As a woman after age 40, your life isn’t falling apart—it’s falling into place. Women can thrive at every life stage and celebrate our ever-changing bodies. It’s time to redirect the conversation from MENopause to WOMANpause—and understand this is the time to upgrade your health, listen to your body, and focus first on YOU and your needs.
When Your Flow Goes
How do you make the shift to empower the change and find your new balance when your flow goes? Find your PAUSE and unify your mind, body, and spirit. In Chinese medicine, menopause is considered the second spring. Shift your thinking and adopt some self-care hacks to help you blossom into an even better version of you!
Pausing for a purpose: As women, we often prioritize care for others over ourselves and find ourselves juggling many tasks. This is called “rushing women’s syndrome,” which can leave you fatigued, stressed, and overwhelmed. When this happens, it is time to reflect and find a purpose that brings you happiness. Finding your passion helps you build healthy hormones, release resentment, increase feel-good neurotransmitters, and reduce cortisol. Starting a simple daily meditation practice is one of the best ways to connect with your inner wisdom.
Avoid sugar and alcohol: A major contributor to the “menopause middle,” that stubborn fat around the mid-section, is inflammation created by sugar and alcohol. These primary hormone endocrine disruptors may cause hot flashes, weight gain, moodiness, and loss of energy and collagen. They are also a stress hormone instigator, often leading us to consume more sugar or alcohol—creating a cycle and exacerbating symptoms.
Understand your hormones and insulin: Hormones and insulin responses can be seriously misunderstood. During menopause, the ovaries hand over the job of making progesterone, estrogen, and testosterone to your adrenal glands, which may already be taxed with daily stress, family, work, and societal factors. The stress of making hormones in addition to already high cortisol stress levels can result in low energy, weight gain, hot flashes, fatigue, headaches, insomnia, anxiety, and depression. Additionally, if you haven’t worked on changing your diet, your insulin hormone begins to spike and insulin resistance will cause weight gain. The key is to balance stress, manage insulin levels through diet, and have your hormone, insulin, and cortisol levels checked so you know the areas that need focus.
Sleep and stress: If you are not working on boosting your melatonin, balancing your hormones, or reducing your stress, you are intensifying your menopausal symptoms. An excellent hack is a walk at sunset to help the body register that it is time to rest, to help produce melatonin, and to reduce stress. If you are on electronics late in the evening and not wearing blue blocking glasses you are zapping your melatonin, making it harder to go to sleep.
Eating and exercising: During menopause, it is important to learn to eat for your hormones, avoid insulin-spiking foods, and eat progesterone-building foods. You can also use adaptogens to help reduce stress, maca powder to build testosterone, and naturals herbs such as Pueraria mirifica, which reduces menopausal symptoms. High-intensity workouts can add to stress hormones, so vary your workouts and don’t push your body too hard. Meditation, yoga, and self-healing exercises help restore the body while managing stress.
Stop resisting menopause—period. It is time to start thriving, surviving, and finding the balance and beauty in an ever-changing body.
Betsy Opyt, RD, LD/N, CDE, RYT, is a Licensed and Registered Dietitian as well as a Certified Diabetes Educator, Integrative & Functional Medicine Nutrition Therapist, and RYT200 yoga teacher. She specializes in nutrigenomics, gut health, food sensitivities, detoxing, inflammatory diseases, and longevity living. She understands the importance of living a mindful life and incorporates her background of mindfulness and yoga teaching to her practice. Betsy is also a professional speaker and advocate for healthy living and is available for individual consultations, group programs, and speaking engagements.