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The Vegan Menopause Podcast -- Ep. 2 -- How Stress Makes Menopause Worse and What to Do About It

Updated: Apr 5

Stress is very common during menopause. Chronic stress disrupts your sleep, saps your energy, lowers your immune system. It elevates your cortisol, which can contribute to muscle and bone loss putting on more weight around the midsection.

Stress can also increase hot flashes – personally whenever I’ve had hot flashes and I look back at what’s triggered it, it was always stress.

When we enter perimenopause, the decreased estrogen has an effect on our brains. We have estrogen receptors in regions of our brains that involve stress regulation. And we know that stress is not great for your heart and blood pressure.

Here’s an analogy for stress:

If you look at your capacity for stress as a bucket and you see water pouring into the bucket as a representation of your stress, you have to let some of the water out or the bucket will overflow.

How do you let the water out? Things that make you feel good! Some examples: being in nature, spending time with your family, spending time alone, warm bath. Exercise is great for reducing stress, but careful not to overdo it, because too much exercise can contribute to the stress overflowing your bucket.

Meditation is an excellent way to lower your stress and empty the bucket.

I'm not talking about the kind of meditation that requires you to sit still in a painful position and keep your mind empty of thoughts. The form of meditation I teach can involve movement, and the ways you can move that feel good. You don’t have to even close your eyes, you could meditate on a flower, take a meditative walk.

Here is a one-minute meditation video from my Instagram account -- drinking water mindfully.

Meditation can also increase your capacity for stress. So if you keep the bucket relatively empty, you have a lot more capacity to deal with a sudden flow of water, or sudden increase of stress. And anything that can give you a little break from your routine can be helpful whether it’s meditation, light exercise, or watching a funny movie.

So I definitely encourage you, if you’re not already, to come up with some stress reduction activities. I’ve given you a few ideas and I also have a free download with 5 simple meditation techniques.

If you would like to go deeper into this, I offer one on one coaching and you can book a free 30 minute Menopause Empowerment Call. If you enjoyed this episode, I would really appreciate a review or share it with your friends, and thank you so much for listening.

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