4 Self-Help Practices
We can help ourselves through the menopause journey with these simple and natural yet powerful practices. By Sally Parkes
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Create physical and mental space to allow the transformational transition to occur. Clearing one’s living space of belongings that are no longer of use, for example, can be wonderfully cathartic. Furthermore, the processing of information can become more challenging in menopause, so allowing for more time around social, family and work appointments can be helpful to avoid overwhelm.
Putting boundaries such as simply saying ‘no’ to certain requests when it has been the norm to say ‘yes’ to keep the peace, can feel very uncomfortable initially. Keep in mind, however, that boundaries help us to avoid the infamous ‘burn out’. That’s because maintaining boundaries helps to lower stress levels (Ahimsa to oneself), so we can have peace of mind that healthy boundaries are necessary for everyone involved.
Sleep can become problematic for many women at this time so developing a practice of Yoga Nidra and Restorative Yoga can be wonderfully nourishing. Regular breaks from screens and people in general can also be very helpful, as can less caffeine and alcohol consumption. Collectively, these tactics help us to manage over-stimulation of the sympathetic nervous system, making the process of accessing deep sleep more doable.
Menopausal symptoms such as changes in mood, energy and blood sugar levels, slower digestion, heavy periods, joint inflammation, and a longer recovery period from exercise, are all indicators that we need to take extra care to meet nutritional needs. A more alkaline diet can be very effective in managing these challenges with legumes, sprouted beans, fermented tofu, oily fish, nuts and seeds and leafy green vegetables all helping to address acidity. Fruits such as melon, cherries, plums and nectarines, and grains such as spelt, quinoa and buckwheat are also alkaline foods. Include lots of water and herbal teas to help flush out acidity for the best results.