It’s hard to plan for a trip when you’re not sure if the plane will take off today, tomorrow, or … fifteen years from now. Since no one knows the precise moment their menopausal journey will begin, it may seem impossible to know how to prepare for menopause. After all, who wants to pack their menopausal bags, spend hours researching the best activities for their upcoming expedition, create a detailed itinerary, and trek to the airport only to find that their plane isn’t even scheduled to arrive at the gate?
The good news? Whether you’re departing to M Land today or 15 years down the road, there are steps you can take now to ensure you’ll be ready when your flight finally sets off for the state of No-More-Periodsvannia.
How To Prepare for Menopause
How can you get ready for the Big M? We make preparing for menopause easy with these 10 tips.
1. Get in the Right Mindset
At PauseMeNot, we embrace the mantra “Don’t let your limitations limit you.” Does that mean that you need to go, go, go all the time (and we’re not just referring to the bathroom 😆 ) and refuse to slow down despite irritating and painful symptoms? Absolutely not! It means to mentally prep for (:: cue dramatic music::) The Change by first recognizing that there will be, well, changes! You should know that those changes—like Madonna’s wardrobe—may be multifaceted, unique, and unexpected, including the physical, emotional, sexual, hormonal, and other changes unique to you. The next step is transforming your awareness into action. This begins by making the choice to be in the driver’s seat of your menopausal journey. This step can be the catalyst to getting empowered, educated, investing in the right products, tracking your symptoms, and much more. If you do nothing else in the “prepare” phase but get in the right mindset, your entire menopausal experience will be better for it.
2. Determine Where You’re at in Your Menopausal Journey
There are many ways to pinpoint where you’re at in your menopausal journey. But first, you need to determine if you’ve yet crossed the border into M-Town or are still hanging back in PMS-ville. To do that:
- Check out tests that can help you determine your hormone levels.
- Identify menopause experts who can help you gauge where you’re at.
3. Track Your Menopause Symptoms
While visiting with the pros and taking tests is helpful and informative, tracking your physical and emotional symptoms daily is the quickest and most accurate way to tell if you have entered perimenopause—the first of the three stages of menopause. To do that:
- Learn how, what, and when to log your menopausal symptoms.
- Track daily.
4. Create Your MMA
What on earth does MMA have to do with menopause? To clarify, we don’t mean a club for practicing Mixed Martial Arts. We mean your own Menopausal Maven Association! Regardless of whether Aunt Flo is still visiting you regularly (PMS), has gotten erratic with her travel schedule (perimenopause), or has stopped coming altogether (menopause/postmenopause), finding friends in your same life situation—other people who are approaching or going through The Change—is key. Connection bonds us and helps us make sense of the changes we experience in life. Isolation, on the other hand, breeds disconnection, causing symptoms like depression. To create your MMA:
- Join our FREE and PRIVATE online community.
- Engage with us on social media.
- Ask for help (even when you think you don’t need it). Get tips here!
5. Create Your Health and Wellness Team
Why do you need to create an entire team of experts instead of choosing just one menopause specialist? So you are ready with a list of go-to-expert resources when your (potentially many!) menopausal symptoms surface. To do that:
- Learn which professionals to add to your team, how to find them, what questions to ask them, and how to take action on their recommendations.
6. Get Educated
Due to the long list of potential menopausal maladies any person may experience when your guest room reserved for Aunt Flo is replaced by Lady M, information about this life stage can be overwhelming. To simplify getting in the know, do the following:
- Use your tracking results (see step 3) to identify the precise information you need and research exclusively on those topics.
- Review the blog post and category sections on PauseMeNot.com to access information about your unique symptoms.
- Sign up for our 13-part newsletter series with the skinny about the menopausal journey.
- Download our FREE eBook with The Menopause Basics.
- Join the daily discussion in our FREE and PRIVATE online community where you can ask questions, get answers, “voice” concerns, and share your experiences.
7. Make Self-Informed Healthcare Decisions
As you self-educate and familiarize yourself with your symptoms through daily tracking, you become more and more self-informed. This allows you to differentiate issues that you can manage on your own from those that require a professional’s review. Once you do that, take these steps:
- Choose the right form of treatment (medical, natural, self-care).
- Make an appointment with the right professional, if necessary.
- Continue recording your symptoms daily to note any changes.
8. Take Actions Based on Your Symptoms and Diagnoses
Based on your self-diagnosis or what your doctor or another professional recommends, you may need to take actions to treat your symptoms. To do that:
- Create an implementation plan.
- Line up an accountability buddy (ideally, another menopausal maven).
- Take action like Officer Jackson in the 1988 Carl Weathers’ film named, well, Take Action.
- Continue logging your results daily.
- Try a new course of action or follow up with a professional if things don’t improve.
Important note! As individuals, we’re the experts of our symptoms. But, doctors or other professionals are the experts who diagnose. So, make sure to consult with a pro if any symptoms you experience interfere with your day-to-day life.
9. Familiarize Yourself With Common Changes Associated With Menopause
Menopause is often referred to as “The Change” because it brings about a physical and emotional metamorphosis. Common feelings people have during this life phase include grief, loss, sadness, and powerlessness. The good news is that they also feel joy and relief as they let go of other’s expectations, take time for self-reflection, make “me time,” and speak their truth. Preparing for menopause means knowing changes are a’coming, and preparing to embrace and move through them, instead of suppressing or denying them.
10. Check Out Our Favorite Menopause Products, Tools, Books, and More
Just like any other vast topic of our infinite universe, the more you know about menopause the more you realize there is to know. With all the information available, it’s tough to know what is the best of the best of the best. To help you find your place in the Menopausal Galaxy, we rounded up our faves based on ratings, reviews, and our own critiques. Check out the following based on your needs and interests:
It’s a Wrap!
Pinpointing just when PMS will depart and The Big M will take its place is virtually impossible. But knowing how to prepare for your menopausal journey can be a lot easier, especially when you implement these 10 tips:
- Get in the right mindset.
- Determine where you’re at in your menopausal journey.
- Track your menopause symptoms.
- Create your MMM (menopausal maven tribe).
- Create your health and wellness team.
- Get educated.
- Make self-informed healthcare decisions.
- Take actions based on your symptoms and diagnoses.
- Familiarize yourself with common changes associated with menopause.
- Check out our favorite menopause products, tools, books, and more!
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