisor, regularly suggests menopausal women tracking their symptoms in a journal. Besides the instant gratification such a chart brings, there’s the ability to see precisely whether your symptoms are improving and whether a pattern exists. “Journaling helps you know if you’re moving in the right direction,” she explains. “I recommend charting hot flashes, sleep patterns, night sweats and, if possible, your overall stress level.”