Navigating Perimenopause

Have you been having mood swings, irregular periods and feeling less excited about doing things you would normally be very excited about? This could be because of a hormone imbalance or you could be going through perimenopause.

Perimenopause is a topic that has come up in my Facebook group, so I decided to write a little something about it to help those who are going through perimenopause make the transition a bit easier.

PerimenopausePerimenopause is the transition that every woman goes through. Every woman, as we know, is different and each person will have a different path towards menopause. Ovaries start to make less oestrogen and progesterone which are the hormones that regulate menstruation. Although some women go through perimenopause in their late 30s, it can start anywhere between 4 and 15 years prior to menopause.

Regardless of your path to menopause, or when you start transitioning, it does not have to be the horror story that has been told over the years. You can smooth the ride and take some control by starting to look after your hormonal health at a young age. There are so many natural ways to look after your hormonal health, especially as you get closer to menopause age.

Cortisol, Thyroid, and Oestrogen are the 3 main hormones that will affect perimenopausal and menopausal women. Having these hormones balanced and working in your favour will help you go through the changes while you can still live the life you want to.

Let’s look at these hormones and what effect they have on your body:

  • Cortisol as we already know is the stress hormone which is created in the adrenal gland that controls our body’s flight-or-fight response. It lets our nervous system know of any threats, whether they are real or imaginary. Too much cortisol in your system will have you craving for unhealthy sugar, fat, and
  • The hormones produced in your Thyroid Gland determine your energy level, weight, and If you are having problems with your Thyroid Gland you will have problems when it comes to unexpected weight gain, constipation, hair loss, constant fatigue, depression and unmanageable mood swings.
  • Oestrogen, which mainly comes from your ovaries helps keep tissues pliable, joints flexible and keeps those mood swings in check. It also is very important as it helps balance your Cortisol and Thyroid-hormone production.

Even though Oestrogen is normally to blame when hormones start misbehaving, we cannot point the finger at just the one hormone, as all three of these hormones play a part in keeping you Blissfully Balanced.

That is why it is so important to start looking after your hormones earlier rather than later! To help you start looking after those hormones, take my hormone balance quiz and find out for yourself today where you can get started.

In the meantime, here are 4 tips on how you can navigate yourself through perimenopause

1. Find a fun exercise routine

Exercise, for some, is not exactly on top of their to-do list. After a long day, the last thing you want to do is hit the gym. But it doesn’t have to be that way, there are so many ways of exercising and getting your body moving these days that it does not have to be a burden.

Whether you like to do Crossfit, Yoga, Zumba, running, spin class, powerlifting or even taking up a dance class, get your body moving for at least 30 minutes 4 times a week.

Exercise will:

  • Help you regulate your body temperature, which will help with the number of hot flashes you will experience.
  • Help you regulate your mood and keep those mood swings under control.
  • Help you manage and maintain and healthy body weight (plus it will leave your look and feeling awesome)
  • Help you keep your bones strong

If yoga is your thing, here are some fun and easy yoga positions to get you started!

2. Enjoy your sleep

Sleep is very important for hormone health. This is the time that your body takes to repair and catch up with whatever you put it through during the day. If you struggle to get those much-needed hours of sleep at night, here are some ways that you can try to improve your downtime in the bedroom:

  • Your bedroom is a bedroom! Don’t take your laptop or smartphone to bed to send out those last couple of emails for the day!
  • Start a relaxing bedtime routine. Reading your favourite author under a dim light or adding some lavender to a nice warm bath before you climb into bed will get your body relaxed and ready to drift off to dreamland.
  • Exposure to light must go. Try not to binge on your favourite series right before you go to bed, I know its hard, but it will help you in the long run and keep your room as dark as you possibly can when you are sleeping.
  • If you are already experiencing the dreaded “night sweats”, dress for comfort. Swap those cute flannel PJs for a comfortable tank top and lightweight pyjama pants. Keep an extra blanket close by for those cold sweats, but always make sure that you are comfortable.

3. Enjoy what you eat

Although you might be craving your favourite fast food meal, feeding your body the wholesome, nutritious foods it needs does not need to feel like you are on a horrible diet. Healthy food choices are great at any age, but when perimenopause is looming it is even more important to start making the changes.

  • Calcium – Kale and almonds are great sources of calcium that will help build your bone strength. Goats milk is also a great way to add some calcium to your diet.
  • Vegetables – they are good for you, this is a fact you are going to have to live with. Fill your plate with delicious fresh veggies every night.
  • Fibre – you need to keep yourself regular. Berries, Cruciferous vegetables, oats, brown rice, quinoa, nuts, and legumes are great and yummy additions which are awesome foods to add that much-needed fibre to your diet.
  • Protein – start adding more lean protein foods like chicken, turkey, and fish to your meals.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids – include flax seed oil, spinach, and eggs in your diet as they will help reduce the number of hot flashes and menstrual pain.

As much as they are delicious and although they are favourites for many people, you need to limit yourself on how much refined sugar and carbohydrates, caffeine and alcohol you consume. These treats that we love so much can cause havoc when it comes to balancing your hormones. If you need help to start losing your sweet tooth, click here and get started.

4. Keep a journal and discover what your body needs

No person in this world knows your body the way you do, and there is always more to learn as your body starts going through the changes that will inevitably come with age.

Keep track of;

  • Your sleep: How many hours did you sleep? Did you have night sweats? Did you constantly wake up in the evening?
  • What are your eating: From the smallest biscuit to the biggest plate of vegetables, write it down as well as how you felt after eating – you can learn about some trends of certain food intake and how they made you feel afterward.
  • Your exercise routine: When did you work out? How long did you work out for? Describe how you felt, and your recovery/soreness.
  • Mood swings: get familiar with how your mood changes after eating, exercise and sleep.

Our hormones drive how we eat, how we sleep and how we feel about ourselves. Track them all and find out what affects what and make the changes you need to make your journey through perimenopause easier.

If you want to find out what can you do today to start becoming the expert on your own body, take my hormone balance quiz and find out what the next step you need to take to navigate your way perimenopause.

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