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10 Tips for Practicing Self-Care Through Menopause

Article Content
Johannah Gregg
Medically Reviewed byJohannah GreggDNP FNP-CRead Bio
Written ByWinona Editorial Team

The menopause transition, encompassing perimenopause, menopause, and postmenopause, marks a significant period in a woman's life. It's characterized by a series of physiological and psychological changes that may impact daily functioning. 

During this transition, it's important to prioritize self-care to manage the potential effects and symptoms that may arise, paving the way for a more comfortable journey toward the second half of life.

What is the menopause transition?

The menopause transition is a natural part of aging, spanning anywhere between the late 30s and mid-late 50s. During this time, the body experiences fluctuating hormone levels, leading to a range of physical changes like hot flashes, irregular periods, weight gain, and sleep disturbances. 

Psychological symptoms like mood swings and anxiety may also present. As the body adapts to its changing hormonal landscape, it's vital to ensure adequate care and support to help manage these changes.

Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is an approach that can help mitigate the symptoms associated with the menopause transition. It involves the use of hormones that are chemically identical to those produced by the human body, offering a natural way to support the body during this transition.

In addition to treatment, the following are 10 tips that can help women prioritize self-care during this important phase of life.

1. Balanced Diet

A balanced diet plays a crucial role in maintaining overall health, and it becomes even more significant during the menopause transition. Incorporating a range of nutrient-dense foods can help to manage some of the physical changes associated with this phase.

Including ample amounts of fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains can provide essential vitamins and minerals. For instance, leafy greens and dairy products are excellent sources of calcium, which is crucial for bone health. This especially becomes an area of concern as estrogen levels fall during menopause.

Omega-3 fatty acids, found in foods like fatty fish, flaxseeds, and walnuts, can contribute to cardiovascular health and potentially ease symptoms like hot flashes. Meanwhile, fiber-rich foods, like whole grains, fruits, and legumes, can support digestive health and help maintain a healthy weight.

2. Regular Exercise

Exercise serves multiple purposes, ranging from managing weight and preserving bone health to reducing the risk of chronic diseases and promoting better sleep.

A combination of different forms of exercise can be beneficial. For instance, resistance and weight-bearing exercises like lifting weights or yoga can help in maintaining bone density, which often decreases during menopause due to lower estrogen levels. 

Certified Family Nurse Practitioner and Hormone Specialist Johannah Gregg notes that these exercises can also help maintain mobility, which is crucial for maintaining the ability to stay active.

Additionally, aerobic exercises like brisk walking, cycling, or swimming can support heart health and assist in weight management. It’s generally recommended to aim for about 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity each week, alongside strength exercises two or more days a week.

3. Adequate Sleep

Sleep disturbances are a common complaint during the menopause transition, often due to symptoms like night sweats and anxiety. Thus, prioritizing good sleep becomes an essential part of self-care during this period.

Practices to improve sleep quality include establishing a consistent sleep schedule, creating a restful environment (dark, quiet, and cool), and minimizing exposure to electronic devices close to bedtime, which can interfere with the natural sleep cycle. 

Additionally, relaxation techniques like deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, or visualization can also facilitate better sleep.

4. Stress Management

The menopause transition can bring about increased stress levels due to changes in the body and the potential discomfort of symptoms. So effective stress management is vital for maintaining a sense of well-being during this time.

Various techniques can be utilized to manage stress, including mindfulness practices, deep-breathing exercises, and progressive muscle relaxation. Mind-body practices like yoga and tai chi can also promote relaxation. Additionally, hobbies, socializing, and spending time in nature can offer respite from stress and provide opportunities for rejuvenation.

5. Regular Medical Check-Ups

Routine screenings can help in the early detection and management of health issues that can arise during this time, such as osteoporosis, heart disease, and changes in breast tissue.

One of the medical interventions that can be beneficial during this transition is bioidentical HRT. As well as aiding in the management of various menopausal symptoms like hot flashes, sleep disturbances, and mood changes, HRT has been shown to prevent more serious medical conditions and support long-term health. 

6. Mental Health Support

Mental health is a crucial aspect of well-being, especially during the menopause transition, when hormonal changes can affect mood and emotional health. Anxiety, depression, and mood swings can sometimes accompany this period of change. As such, it's important to acknowledge these feelings and seek help when needed.

Psychotherapy, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), can be an effective way to manage these psychological symptoms. CBT can help with understanding and managing thought patterns, leading to improved mood and emotional well-being. Mindfulness practices and meditation can also be beneficial for mental health, promoting a sense of calm and equanimity.

7. Adequate Hydration

As hormonal changes can lead to decreased collagen production and dryness, ensuring sufficient fluid intake can help maintain skin elasticity and support overall body functions.

Drinking at least eight glasses of water per day is often recommended, but needs can vary depending on physical activity levels, climate, and overall health. Foods with high water content, like fruits and vegetables, can also contribute to daily hydration. 

It's also beneficial to limit the intake of caffeine and alcohol, as these can exacerbate symptoms like hot flashes and contribute to dehydration.

8. Substance Avoidance

Limiting alcohol intake and avoiding smoking are important elements of self-care during the menopause transition. Excessive alcohol can contribute to hot flashes and other symptoms and can also interfere with sleep quality. 

Meanwhile, smoking is associated with an increased risk of heart disease and osteoporosis, conditions that women become more susceptible to with age.

9. Social Connections

Social connections and supportive relationships play a crucial role in overall well-being during the menopause transition. These relationships can offer emotional support, reduce feelings of isolation, and improve overall quality of life. This could involve spending time with friends and family, participating in social groups, or even volunteering in the community.

10. Advocacy and Information

Staying informed about the changes that occur during the menopause transition is crucial for advocating for personal health. This includes understanding the variety of treatment options available, like bioidentical HRT. 

That being said, it's also essential to discuss this and any other treatment options with a healthcare provider to make well-informed decisions about personal health.


The menopause transition, while a natural phase in a woman's life, often comes with an array of physiological and psychological changes. Although it can present challenges, with effective management strategies, these changes can be navigated with resilience and confidence. 

Self-care practices, including maintaining a balanced diet, exercising regularly, prioritizing sleep, managing stress, and paying close attention to mental health, are the core of this management. That said, it’s advisable to seek professional guidance to navigate this time. Medical therapies like bioidentical HRT should be initiated and monitored with the supervision of a healthcare professional.

Ultimately, the goal is not just to navigate the menopause transition but to embrace this new phase of life fully. It's about supporting a smooth transition that allows for continued growth, health, and well-being in the years to come. Every woman's journey through menopause is unique, and with the right information, support, and care, it can be a time of empowerment and positive change.

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