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June 2020

Menopausal Hotties - This month it’s time to check out our ‘M’s

The hottest topic in town: Menopausal Hotties...

menopausal hotties profile photo

 Wow!

We are now at the halfway point of our ABCs of Menopausal Hotties already.

This month it’s time to check out our ‘M’s. Or M&M’s (especially if you’re anything like us who seem to regularly have chocolate on our mind!)

Well hotties, I’m afraid you’re going to have to get your mind out of the sweet shop for the time being, because it’s about to get more interesting than that! In this issue our M&M focus is on Memory & Me (i.e. what you can do, for you).

Memory

Oh bugger! Hold it, hold it, hold it!! Shite. I’ve forgotten what I was going to say (again)... hang on, hang on, hang on - it’s on the tip of my tongue...Mmmm, it’s in there somewhere, as you frantically click your fingers like a deranged castanet player - yeah riiiight - like that’s going to somehow magically make it appear from the edge of the menopausal abyss. Nope. Damn it. I’ve lost it. Again. Remind me - again, please - what we were talking about...

Boom 💥 And then, five minutes/hours/days/weeks/months later you shriek out with joy! By Jove I’ve got it! NOW I remember. You’re so bloody proud of yourself, grinning like a Cheshire Cat… yet in the meantime, everyone else has moved on… Nightmare!

Does any of this sound familiar?

If not, you’ve simply forgotten it! All joking and jesting aside, it really can diminish our confidence in all areas of our lives.

Hotties - if this sounds like you, then please take heart, and know that you’re not alone. Memory (loss) is a commonly reported symptom which many of us are all too familiar with (when we can remember that is).

Gone are the days when I would boast that I had a memory equivalent to that of a baby elephant. “Oy! Who are you calling me Dumbo?!” Nowadays it seems as if my memory and attention span is more like that of a gnat. And if they haven’t already noticed, then don’t go telling your nearest and dearest. A hottie has gotta keep them on their toes, hasn’t she?! Wink wink…

This symptom has been linked to a drop in hormones as we enter the perimenopause. These powerful hormone levels it would appear, can not only impact our bodies but our minds too. So which one could be responsible, and why?

Declining estrogen levels are thought to be linked with memory loss, especially when women are in the perimenopausal phase. This is the stage leading up to the menopause, where symptoms seem to be in a heightened state and flurry.

Researchers aren’t completely sure why, but believe that estrogen helps the brain's transmitters which aid memory. So that’s some good news to look forward to hotties, that after menopause our memory improves.

Thank you, thank you, thank you Mother Nature! Babar the elephant will be back in business before you can say “now what were we talking about?!”

“Your world’s not falling apart ~ it’s falling into place”


Me

What can we do to help our memory (and mood) in the meantime?

Plenty it would seem! There is a myriad of self help that we can take to be proactive.

Hotties - it’s time to summon up your superhero powers and roll up your sleeves, ready for a spot of self rescue.

I've listed a few suggestions below which you might want to consider.

Tip: grab a note pad, write down a couple of things you’re willing to try, then put it in a place close to hand, so that you have a constant reminder.

Exercise

Exercise is known to stimulate areas in your brain which are crucial to memory and a great aid in processing information. It improves the hippocampus functioning, which is the part of the brain responsible for several different types of memory.

  • Try 30 minutes a day, 3 times a week to start. If you’re out of practice, try breaking the 30 minutes down into manageable chunks to fit into your day - 2 x 15 minutes; 3 x 10 minutes. You get the idea!
  • Mix it up with a bit of aerobic. Maybe a brisk walk, cycling, running, or even some ‘bedroom activity’ if you’re feeling that way inclined...Add in some resistance training such as weight lifting, resistance bands, push ups, sit ups.
  • Check out Jo’s column for a great yoga workout. Yoga is great for calming a frazzled body and mind!
  • Most important tho Hotties, is to do whatever feels good to you and works for you. When you're able to do it that way, you’re far more likely to repeat it. You know yourself better than anyone!
  • Remember: We can exercise the brain too - crossword puzzles, online brain training, quizzes, and so on.

Diet

Listed below are a few food groups that are said to have memory boosting and brain cell protective properties.

  • Veggies high in nitrates such as: beetroot, spinach, cabbage, radish. Can boost blood flow to reduce cognitive decline.
  • Treat yourself to berry rich smoothies. Again, thought to lessen cognitive decline.
  • Rich in anti-inflammatory phytonutrients: avocado, kale and leafy greens help protect our brain cell production.

Rest

Sleep deprivation can exacerbate symptoms of anxiety and memory.

  • It’s important to try to relax and to switch off, especially before bedtime. Switch off those mobile phones and computers. Those newsfeeds and inbox will still be there in the morning!
  • Try not to drink caffeine or alcohol-based drinks before bedtime. Failing that, switch to decaff, and/or have a few alcohol-free days/evenings where possible.
  • Meditation is proven to help rest the mind and to improve our focus. Try to empty your mind of things, mental to-do lists and tasks - write them down, get them out of your head, and on to paper instead.
  • Check out Joolz’s Column - her guided relaxation is an awesome way to melt away the stresses and clear the mind, ready to relax, and it’s much more enjoyable than counting endless sheep.
  • Find a routine that lets your body and mind know that it’s time for sleep and rest.

Wonderful hotties. Whilst we can’t stop the body clock and its ever-changing challenges, we can choose how we deal with - and react to - those changes. Whether that’s through meditation or medication via your GP, health specialist, herbal supplements, education, diet, lifestyle or a combination of all of these.

Menopause doesn’t have to mean we have to do nothing and hope for the best. We can embrace and accept where we’re at; make peace with it even; educate ourselves, then march onwards, forewarned and forearmed, so we can help ourselves navigate this inevitable change.

Mother Nature may affect our memory, but is that always a bad thing? How else can we make room for the new, if we don’t shed some of the old?

I look at it as Mother Nature’s natural filtering system. An opportunity to spring clean our minds as we prepare for the next season of our menopausal journey.

And as we become who we are meant to be, please remember: there is ALWAYS time for a few M&M’s, in moderation...I just need to remember where I left them!

 

Julie x

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Tags: Menopausal Hotties