10 Top Tips for Surviving the Christmas Holidays
as a busy peri/menopausal teacher
- Many of the things we do over Christmas are things that often make perimenopause and menopause symptoms worse — eating a lot of sugar, drinking alcohol and changing our routine of going to bed and getting up. Plan in some dry days, some healthy eating days and some early nights.
- Where there’s a lot of cooking to be done then we’re likely to find ourselves getting very warm. Do what you can in advance at your coolest moments and make full use of devices such as microwaves and air fryers which give off less heat to the room.
- Spend some time outside. Exercise almost always makes menopause symptoms feel better, and going for a walk can help a lot. Also it’s cool!
- Stress nearly always makes menopause symptoms worse. Think ahead and work out which are going to be the most stressful times and decide what you can do to lessen the stress and to release the stress in the moment.
- Practice the art of deferring worries. If there’s something on your mind that you can’t do anything about then decide when it’s time to worry about it and when your mind fixes on it, promise yourself you’ll think about it then.
- Use meditation and mindfulness to get yourself back to the moment and to calm you down if things get a bit much.
- Make sure that one person (which might just be you) doesn’t end up doing everything by default. It’s worth everyone who is old enough to contribute, sitting down and figuring out all the things that need to happen and then divvying the jobs out. Yes, you probably still end up managing it all, which isn’t fair, but it is better than doing it yourself.
- Build slack into the system. It’s very easy to enter the Christmas holidays with a very long list of things to do that only just squeezes into the time we’ve got.Make sure it’s not so tightly packed that it’s easily thrown out of flunter and you have to work to get it back. Allow for surprises.
- Streamline and simplify. What are the bare bones of what needs to happen for you and the people around you enjoy this holiday. Let go of anything that’s not central. And watch out for those moments where you worry about what you ‘should do’.
- Prioritise yourself. We spend a lot of time running round after other people. But make a list of the thing you need to do in order to unwind, and put completing that list first. This might feel uncomfortable. It’s a new habit. But stick to it and explain its importance to the people around you.