Coping with Irritation
Temporarily cooled, you head back to your guests. Oh no! Someone invited that annoying neighbour/friend's partner/work colleague/family member you can't stand!
Even the sound of their voice winds you up. You are very aware that due to Mother Nature's twisted sense of humour you have not only a variety of unpleasant physical symptoms, but also a much shorter fuse. Mood swings and disorders are common during menopause and even if you have coped well up to now, the stress of the festive season can tip you over the edge.
You wonder to yourself how long it will be before you lose your temper and tell them exactly what you think of them. Should you A) spend the whole party trying to avoid them or B) just go with the flow, let your hormones do the talking and finally snap at them to stop talking about model railways/their genius child/internal parasites?
If you choose option B at least you won't have to worry about them boring or annoying you at future events! You will however, be remembered for the next decade as the sweaty-faced harpy who lost the plot at Christmas.
Take a deep breath, count to five, and do your best to calmly respond to your infuriating guest. And if it all gets to much, make an excuse to leave the room for a moment.
Getting a Good Night's Sleep
Did you know alcohol (along with tight clothes, spicy food and stress) can exacerbate menopause symptoms? Booze certainly won't help if you are worried about weight gain either and can disrupt your sleep, so think about keeping your drinking to a minimum.
And now, the party is over. You look at the wreck that is your house and decide to tackle it in the morning. You head to bed only to wake an hour later feeling like the thermostat has hit 100. You are so tired you could cry. My top tip – keep a spray bottle with water next to your bed - a facial spritz goes a long way to cooling fevered foreheads. For desperate cases, always keep an ice pack or two frozen and ready to hug when those nighttime flashes strike.
Be Kind to Yourself
I joke about menopause, but know from experience that tiring and stressful things like parties, gift shopping, overexcited children and family dinners can magnify any issues you are having with your body. So be kind to yourself – give yourself the gift of understanding your symptoms, learning what triggers them and remembering that occasionally it is OK to say no. Accept that you need to look after yourself through this tumultuous time. Make sure you get enough sleep, eat a healthy diet, and take time to do at least some gentle exercise.
And if all else fails, you can always help yourself to a chocolate treat from the Christmas tree!