Mindful Aging: Embracing the Midlife Transition
This is an especially exciting topic for us at Better Not Younger, and the reason is in our name. We believe we only get better with age! And key to a smooth midlife transition is knowing what to expect as we move through menopause.
But what do signs of menopause at 40 and beyond look like? How can you tell if you're experiencing premenopausal symptoms?
We've got the scoop on what to know about early perimenopause symptoms and menopause body changes, along with menopause self-care tips to help you cope with the transition!
Menopause Consists of 3 Stages (And Every Experience Is Different!)
Many of us think of menopause as a monolith until we go through it. But menopause is actually the second of three stages that make up a woman's midlife transition:
Stage 1: Perimenopause
We often begin to see signs of menopause around age 40. What separates perimenopause from menopause is that perimenopausal women still get their periods, even if irregular. Women in menopause do not. Common signs of perimenopause include:
○ hot flashes
○ mood changes
○ trouble sleeping
○ breast tenderness
○ vaginal dryness or irritation
○ changes in our fertility/menstrual cycle
Stage 2: Menopause
We officially enter menopause when we stop having a period. The same premenopausal symptoms we dealt with in perimenopause continue or develop in this stage of transition.
Stage 3: Postmenopause
When we officially go 12 months without a period, we're considered postmenopausal.
It's time to banish the stereotyping and gaslighting of women and their menopause signs and symptoms. The exhaustion is real. The hot flashes are real. And the changes in our hormones and sexuality during the transition to menopause are real. Protecting both mental and physical wellbeing is key. Here's how:
Address the Physical Toll Menopause Takes
New health issues often emerge during and after menopause, but we don't need to sit by and watch them happen! We can take steps to combat our increased risk of issues like osteoporosis, elevated cholesterol, hair thinning and weight gain. (And the good news is there's a lot of overlap in the steps you can take!)
1. Add Resistance Training to Your Existing Routine
Don't skip the weights at the gym! While cardio is terrific for your heart, weight training is excellent for preventing osteoporosis. In fact, according to Harvard Health, strength training not only strengthens bones and muscles, but can actually build bone. Adding resistance training to your menopause self-care routine can help prevent brittle bones as you age!
Pro tip: If you don't have a gym membership, don't worry! There are tons of strength training videos available on YouTube targeted to those of us in menopause, ranging from beginner to advanced.
2. Try a Hair and Scalp Routine Tailored to Women Over 40
A major menopause sign is hair loss and brittle, dry hair. Estrogen is the hormone that keeps our hair looking vibrant and healthy. When we see our hair become drier and thinner as we age, the swift drop in estrogen can be to blame. This drop allows the DHT in our bodies to become dominant, and DHT is responsible for hair loss.
To address hair-thinning, try a hair-care and styling approach that supports healthy hair and builds fullness in your existing locks. We love our Superpower Fortifying Hair & Scalp Serum paired with our award-winning Lift Me Up Hair Thickener to give instant fullness to thin hair!
3. Be Sure to Take Your Calcium with Vitamin D
We all know that we should take calcium supplements to support strong bones during menopause. But did you know that vitamin D is one of the most important vitamins for menopause? Because our bodies cannot absorb calcium without vitamin D, taking only calcium won't help. Plus, taking bone-supporting calcium and vitamin D supplements is great to pair with bone-building weight training! It’s also important to note that vitamin D helps create new hair follicles, while low levels of this “sunshine” vitamin have been linked to alopecia.
Pro tip: To get the most bang for your buck, choose a supplement that contains calcium citrate. This form is more easily absorbed than calcium carbonate and can be taken with or without food.
4. Supplement with Collagen and Probiotics for Menopause
The hard reality is that menopause causes body changes that we aren't ready for. The best way to fight back against menopause signs like thinner hair and dry, dull skin is to nourish our bodies with the fuel necessary to support healthy skin and hair.
To boost the vibrancy of your skin and hair, try a collagen supplement! Collagen has been shown to support skin elasticity and help smooth rough skin while also fighting follicle damage—not to mention, supplements round out our three-prong approach to hair wellness for women over 40, which focuses on hair care, scalp care and inner health. Our Power Within Skin & Scalp Collagen Gummies are a tropical fruit-flavored option that contains marine collagen types I & III to support skin and scalp health during and after menopause!
Probiotics are also an excellent choice for supplementing a healthy diet when you’re experiencing menopause signs. Taking probiotics for menopause symptoms can boost your immune system, alleviate feelings of depression and anxiety, and even help preserve bone mineral density!
Address Menopause's Impact on Your Mental and Spiritual Well-Being
1. Let Go of Things That Weigh You Down
And no, this is not weight loss advice! We're talking about removing things from your life that no longer serve you.
The same holds true for most of our obligations and interactions.
"Letting go of the small stuff at work, with my husband and family, and life in general has helped me find balance. It’s simply not worth it," notes Ann Garnier, founder of Lisa Health. "I’ve also tried to let go of people and things that no longer serve me. I’m referring to toxic relationships, which no one needs, and obligations that I don’t enjoy. Letting go allows you to take that time and mental and emotional energy and direct it toward doing something you love or more self-care. It’s a great way to find balance in midlife."
So many of us carry baggage simply because we won't set it down. If a relationship or obligation is no longer serving you, let it go. Midlife is the perfect time to bid farewell to the doubts and insecurities that plagued us when we were younger!
2. Put Yourself First (Even If It Feels Unnatural)
For those of us in our 40s and 50s, transitioning to midlife can feel overwhelming. It feels like every constant in our lives—kids, marriage, work—are all in flux. It's far too easy to set life to autopilot and leave self-care completely out of the equation. Add early perimenopause symptoms to the mix, and it can be a recipe for disaster.
Self-care is absolutely vital to surviving and thriving during menopause!
Meditation and journaling are great options for self-care and reflection. Even something as small as jotting down your plans for the day ahead or acknowledging things you're grateful for can be centering. No matter what self-care routine you choose, be sure to carve out a few minutes a day for yourself to practice it. These small mental "resets" can help us fight overwhelming moments while dealing with menopause signs and changes at midlife.
Or, if you've never been one for half measures, go all out! Book yourself a full day at the salon and spa and turn your phone off. Be radically unreachable. Enjoy a massage, get a manicure or try out a brand-new cut and color. The important thing is to do something just for you, to prioritize your own needs over the din of life's responsibilities.
(Plus, at Better Not Younger, our entire product line is safe for color-treated hair, to keep your new style looking salon-fresh!)
Better Not Younger Is Here for Your Menopause Self-Care Needs!
Signs of perimenopause and the onset of menopause can be stressful. Our bodies, hormones, and sexuality change during the transition to menopause, and this transition can be hard on us mentally and physically.
But it doesn't have to be!
Whether you're looking for vitamins for menopause-related hair and skin issues or hair-care products that support mature locks, we've got you! Better Not Younger has scalp and hair-care solutions for all your aging hair needs.
Tell Us: How have you dealt with symptoms of menopause? Share your tips for dealing with menopause in the comments below!
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