This post was originally published on 31/01/2019 and updated on 21/09/2020
This week here are some smart moves to help you rediscover your SPARKLE in time for some Christmas cheer
Tired, fed up and dreading Christmas and all those parties and get-togethers? Even wondering if you will ever feel like your old self again. Don’t despair; there are plenty of ways - and time - to get your mojo back before the big day. The secret is to put yourself at the top of your Christmas list and make some small tweaks to your lifestyle. Try it, and before you know it, you’ll be looking forward to the festivities as much as the rest of the family.
GET BACK YOUR SEXY - yes, it is entirely possible!
Tiredness, lack of energy and mood swings can put a damper on the best of relationships. At the same time, falling levels of oestrogen at menopause can result in the lining of the vagina becoming dry and uncomfortable while night sweats and insomnia can put paid to the strongest libido.
Sounds familiar? You are not alone. My research shows that over 50% of menopausal women have problems in the bedroom, often feeling switched off from the waist downwards. But the good news is you don’t have to suffer in silence. There is much you can do naturally to repair the vaginal lining, encourage the cells to produce mucus again and bring back that spark to your loving.
- Expecting your partner to understand what is going on without you explaining can quickly put a distance between you. Try to spend some time together, explain what you are going through and ask for his support.
- Start replacing the missing natural oestrogen with phytoestrogen foods, consuming 100mg of isoflavones per day. Soya beans, flaxseeds and red clover are all excellent sources.
- Supplements such as sea buckthorn oil, vitamin E, zinc and magnesium, coconut oil, and omega 7 Sea Buckthorn capsules can all help alleviate vaginal dryness and discomfort.
- Make sure you drink plenty of water to keep hydration at bay, which can affect lubrication.
- If penetration is really painful, try exploring other avenues of lovemaking. Indulge in plenty of foreplay and don’t shy away from using an organic lubricant like YES!
- Treat each other to a sensual massage. Turn on the music, dim the lights, and start to touch each other gently.
Do you want to know more? Check out my MasterClass.
WISE UP TO SLEEP
Hormonal ups and downs can wreak havoc with mid-life sleeping patterns. Night sweats and anxiety can quickly lead to lack of sleep and broken nights, which before long may lead to daytime irritability, depression and tension. If this sounds familiar now’s the time to make some changes to avoid turning up at those parties tired and bleary eyed.
- Stick to a sleep schedule. Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day—even on the weekends.
- Don’t flop into bed - take time to wind down. Make something, such as reading or listening to music, part of your bedtime ritual. Alternatively, have a warm bath, stretch, and just potter.
- Keep your bedroom for sleep and sleep only. Get rid of anything that might distract you from slumber. Out go bright lights, an uncomfortable mattress, a TV, tablet or mobile.
- Your bedroom should be cool as well as dark, ideally between 15 – 21 C.
- Use lightweight duvets and bedclothes. Keep a fan next to your bed to cool you down at night, some wet wipes and a glass of cold water.
- Opt for cotton nightwear and avoid any made from manmade fibre.
- Steer clear of alcohol, spicy foods, hot drinks and soups in the evening, which can all trigger hot nights.
- Supplements that can help to reduce night sweats include Promensil isoflavones, Femmenessence Macapause and black cohosh.
WATCH YOUR WEIGHT
Annoyingly, metabolic rates – the rate at which your body burns food for fuel - change around the menopause meaning weight gain, especially around the middle, can become a problem, which can exacerbate menopause symptoms. Shedding any extra pounds can help, but remember losing weight is harder at 50 than it is at 30 but not impossible.
- Keeping fit and taking regular daily exercise help boost metabolism and energy levels.
- You don’t have to beat yourself up at a gym. In fact intermittent high impact exercise may make flushes worse. Go for a gentle run, dance, try yoga, go hiking, swim a few lengths in the pool, go for a walk round the park. The most important thing is to choose something you enjoy. That way you are more likely to stick with it.
- Working with weights (aka resistance training) is a good way to rev up your metabolic rate and encourage your body to burn fat even when at rest, so try to include a couple of sessions a week.
While this is not the time to embark on a quick fad diet in the hope of squeezing into that little black dress, sticking to a healthy eating pattern may help you lose a few pounds.
- Stick to regular meals containing a balance of protein, complex carbohydrates, including wholegrain cereals; dairy foods, such as milk, yoghurt and cheese and plenty of fresh vegetables, fruit, and healthy fats.
- Include plenty of soya in your meals. The reason? Soya is rich in phytoestrogens, plant chemicals similar in structure to oestrogen, which can help keep symptoms at bay. Use soya milk in smoothies, make dips and soups with soya beans, add tofu to stir-fries and sprinkle seeds over salads or your morning porridge.
- Avoid caffeine and alcohol. Instead, choose calming herbal teas such as camomile.
- Get portion-savvy to avoid mindless snacking – divide a large bag of nuts or a big pot of yogurt into single servings rather than tucking straight in.
Piling on the pressure, especially at this time of year, can make hot flushes harder to handle. Recognise your limitations, build in plenty of ‘me’ time and think ahead as to how you’re going to delegate those Christmas Day chores.
- Take the stress out of going Christmas shopping. Spend a night in and shop online.
- Go for a relaxing massage or an acupuncture facial to release blocked energies.
- Focus on what you are looking forward to not what you are dreading.
- Soothing essential oil of mandarin can counter tension and leave you feeling calm, uplifted and inspired.
- If the going gets tough sip a large glass of water with two drops of Rescue Remedy. Alternatively, dab a drop of lavender essential oil on your temples and wrists.
- Place cold tea bags or cool packs over tired eyes to refresh them
- Set aside some specific ‘me’ time every day. Veg out on the sofa with a book, watch a film or DVD, have a massage or just sit still and let your mind wander.
Christmas is drawing closer and you catch sight of yourself in the mirror. Your heart sinks at what you see. Everyone is going to look so much better than you at the party. Stop it now! Instead focus on the good things about your body – how amazing it is, how it’s survived this far, how it carries you through each day.
- You wouldn’t say to your best friend, “You’re fat, flabby, ugly, wrinkled, past it,” So why say it to yourself – even in the privacy of your own mind? Refuse to give headspace to negative thoughts and instead practise ‘positive self-talk’.
- Treat yourself to a pampering massage or facial. It will make you feel a million dollars.
- Indulge in a wonderfully relaxing aromatherapy bath at least once a week. Run the water before adding six drops of an essential oil. Choose clary sage for a sense of well-being, ylang-ylang to put you in a seductive mood, camomile to calm you down or lemon to give you an instant lift.
- Go for a wrap or empire line dress with a V-neck to play up your assets and disguise tummy bulges.
- Use a foundation with light-reflective ingredients to make your skin glow and a lipstick in a warm rose, berry, or rich brown shade. Bright red can be harsh and accentuate the wrinkles.
- Wax the ends of short hair to add texture and shape.
- Finally, that little black dress is not obligatory. How about colour instead? Red boosts energy, orange makes you feel sociable, yellow fosters optimism, while pink brings a smile to the face.
Get your mojo back on track.
Join Maryon Stewart's FREE Virtual Class Rekindling Your Libido