The Way Apothecary, Natural Menopause, Natural Perimenopause, Lifestyle Tips for Menopause, Natural Menopause Relief, Francoise Decatrel, Lifestyle
As we approach our late 30’s, lifestyle becomes more important than ever before. You may find that things you used to do with ease have a greater effect on your physical, mental, and emotional health. Examples can be anything from the effects of alcohol consumption, discomfort around people who don't bring you joy, to not getting enough alone time.

To have a positive transition into the next phase of your life as a woman, self-care both physical and mental is a must. This is a time to care for yourself in new ways, and to connect and nurture yourself on a level that you never have before.

Following are our top five tips for a better life during perimenopause and beyond. These tips encompass various areas of our life, but keep in mind it’s all connected. Start at least two right now, and then bring each one into your life at a pace that feels right for you.

Reduce endocrine disrupting xenoestrogens: They’re everywhere. Educate yourself on this, as it is so important not only for women, but also for our families. Here are a few ways to do this:
  • Reduce the use of plastics as much as possible. This includes plastic water filters, food storage containers, water bottles and more.
  • Avoid clothing made with plastics, such as polyester and acrylic.
  • Stick to natural beauty. This even includes toothpaste. Most commercial toothpastes contain endocrine disrupting chemicals, as do many mass-produced beauty products.
  • Go organic: It is a well researched fact that many pesticides contain endocrine disruptors. The price on organic produce is pretty close to conventional, so please, for your sake and the planets, eat organic whenever possible.

Take care of your liver: Our livers are responsible for the large task of metabolizing hormones, as well as detoxification of alcohol and prescription drugs. Help ease your liver’s burden by limiting alcohol and eating more cruciferous vegetables, such as cauliflower, cabbage, kale, broccoli, etc. We suggest shooting for at least three servings a day. Also, drink lots of pure water - at least 8 cups a day.

Clean up Your Diet: Food is medicine. Ditch refined, processed food for fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains. Fish is an excellent source of protein and fatty acids when consumed a few times a week. If eating red meat, try keeping to a minimum and go from hormone-free and free range whenever possible. Soy is a complete protein and provides mild phytoestrogens (healthy plant-based estrogenic compounds). These are a wonderful tool to help supplement estrogen as we age. Please note that if you have had any sort of estrogen dependent cancer, soy is probably not an option for you. Discuss this with an educated integrative doctor. As for the rest of us, it is a wonderful food when consumed 1-3 times a week. Other sources of phytoestrogens are dried fruits, such as apricots, beans, flax seeds, berries, barley, and oats.

Focus on lowering cortisol: Cortisol plays a main role in the path through menopause. Cortisol is considered “the stress hormone”. Put simply, estrogen regulates cortisol levels. When estrogen declines, cortisol can begin to rise. Hence feeling extra stressed during perimenopause. It has been scientifically proven that deep breathing for just five minutes a day can dramatically reduce cortisol levels. Other ways to reduce cortisol: exercise daily (avoid high intensity exercise at this phase of life), get proper sleep, spend time in nature, reduce or eliminate caffeine intake, and find hobbies that bring you joy.

Make mental health a priority: Let’s speak frankly, there are moments during perimenopause and menopause where you may feel like you are losing your mind. Try shifting your perspective and asking yourself what needs to be healed to become your most radiant self. If you have wounds from childhood, you may notice that these begin to present themselves during perimenopause. This is because your soul wants to do the work to prepare itself for being a calm, wise, radiant woman for the rest of your life. Take time to find a therapist that supports your spiritual side and do the work. Find a women’s circle. Reach out to women who are the same age or older than you, and talk openly. You may find the desire to pull back from the world and be alone more often. Do this without guilt.

Bring self-care into your daily routine: If it seems like your body and mind crave more attention, it is because they need more attention from the late 30’s on. Make self-care a priority, and take the focus off perfecting how you look to nurturing your soul and senses. Breathe deeply when applying body oil. Take showers and baths, and allow the water to rinse away your cares. Spend time in nature and commune with the earth. Turn your home into a spa, and make it an escape from the world. Cocoon yourself in beauty, music, herbal teas, water, crystals, art, nature - whatever feeds your soul and brings you joy. Engage in self-compassion. Your body is trying to find a new path, and in this time there are many ups and downs. Don’t be hard on yourself or feel flawed. Also, have compassion for those around you. Be open and let them know that you are going through a process. You may find the need to redefine boundaries with many people in your life. Suddenly, our tolerance goes down. This is a good thing! Be empowered if you need to stand up for yourself. Finally, learn to say “no” without explanation.

We believe that a healthy, positive lifestyle that focuses on physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional wellbeing accounts for at least 60% of the picture when addressing our hormonal changes. The rest is managing manifestations that are a natural part of our bodies processes. Over time, we will share more tips, so check back here often for updates.
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Nurture your body & soul.