It’s freezing outside, so why do you still feel like jumping into an ice cold swimming pool? It’s estimated that at any one time in the UK, 13 million women are either peri or postmenopausal - that’s almost half the country’s female population. Menopause can be a messy business; the hot flushes, brain fog, broken sleep and overwhelming sense you’re not ‘you' anymore. You randomly overheat and wear strappy tops all year long, lose your keys on a regular basis and your nights are one long duvet hokey cokey as you stick random limbs in and out of the bed in an effort to cool down. Sound familiar? Julie Dennis is The Menopause Coach and has just published her book, The Hot Flush Freedom Challenge. Too many women think that the answer to menopausal symptoms is either HRT or to suffer, but that’s not the case. There’s a third option, which is to get control of your symptoms naturally, so you can easily cool down, calm down and feel like yourself again. Julie has helped thousands of women to regain their confidence through her popular online programme and now shares her top tips with Female First.
What Do You Really, Really Want
Just saying you want to get rid of your symptoms isn’t good enough. You’ve got to be specific. If you want to be free from hot flushes and you’re currently having seven each day, what number do you want to reduce that to and by when?
Get Cracking With Your Tracking
Develop an alter ego as the Hot Flush Freedom private detective and start keeping a Hot Flush Freedom diary. Track your hot flushes and see if you can identify what’s triggering them. Once you know what’s triggering your hot flushes you can get to work on managing them.
Cut The Caffeine
Caffeine is a powerful stimulant and can trigger a hot flush within minutes of sipping your favourite cuppa. Create a realistic caffeine-reduction plan for yourself. Include what you’re going to drink instead of your usual coffee or tea - and commit to it.
Breathe And Relax
What do you do to relax each day? Controlling your hot flushes isn’t just about what you eat and drink, or the way in which you exercise. You’ve got to learn to relax, too.
Phone A Friend
Talk to someone else about what’s going on with you. Tell your partner why you’re grumpier than usual, maybe tearful, constantly running a temperature and giving the cold shoulder in the bedroom.
Red, Red Wine
There’s one universal truth about alcohol: if you’re a woman of a certain age, it will trigger hot flushes and disrupt your sleep. I’m not saying you have to give it up for good - I certainly haven’t! You simply have to make a choice as to whether the fun of drinking outweighs the discomfort of hot flushes, or the misery of a bad night’s sleep.
Cut back on the CRAP: Caffeine, Refined sugars, Alcohol and Processed foods. All of these things are going to stress out your system and make your symptoms worse.
Sweet Dreams Are Made Of These
If you share a bed, buy your own duvet. With your own duvet, you won’t be affected by your partner’s body heat and you’re not going to disturb his or her sleep either. Simple, but effective.
HIIT Me Baby One More Time
When it comes to menopause, less is more. The wrong type of exercise can result in your temperature fluctuating wildly. A mix of HIIT, resistance training and restorative workouts are perfect for women of a certain vintage.
Your Menopause Mindset
If your head’s not in the right space, you’re not going to follow any of my advice! Don’t underestimate the power of your subconscious mind and its ability to sabotage your results. Set about creating healthy habits, rather than relying on willpower.
The Hot Flush Freedom Challenge: 10 days to cool down, calm down and break through the brain fog of menopause, by Julie Dennis is published by Practical Inspiration Publishing, RRP. £9.99. To find out more about Julie and the book, visit: www.juliedennis.net