Although life goes on during the various stages of menopause, it’s important to carve out some much needed “me” time to focus on activities that’ll not only improve the way you look and feel – but help you beat the symptoms of menopause. Here we provide some simple pampering treatments that bring benefits including boosting your mood, improving the signs of aging and more.
- Book a massage
Why: When it comes to easing the bodily aches and pains, and even the mental fatigue associated with menopause, massage therapy is a soothing solution. According to Mayo Clinic, massage can help balance anxiety and depression, boost blood circulation and soothe stiff, tired or achy muscles. Furthermore, you can find professional massage therapy services offered in a variety of places – including day spas, clinics, and health clubs.
If you’re new to massage therapy, it’s also important to realize that there are many different styles, so take some time to do a bit of research before scheduling your appointment or ask your therapist to recommend the right massage techniques for you.
Make it happen: One of the best things about massage is that you don’t have to visit a professional to experience the benefits. Enlist your spouse, sibling or BFF to give your muscles a rubdown. There are plenty of how-to massage guides available – in the library and or online – check out this article for more. All you need is some massage oil, body lotion and, if you’d like, some aromatherapy candles to help enhance your experience of relaxation. Try Pevonia Micro Emulsion Massage Oil Anti-Stress, a floral-inspired body oil that’ll ease aches and tired muscles with instant soothing relief.
- Get a facial
Why: During menopause, the body produces less estrogen – the hormone that’s responsible for producing both the oils that keep skin supple and the collagen fibers that maintain strength and elasticity. The result? Dry, more brittle skin that’s even more prone to visible signs of aging – including fine lines, expression lines and deep wrinkles. And that’s not all – some women experience adult acne or even rosacea during menopause.
So what’s a woman to do? Well, in addition to tweaking your skin care routine to better address your skin’s new challenges, also consider scheduling periodic facials. These treatments can help restore the balance and beauty of your pre-menopausal complexion with an intense delivery of skin-restoring nutrients.
Make it happen: Talk to your dermatologist or esthetician about what specific facial treatment will best tackle your biggest skin care challenges – whether it’s dryness, acne or aging – or even all three!
Thankfully, you can also experience wonderful skin-benefits from at-home facial treatments. MD Formulations Quick Clinical Care is an easy and effective three-step cleansing peel that layers your skin with glycolic acid, salicylic acid and nourishing botanicals so you can restore healthy, vibrant skin.
- Practice yoga (or another form of exercise)
Why: When it comes to activities that both pamper and improve the way you look and feel, don’t limit your ideas to those that involve the spa or soothing candles. For many women, an hour in the yoga studio is just as pampering as a pedicure. In fact, when it comes to managing the symptoms of menopause, research shows that practicing yoga and deep breathing techniques can provide relief by reducing the occurrences of hot flashes, night sweats and improving sleep. Furthermore, yoga can also help alleviate the toll that menopause may take on your skin. Read more here.
Make it happen: Yoga has exploded in popularity over the last decade, so yoga classes aren’t hard to find. Group sessions are affordable and offered in a variety of venues – including yoga studios, health clubs, YMCAs, colleges and universities and even as an offering in local community education programs.
While it’s good to attend some classes with a professional yoga instructor when you’re just starting out, after awhile, you’ll find that you can comfortably achieve many of the benefits in the comfort of home. There are also many resources – online videos, DVDs, books and websites – that offer some guidance as well. So find a calm, quiet place, light a candle like Votivo Aromatic Candle Island Grapefruit for some soothing scent and stretch your way to better physical and emotional health.
If yoga just isn’t your thing, still try to make some physical activity a part of your regular routine. Studies show that exercise can reduce the occurrence of hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms. So whether it’s a relaxing pedal through the park or hike in the woods, take some time to experience the invigorating benefits of exercise.
- Run a bath
Why: When you’re a busy women trying to balance work and daily life – in addition to menopause – taking the time to soak in a warm bath is hard to justify. But a soothing soak just might be the perfect way to calm stress, soothe achy muscles and – most of all – relax! Just take caution that if you’re experiencing dry skin along with your other menopause symptoms and avoid super hot water, which can worsen this condition.
Make it happen: Simply run some water, put on some tunes, light a candle and slip into the water. Add some bubble bath or bath oil to calm and condition your skin. Kneipp Muscle Soothing Mineral Bath Salt - Juniper is a concentrated bath treatment that’s specially formulated to ease the ache of tired and sore muscles while eliminating toxins from the skin and stimulating circulation.
- Embrace aromatherapy
Why: Adding some aromatherapy into your daily routine is a great way to pamper and alleviate some of the stress related to menopause. In fact, according to Discovery Health, many essential oils have a chemical composition that makes them especially beneficial during menopause. To balance the loss of estrogen, reach for cypress, geranium, lavender, neroli, rose and clary sage. To ease hot flashes, keep clary sage, lemon and peppermint on hand. And finally, to improve your emotional ups and downs, turn to chamomile, jasmine and neroli.
Make it happen: One way to experience the benefits of essential oils is to apply them to surfaces of the body with fatty tissue beneath, since this is where hormones are produced and stored. You can also incorporate essential oils into massage therapy or add them to a soothing bath.
Making your own pampering menopause pick-me-up is easy with this recipe from Discovery Health. Simply combine 6 drops lemon oil, 5 drops geranium oil, 2 drops clary sage oil, 1 drop angelica oil, 1 drop jasmine oil and 2 ounces vegetable oil or body lotion (using lotion creates a less oily mixture that some women prefer). This calming cocktail can be used as massage oil or added to a bath.
As an alternative to making your own, try Aromatherapy Associates Miniature Bath and Shower Oil Collection. This variety of essential oils is ideal for every mood and occasion during menopause and beyond.
- Nurture your nails
Why: Lower levels of estrogen during menopause cause changes that affect your entire body – and the nails are no exception. You may find that your nails are more brittle and break more easily. So, give them some special pampering by adding some nail strengthening creams to your daily routine. Also, a manicure and pedicure are a great way to indulge your nails with some extra attention and bring a bit of mental relief during menopause.
Make it happen: Add Barielle Nail Strengthener Cream to your nail care routine to strengthen and nourish brittle nails during menopause. And – it works over your favorite polish, so it’s great for any manicure or pedicure, even after menopause.
- Schedule in sleep
Why: While sleep may not fit everyone’s definition of pampering, for most busy, middle-aged women, any extra chance to snooze is a rare and beneficial treat. And, if you’re experiencing menopause, you may need the extra zzz’s. According to the National Sleep Foundation, over half of menopausal women experience some sort of sleep problems.
Make it happen: If you struggle with sleep during menopause, be sure to cut out caffeine and take other recommended measures for improving rest. If it helps, try taking a short nap if you feel drowsy in the afternoon – but keep it short so it doesn’t keep you awake later on in the evening. Also, adding some pampering features to your bedtime routine might help. Molton Brown Sleep Cedrus Room Aroma Rocks is a box full of sleep-enhancing natural oils including lavender, orange and cedrus tree to promote calm, soothing rest.
- Invigorate skin with new ingredients
Why: Declining levels of estrogen during menopause can trigger some unpleasant changes in your skin. Many women experience increased dryness, sensitivity, acne and worsened signs of aging including wrinkles and fine lines. So now is the time to reinvent your skincare routine and address the new needs of your skin. Treat this as an opportunity to pamper and splurge on high quality products that contain the ingredients to improve the look and feel of your menopausal skin.
So what ingredients should you look for? Well, that depends on the type of changes your skin is showing. If your skin is dry, this article will help you find the right products. Read this one if you’re skin is suddenly oily or acne prone. Most women will find that they need to amp-up the anti-aging part of their beauty regimen. For one of the best over-the-counter age-fighting ingredients, look for Retinol, a vitamin A derivative that’s clinically proven to reduce the signs of aging.
Make it happen: To better evaluate how your skin is responding to menopause, consider visiting a dermatologist for a skin care check up. He or she can help you enhance your skin care routine with the advanced formulas that’ll carry your complexion through menopause and beyond to ensure good health and beauty from head to toe. Also, add products to your regimen that are especially formulated for mature skin. B. Kamins Nutrient Replacement Cream Kx was formulated for menopausal skin and will nourish your complexion with the essential nutrients needed to balance and improve the look of mature skin.
- Get a makeover
Why: During menopause, unbalanced hormones can affect your self-image and your mood. You’re also experiencing many changes physical changes – including how your skin, hair and overall body looks and feels. You may find that a makeover can help improve the way you feel about your appearance. From hair and makeup to your work wardrobe, don’t feel guilty about treating yourself to a new look. This is an exciting opportunity to rediscover your style and to help you offset the other unpleasant side effects associated with menopause.
Make it happen: Have you been doing your makeup the same way for the last several years? If so, consider having a professional makeup consultation. Visit with the esthetician at your local salon or day spa. Or, as a more affordable alternative, many department stores offer free makeup consultations in the beauty section. You may learn a few new ideas to incorporate into your daily routine.
Do the same with your wardrobe. Remember, the clothes you wear should match how you feel inside, so don’t be afraid to wear pieces that make you feel younger. Many clothing stores – from department stores to independent boutiques – offer complimentary personal shoppers to help you find the clothes that highlight your best features.
- Seek professional help for your hair (everywhere!)
Why: As you age, it’s no secret that the shade of your tresses will change and so will the age-appropriate styles that are ideal for your hair. And, if that’s not stressful enough, during menopause, you may notice that there’s less hair where it should be and more hair where it shouldn’t be! Thinning tresses and unwanted body hair are common complaints during menopause. So what’s a woman to do? To battle all of these challenges, consider a more pampering approach – putting your hair into the hands of a professional. Although you can whip out the tweezers and tackle stray hairs yourself, these rogue strands will grow back quickly. And, tackling your tresses with an at-home hair color might result in a color catastrophe. Thankfully, there are lower stress alternatives for all of your haircare challenges during menopause. Professional color, waxing and laser hair removal are the most effective ways to deal with your hair from head to toe.
Make it happen: To improve the quality of your hair on your head, pair some visits to the beauty salon with a good diet, drinking plenty of liquids, getting enough rest and not smoking. If your locks are thinning to the point of serious concern, talk to your doctor about medical strategies to restore your tresses. If hair loss or thinning is moderate, an over-the-counter shampoo like Phyto Phytocyane Revitalizing Shampoo for Women can help.
To remove the unwanted hair that’s growing elsewhere on the body, make an appointment at your local beauty salon or day spa. Putting your hair in the hands of a professional is both a great way to pamper – and the most effective way to eliminate unwanted body hair for a cleaner, more confident look. But, for those emergencies in between appointments, Bliss Poetic Waxing Kit makes at-home waxing less stressful and less painful.
Lastly, if your color or style is in need of an update, page through some fashion magazines for ideas. Then, schedule an appointment with your stylist to tackle your tresses. He or she will have expert advice on styles and shades that are age-appropriate, contemporary and complimentary to your overall look.
Women’s health author Stanness Jonekos points out on the Family Health Guide UK that seeking support from friends can be an effective – and fun – way to cope with the stresses of menopause. So gather your favorite females – sisters, daughters and friends – and plan a night of fun and share your ideas for how to both pamper during menopause and cope with the stress and other symptoms. Whether it’s dinner and a movie or a sleepover, discover how female fellowship can help you better cope with the challenges of menopause.