It's the middle of summer and most of us have plans to go away sometime soon, whether it's for the traditional two-week vacation or for a long weekend. For women in menopause, sometimes the idea of traveling to unfamiliar, often very HOT places, or being on a crowded plane, is a mixed blessing. Yes, being with friends or family can be relaxing and wonderful, but THEY just don't understand your moods or the unbearable heat, am I right?
Like many of you, I have been on vacations that vary from camping to relatives' homes to nice resorts. All vacations are wonderful BUT when you're having menopausal symptoms, they can ruin your time away. I've found you can avoid some of those trying times if you plan ahead.
Here are some of my suggestions:
~Pack your own pillow and if you're camping or need to bring sheets, bring your best, not your worst. They make a difference and make your vacation place seem more like home.
~Pack a small fan for temperature control, even if you are going to a place with air conditioning. You can turn it on and off easily at night to deal with hot flashes and night sweats, and a fan provides white noise to help drown out noises with which you are unfamiliar.
~Don't eat spicy food late at night-have it for lunch instead. Spicy food can make your nighttime hot flashes feel even hotter.
~Keep some exercise in your vacation regimen. When you have the option of stairs or escalator, take the stairs. Park a little farther away from the entrance to a restaurant or shopping mall. If you're at the beach, take long walks.
~Either give yourself a nice pedicure before vacation or get one from a salon. Or, if you're traveling with a girlfriend, both of you get one early during your trip. Pretty toes make me feel like a million bucks, even when I flat broke.
~Pack and wear loose fitting clothes on vacation. It's your vacation, and you should do everything you can to enjoy it.
~Don't forget to pack your prescriptions and sunscreen.
~If your mood sours, take some time away, some time to yourself. You're allowed.
~If you're at a friend's house or in a hotel or motel, don't read with the bedside lamp on. Turn down the lights and use a small book light to read. Bright lights tell your body it's daytime, making it harder to get to sleep. A dark room tells your body it's time to sleep.
~If you're traveling via airplane, when you get to your seat but before the plane takes off, make sure the air vent above your seat is working so you can adjust it when you're having a "moment." If it doesn't work, ask for another seat.
Remember, most of us get only one vacation a year, so make this one truly relaxing. You work hard to make everyone else feel at home and at ease the rest of the year, so pamper yourself a bit while you're away.
Happy trails, all!
Published On: July 15, 2008