Let’s face it, Christmas can be stressful enough without also dealing with what are often unpleasant symptoms. Have you got strategies in place for how you will cope with all the festive period throws at you?? This is my Christmas menopause survival guide.
Whether you’re having everyone to visit you or you’re out for the day, the to-do list can be eye wateringly long 😫
With a bit of forethought and planning, you can really reduce the stress and impact on your symptoms and make it much more enjoyable. Here are my top tips….
Don’t be afraid to tell your family and friends about how you’re feeling. If you’re fatigued and need to take a nap, tell them. If your anxiety is through the roof, tell them. If you’re feeling hot and bothered, tell them. If people know how you’re feeling, they will support you to do what you need to do. It also helps to normalise what you’re going through and make it easier to have conversations about menopause.
Don’t feel you have to take everything on yourself. Even if people are coming to you, it’s perfectly acceptable to ask people to contribute to things like the cooking. I used to do this with my family. Mam would bring dessert and my sister would bring the starter. My husband and I would do the main course. Luckily I have a husband that can cook because I can’t but we share the load. Although I can’t cook, I’m a dab hand at peeling veg and getting stuff out ready etc. Share the load where you can.
If you have kids, get them to help with tidying up. Give them a bin liner and get them to pick up rubbish and wrapping paper etc. Incentivise them using chocolate and setting timers if need be.
Ask guests to help with things like setting the table. Keep it sociable by playing a Christmas playlist and giving them a glass of fizz to drink whilst they’re doing it.
🚫 Say no
It’s ok to say no to things. Being a yes woman will only lead to more stress and overwhelm so don’t take on too much. This also includes saying no to things like too many wines! It’s so easy to “graze” on alcohol for most of the day on Christmas day particularly. This can lead to more hot flushes and more anxiety so be mindful of what you’re drinking and consider a glass of water now and then too.
⚖️ Make life easy
- Make a to-do list and then go through it and prioritise essential things only. If there’s stuff you really don’t need to do, don’t do it!
- Plan ahead and prep and cook as much as you can in the days before. If there is stuff you can freeze do that.
- Buy ready made meals and nibbles. You can’t move for this sort of stuff these days and the quality is often really good.
- Use disposable foil trays for cooking and plastic glasses and paper/bamboo plates/cutlery where you can. This will save loads of time on clearing away and washing up.
- Make use of gift wrapping services. Lots of shopping centres and stores often offer a gift wrapping service in return for a donation to charity. Use these things to lighten your wrapping load. You can still take the credit for the beautiful wrapping 😉
🧘🏼♀️ Plan time for self-care
Make sure you make time for self-care, even if you’re visiting others.
- Make yourself a little water spritz spray with some essential oil. If you can, keep it in the fridge too as it can be great for hot flushes. Use oils such as lavender or chamomile which are calming. Sandalwood is good for anxiety and clary sage is good for stress.
- If you’re at home, escape to your bedroom for a few minutes. Plug in an aromatherapy diffuser, play some relaxing music and just lay on the bed and relax for a few minutes.
- Drink plenty of water through the day. it’s so easy to forget when you’re busy. If you’re also drinking alcohol, this can dehydrate you so it’s even more important. Being dehydrated causes headaches so keep yourself feeling tip top with regular glugs of water.
- If you can, get out for a walk and some fresh air. Even if it’s just for a few minutes, you will benefit. Either just walk and enjoy some peace or listen to music or a podcast. It’s like a little reset and will refresh your energy to keep you going on what can often be long days of having to entertain and “put a face on”.
Hopefully those tips will help you come out the other side of Christmas unscathed. please share any of your own survival tips in the comments and spread the love. Merry Christmas 🧑🎄