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A Noob's Guide To Prepping for Peri

Updated: Jul 12




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Starting in my late 30’s I started noticing some differences in my monthly cycle. My PMS was lasting for 2 weeks out of the month. During that time, I couldn’t think clearly, struggled to put together a coherent sentence, and was paranoid out of my mind, beyond what was normal for me. The quality of my work was beginning to suffer and I started to become more depressed as I was feeling like a failure. As a mom, my family had to walk on eggshells. I didn’t recognize myself which added more anxiety.


My period started to become a bit lighter. Instead of a super heavy flow, I spotted for days with one day of heavy bleeding. I even started spotting at random times. Once being able to get a good night's sleep, like clockwork, woke up every night between 2-3 am and had to fight to get back to sleep. And I can’t leave out the pajama and pillow drenching sweating. Oh and the pimples. Can’t leave out the pimples


I remember bringing these up to my mom, who responded so calmly, ' You’re in perimenopause. The women in our family start around mid-thirties.’ During a routine check-up, my OB/GYN confirmed. I was shutting the door on my buxom, eat, drink and be merry days to moo moos and hair rollers. Honestly, I didn’t know what that diagnosis meant or what changes I was in for.


In our community, we don’t talk about these biological and physiological stages of womanhood enough. It’s a conversation that happens on the backend and on a need-to-know basis. So I decided to use my peri-menopause experience to create a Pre-Pause Prep Guide so you can be a Pre-Pause Pro!


8-Point Pre-Pause Prep List




#1 Journal Everything

Menopause affects more than just your monthly cycle. It is a new journey into a brand-new phase of life. Take time to appreciate getting to know yourself and your body's cues. This will help you to start identifying trends, help you better prepare for them, and make adjustments when needed.


#2 Keep Cose Track of Your Cycle

If keeping track of your cycle only consisted of having a general idea of when aunt Flo comes (like me) now's the time to start keeping close track of periods and spotting. Perimenopause can cause irregularity in your cycle. You may start to experience missed periods, spotting, or even periods closer together. Also, track the symptoms you have such as increased breast tenderness, and mental and emotional changes to help you better prepare.


#3 Pay Attention to Your Diet

While the risk of weight gain during this phase increases, now may not be the time to go all-in with a super low-calorie, low-fat diet. Instead focus on increasing your fiber, protein, and calcium intake to support digestion and bone and joint health. Make a conscious effort to increase your intake of whole, minimally processed foods, and vegetables to get the most nutritional value. Try tracking your foods using an app such as Eat This Much which tracks your macronutrients. Macronutrients are essential to the optimal functioning of your body. Certain foods can affect you differently in this stage. You may start to find yourself becoming sensitive to foods you once enjoyed. Coffee, alcohol, and sugar exacerbate your symptoms.


#4 Prioritize Good Sleep Hygiene

One in four women experiences insomnia during the menopause cycle. Difficulty in falling and staying asleep can lead to an irritable day. Not to mention, the inability to concentrate. Now's the time to prioritize sleep hygiene - a routine that puts you in the best position to get quality sleep every night. Start by going to bed and waking up at the same time every day - even on weekends. This will help your body normalize the production of the sleep hormone melatonin. Make your bedroom as electronic-free as possible. Our bodies are programmed to recognize that a temperature dip signals bedtime. A bedroom temperature between 60 - 67 degrees Fahrenheit is ideal, especially when dealing with night sweats. Exercise such as a walk or resistance training is not only good for keeping bones and joints strong but tires you out and promotes a night of more restful sleep.


#5 Set Boundaries

As women, we often put aside our needs and desires to support others. Menopause brings with it a period of self-reflection and rediscovery of who we are at our core. This is the PERFECT time to begin to take an inventory of the things that are serving you and the things that aren't any longer. List them out. Star those that are most important to you. Learn to say 'no.' Be aware of the times you aren't at your best and schedule around these times. Know that boundary setting is uncomfortable, but it is one of the greatest ways you can honor your entire person.


#6 Schedule 'Duh' Time

This is very similar to downtime. Allow space where you engage in things that don't require loads of mental energy. It could be watching an episode of your favorite reality television show or YouTube channel. It could also mean doing NOTHING. We are so programmed to always be busy that doing nothing seems wrong.


#7 Keep your Loved Ones Informed

Menopause has been caricatured as an old woman sitting in front of a fan because of hot flashes. But from experience, menopause will make you feel vulnerable and inadequate, leading to anxiety and depression. Try to educate your family as much as possible and keep the lines of communication open for when you may need a bit of extra support or alone time.


#8 Make Time for Personal Development and Hobbies

This time is an open door for reinvention. Try new things. It's been shown that those who have hobbies and participate in personal development activities have less stress, more creativity, and improved focus.


I hope this read was helpful! Let me know in the comments what you have tried, what worked, and what didn't


Be blessed,

Bri




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