Today on A.Vogel Talks Menopause, I offer relaxing tips that can help to ease your menopause symptoms.
I often talk about relaxation and how important it is. So, today I thought that I would go into different methods that you can try to help you to relax.
Why it’s important to take time to relax during menopause
Anxiety, from our experience, is number two on the top 10 list of menopause symptoms. It's in our daily lives. Most of us will feel anxiety at some point through menopause. And we know that anxiety can compound other menopause symptoms such as hot flushes, sleep, and weight.
So, learning to relax completely and properly can have a huge positive impact on our menopause symptoms. And it's also another way where we can feel that we're in control, rather than the menopause controlling us.
My top relaxation tips
So, here are my top tips to help you relax better during menopause:
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1. Take some ‘me-time’
I often talk about me-time, but when and how can you give yourself me-time? The majority of women don't and it really is so important especially when it comes to helping you relax.
So, when I talk about 'me-time', this is about 30 minutes out of your day where you can step back from real life and take a time out.
You could maybe look at mediation and mindfulness. I love guided meditations because they help to take you away to completely different places. You could also have a lovely relaxing bath if it's just before bedtime or you could listen to really nice, calming music.
The only thing here is you need to give yourself the time and you need to make sure that you're not going to be interrupted. So, don't take your mobile phones with you, just leave those behind.
2. Deep breathing
I find deep breathing so helpful for so many different situations. You just need to learn how to do slow, deep breathing and do it whenever you feel that you need some kind of relaxation
Deep, slow breathing can help several menopause symptoms, including helping to stop things like hot flushes and panic or anxiety attacks. It can also help you to sleep at night and help to ease palpitations. So, this is a really handy one to learn. I recommend that you practice it 3 or 4 times a day until it becomes automatic.
The breathing technique that I prefer is the 4x4 one (also known as box breathing or four-square breathing), but there are several ones which you can try to find the one that suits you best. There are lots of videos on YouTube on how to do different forms of breathing so take a little bit of time to research them and find one that you're comfortable with.
3. Take a walk outside
The Japanese have something called forest bathing and they've realised for many years now how good getting out into nature is for our health, both physically and mentally.
So, I know it's not easy for everybody, especially if you're living in the middle of a big city that's always very busy. But if you can, try and get out regularly. Again, it can take you away from the daily stresses and you can just focus on breathing, walking, and appreciating nature if you can.
I'm really lucky because I have a park nearby. It's maybe about five minutes' walk away, so I can go regularly just for a quick walk around the grounds, watching squirrels, or the deers, or just taking in the nice, fresh air. So, this is one if you can do it, maybe once or twice a week, and that can make a huge amount of difference for you.
4. Progressive muscle relaxation
This relaxation technique is a little bit harder to do than deep breathing. It's best to do this one lying down so you're basically taking each area of the body at a time and tensing it and then relaxing.
You start with the face. So, I would normally start with my eyes. You would scrunch your eyes, hold them tight, slowly relax them, and then do each area of the body until you get to your toes. It takes a lot of concentration to start with but once you get into it, you're so focused on contracting and relaxing your muscles that everything else just gets shut out.
And it can be very, very relaxing and soothing at the end of the day. Again, if you go onto YouTube, you'll get lots of videos on how to do the best technique for this one.
5. Get creative
We get so busy that sometimes, things that we used to enjoy doing have gone completely by the wayside. Again, it's about me-time. How much time do we spend on ourselves and the things that we enjoy?
So, one of the things I found, especially if I only have a little bit of free time, is that I like to get creative and colour. You can get these fabulous adult colouring books and I've got some glitter pens so I can just spend maybe 15 minutes if need be, doing some colouring in.
It takes you back to being a child and how joyful that was, doing the colouring in out of books. And you can get fantastic patterns from the books now.
You could also look at knitting. This is another one that I used to do a lot when my children were very young. And again, it's a lovely, relaxing one if you can get the hang of it.
Did you use to paint when you were younger? Did you use to play a musical instrument or even sing, or even dance? Or learn something new. Just do something for half an hour that you enjoy and you can fling your whole being into it.
6. Relaxing remedies and supplements
There are so many lovely ones available that can all support us and help us, especially when we find that times are really hard.
We have our lovely licensed remedies, AvenaCalm, which contains the herb Avena sativa and Stress Relief Daytime which contains the herb Valerian, which is known to help ease anxiety. Also, the mineral magnesium is very important during menopause amd it is a great one for helping to calm the muscles and to help you get a good night's sleep as well.
My Top Tip:
Made for the pressed juice of fresh Avena sativa (more commonly known as oats), our AvenaCalm can be used to help relieve mild stress and mild anxiety. Take 25-30 drops in a little water, twice a day. It can also be used to help sleep if taken 30 minutes before bedtime. Always read the label.
"I feel it has calmed my whole nervous system down and I also now sleep much better."
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7. Take a tech break
We have become slaves to our machines these days! How many of us don't go anywhere without our mobile phones? And don't we get anxious if we've sent a text, or a message, or a picture, or something to somebody and they don't reply within five minutes. I, myself, tend to think, "where are they? What's happened to them?"
So, we can get really caught up with technology and it can end up controlling us.
And that can contribute to our anxiety and our stress. So, it's really important, either to have at some point during the day where you put everything to one side and perhaps read or do some of the other relaxation things that I've suggested today.
Also, don't take them to bed with you because the blue light, especially from things like phones and computers will interfere with your sleep, even try maybe one day a week, just to put your phones in your drawers and just say to all your friends, "I'm having a break, one day a week."
If you can't do without them, then why not use them for the good. There are loads of fabulous apps that you can download to do with relaxation music, relaxation videos, guided meditation. So at least if you find that you can't let them go, then do some positive things with them rather than being tied to them with lots of anxiety.
I hope you found this handy and helpful. I know, for me, relaxation is a big part of my life, and if I have really busy days and I miss it, then I feel it the next day, both on a physical level and also on an emotional level.
So, these little tips are worth their weight in gold to help you take back some control during menopause. If any of you out there have other fabulous tips that you have found helpful to keep you relaxed and stress-free, then please share them because we would love to hear all about them.
Key points to take away from this blog:
- Relaxation can help ease many menopause symptoms including stress, anxiety, hot flushes, and palpitations
- Don't underestimate the importance of 'me-time', try to take at least 30 minutes each day to yourself to do something that you enjoy
- Try incorporating relaxation techniques such as Deep Breathing and Progressive Muscle Relaxation into your daily routine
- Take a gentle walk, get creative and take a tech break to help relax your mind and body
- Try some herbs such as Avena Sativa or Valerian and take magnesium daily to help ease anxiety and aid relaxation.
Until next week, take care.