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Balancing Holidays and Hormones

Navigating Holiday Stress Amidst the Menopausal Rollercoaster.

Mia West
November 22, 2023
Medically-reviewed and fact checked by Ryan Lester, PA-C

The holiday season is upon us, with festive decorations and the promise of joyous celebrations. It’s a lovely image but not necessarily one that aligns with what women actually experience. A survey conducted by the American Psychological Association found women (44 percent) are more likely to report an increase of stress during the holidays than men. Add to that the additional layer of challenges menopause brings as women grapple with the physical and emotional symptoms that can intensify stress levels. 

To help ensure that the “most wonderful time of the year” doesn’t become a daunting and overwhelming experience, we’ve outlined a few suggestions to help manage the coming weeks.

Human Heater 

Hot flashes, those sudden waves of heat that make you feel like you're in a sauna, don't exactly pair well with holiday gatherings. Imagine trying to enjoy the annual office celebration while discreetly fanning yourself and desperately searching for the nearest cool spot. The struggle is real, and it's crucial for women to find effective coping mechanisms.

One strategy to tackle the heat is to layer clothing, opting for lightweight fabrics that allow the skin to breathe. Bringing a small handheld fan or even a discreet cooling towel can also be a game-changer when the thermostat seems to be stuck on "blast."

The Grinch

Beyond the physical discomfort, menopause can take a toll on emotional well-being. Mood swings, irritability, and anxiety can become unwelcome guests at the holiday festivities. Navigating family gatherings and office parties while battling these emotional shifts requires a delicate balance and a healthy dose of self-compassion.

One key to managing emotional symptoms is open communication. Friends and family may not fully understand what menopausal women are going through, so expressing feelings and setting realistic expectations can make a significant difference. 

Break Time

Establishing boundaries and taking breaks when needed are essential for maintaining emotional equilibrium during the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. Moreover, self-care becomes non-negotiable. Amidst the chaos of holiday preparations, menopausal women must prioritize their well-being. This includes getting enough rest, staying hydrated, and incorporating relaxation techniques into your daily routine, such as meditation or gentle yoga. However, if a higher intensity workout is something that clears your head, you do you. It’s about listening to and respecting your needs. Plus, exercise is known to reduce stress.

Have Your Own Back

Navigating the holiday chaos while experiencing menopausal symptoms requires a balance between festive obligations and self-preservation. The pressure to create the perfect holiday experience can be overwhelming, but it's essential for women, as a whole, to recognize and embrace their limitations. Learning to delegate tasks, saying no when necessary, and asking for help are vital skills during this time. Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (HRT) can also address the root cause of those menopausal stressors and minimize, if not eliminate them all together. 

By acknowledging the reality and implementing effective coping strategies and treatments, women can reclaim the joy of the season and navigate the holidays with grace, humor, and resilience. After all, 'tis the season to be jolly.

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About the Author

Mia West

A former journalist, Mia brings a high energy approach to communications rooted in insights, culture and brand DNA. She is driven by helping brands crystalize their story and foster meaningful, emotional connections with audiences. Over the years she has collaborated with prominent brands such as Petco, Keurig Dr Pepper, Jaguar Land Rover, Revlon, and Procter & Gamble Beauty, as well as many others in the retail, health & wellness, beauty, lifestyle, and sustainability realms. A California native, she lives in San Diego with her family at the beach.

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