Summertime is here! Whilst we’d love to spend the sunny season relaxing and soaking up the sunshine, menopause can make it difficult to enjoy ourselves. With hot flushes making the heat unbearable and night sweats on an already sticky evening, menopause can make us downright dread summertime.
Navigating menopause and the summer heat can be challenging, not to mention your typical summertime rituals like travelling, school holidays and social gatherings, but with a little bit of preparation you can make the most of your summer and we’re here to help you survive the sunny weather.
We’ve created the ultimate Menopause Summer Survival Guide! To kick-start the season, here are our 11 top menopause tips for beating the heat this summer.
1. Stay hydrated
Hydration, hydration, hydration. We can’t stress enough how important this is! Staying hydrated is crucial, especially for women experiencing menopause in the summer. Hot flushes and night sweats can lead to dehydration, which worsens menopause symptoms and leads to other health problems like headaches, fatigue, and constipation.
To help you stay hydrated, try carrying a water bottle at all times, set reminders to drink water throughout the day, eat fruits and vegetables with high water content, and avoid dehydrating drinks like alcohol and caffeine.
2. Wear loose clothing
Hot flashes and night sweats can make it very difficult to stay cool during the summer. If you wear loose-fitting clothing, it can help you to feel more comfortable. Loose clothing allows air to circulate, which helps prevent sweating and allows you to move around more easily.
In contrast, tight-fitting clothes can restrict your movement and make you feel hot and uncomfortable, which can exacerbate menopause symptoms. So, if you want to beat the heat this summer, opt for loose-fitting clothing.
3. Track your triggers
Menopause symptoms can be tough to deal with, but did you know certain factors can make them worse? For example, research suggests that hot flushes and night sweats can be aggravated by caffeine. It’s also often recommended that women going through menopause also avoid spicy food.
Everyone is different, so to help manage your symptoms, try keeping a food and drink diary. This way, you can identify any personal triggers and avoid them in the future.
4. Limit caffeine and alcohol
Ok, hear us out on this one… You don’t have to cut it out completely if you don’t want to. You can still enjoy a nice latte or a glass of wine in moderation, but it’s important to be aware of the potential side effects. Alcohol and caffeine have been known to make hot flushes worse, disrupt sleep and cause dehydration.
To help alleviate these side effects, you could try switching to decaf and reducing alcohol to one glass per day. Also, remember, alcohol can react badly with certain medications so check with your GP first.
It’s really important to keep an eye on your diet, especially if you’re going through menopause. Increasing your intake of calcium and vitamin D is a great place to start, as they help prevent osteoarthritis and keep your bones strong. Luckily, there are plenty of tasty foods that can help you do this, such as dairy products, dark leafy greens, beans, tofu, and sardines.
If you’re looking for a fun and easy way to get more fruits and veggies into your diet, try making some smoothies with your favourite fruits. Even small changes to your diet can make a big difference when it comes to improving your health and well-being during menopause.
6. Get active
Exercising during menopause can significantly improve sleep quality, boost energy levels, and elevate mood. Additionally, maintaining a healthy weight through exercise is crucial in reducing the risk of health problems such as heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes.
To make the most of your workouts, consider trying water aerobics, yoga, pilates, and walking. These low-impact exercises are perfect for those with joint pain and can help improve flexibility, core strength, posture, and balance.
If you’re new to exercising, take it slow. Gradually increase the duration and intensity of your workouts. Also, always listen to your body and take breaks when necessary.
Bonus summer tip: For a cooler workout, try exercising in the morning.
Menopause is a natural process, but it can be stressful. It’s important to reduce stress during this time, as it can worsen menopause symptoms. Stress can also impact your sleep, which can lead to health issues like high blood pressure, anxiety, and heart disease.
Dealing with stress during menopause can be challenging, but taking care of yourself is vital. A proactive approach includes recognising what triggers your stress, making time for regular exercise, eating a balanced diet and getting enough rest.
You could also try relaxation techniques, confiding in a friend or family member, or simply taking a break when you feel overwhelmed. Remember, you don’t have to go through this alone.
Maintaining a healthy and satisfying sex life during menopause is not only beneficial for our physical well-being but also our mental health. Engaging in various forms of sexual play elevates our heart rate, improves blood circulation and releases ‘feel-good’ chemicals in the brain. Plus, sex can even be considered a cardio and flexibility workout!
Whilst a loss of libido and vaginal dryness is common during menopause, there are a few things you can try to help get your sex life back on track this summer:
- Maintaining a healthy diet
- Managing weight
- Avoiding stress trickers
- Enjoy quality time together outside of the bedroom
- Making time to have sex more often
- Trying out different sex positions
- Introducing lubricants and sex toys
- Combat vaginal dryness for pain free sex with our Joylux device
9. Pause for Me-Time
Me-time is an essential part of self-care during menopause. It has numerous benefits, including reducing stress levels, which can contribute to hot flushes, night sweats, and other symptoms. Additionally, it can improve your mood, boost your self-esteem, and improve your sleep quality.
Struggling to find time for yourself? Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Take a relaxing bath
- Read a book
- Listen to music
- Take a walk in nature
- Spend time with friends or family
- Do something creative, like painting or writing
- Get a massage
Remember, even a little bit of me-time can make a big difference. To make the most of it, choose activities you enjoy and that make you feel good. Turn off your phone and other distractions, surround yourself with a relaxing environment, and focus on the present moment.
If you’re having trouble sleeping, you’re not alone! It’s quite common for women in the premenopausal and perimenopausal stages to experience sleep disruptions. But don’t worry, there are a few simple things you can do to help catch some zzzs.
- Exercise is the best way to tire yourself out. Plus, it’s good for your overall health and well-being.
- Cutting back on caffeine and sugar can also make a huge difference.
- invest in your sleep environment! Your bedroom should be relaxing, so ensure you love the space and your bedding is comfy.
- Keep a consistent bedtime routine, like going to bed at the same time and avoiding food and electronics a few hours before bed.
- Unwind before bed with a warm (not hot) bath or a calming herbal tea.
11. Speak to your GP
It can be challenging to handle hot flushes and other symptoms of menopause. If you’re struggling, speak to your GP. They can talk you through the various treatment options that may alleviate the severity and frequency of your symptoms. Remember, you’re not alone and there are options available to help you through this journey.