When Your Life Isn’t Working in Menopause

 

Menopause is a time of self-discovery. Things that were enjoyable in the past, feel like they no longer fit. Here are 3 questions to ask yourself when your life isn’t working in menopause, that apply to any situation.

What is the Problem?

Believe it or not, some people are unhappy and can’t pinpoint the reason why. This where a journal can really help out. Sit down where it is quiet and you won’t be disturbed. If you have trouble getting started, just write I am unhappy and I don’t know why.  Keep at it until ideas start flowing, and write them all down. This can be a painful process, but keep writing.

What Can You Change?

Most problems have a solution, but it may take you out of your comfort zone to make changes. For example, you may be burned out at work and ready to walk out, but first see if it’s possible to make things better.

Is it possible to job-share, switch to part-time hours, or work another shift? Now might be a good time to use some of those vacation hours and relax.

Can you talk to your boss about your concerns? Pick a time when he/she is not too busy and don’t get angry or bad-mouth other employees. Offer to be part of the solution and put in extra time if needed.

What Can You Accept?

What if your talk with the boss doesn’t go well, or you are just burned out and want to change careers? Are you willing to accept that you may have to put up with a less than desirable boss until you find something better?

Changing jobs may require extra time and expense to upgrade your skills. The economy is not what it used to be, and jobs are not as plentiful. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it, just be aware that life may get uncomfortable in the meantime.

 

The Long Road to Faith in Menopause

 

 

You might have noticed if you ever pray about something, that the answer can be very slow in coming. I had a perfect example of this a few years ago.

Mark works for the State of California and since the state budget was so bad, the powers that be decided to put all state workers on a furlough for three days a month. Of course, we had enough trouble with a full paycheck and now with three days missing we were in dire straits.

I am a member of a work at home job board, and found an outbound calling job to help out. Now, picture this: you have a tough day at work, you hit the door dead tired, and your family is demanding dinner. Then I call you and ask you to rate your last store experiences on a scale of 1-10. As you can imagine, I had some mighty mad people on the other end of the line, and that was hard to take day after day.

I decided to pray about the right time to resign, and so I set a goal of 3 months down the line. That made the job easier to take, but 3 months came and went and I was still there. Ok, I would resign at 6 months, but once again I didn’t feel the time was right.

Other people on the job board who were working the same job, would pop over to the forum with some jaunty little comment about how they had left this job behind for something better. I continued to pray my guts out and soon we were at the 1-year mark.

Finally, at the 18-month mark, things began to fall into place. I received a letter from my last employer that I had some retirement funds and I was shocked, since I thought I had received all of my pay when I moved away. The good news was that the company was offering to pay retirement in a lump sum, which they almost never do. I sent back the fastest reply in history, but the funds wouldn’t be available for almost 6 months.

Now I had a game plan and chose the date to give my notice. Each day got a little easier because the end was in sight. When I sent my resignation letter in, I was on cloud 9.

Looking back God knew the perfect time for me to retire, and still be able to make it financially.  It just took a little longer, which required a lot of patience on my part.

Have you experienced the long road to faith in your prayer life?

5 Tricks to Prevent Cataracts in Menopause

 

A cataract forms on the lens of the eye and is more common as you age. According to a 2014 report from the World Health Organization, cataracts are globally responsible for a third of severe visual impairments.

Night driving becomes more difficult and you may see halos around lights. Colors seem less bright and you may experience blurry vision.

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to prevent cataracts. Here are 5 tricks to help prevent cataracts in menopause:

Drink in Moderation

Too much alcohol can interfere with light entering your eyes, so you don’t see as clearly and may have trouble with glare from oncoming car lights at night. Women should stick to 1 drink a day.

Eat Healthy

Fruits and vegetables are full of good antioxidants. Cranberries, blueberries and blackberries have the highest amounts, and there are so many ways you can use them. Eat them plain, use as a topping for cereal, or bake them in a pie.

Highest sources of vegetables are beans, artichokes, and russet potatoes. Once again, these are vegetables most people like and can be used in so many different dishes.

Take Daily Multivitamin

Multivitamins provide nutrients to the whole body,  Buy a vitamin that is geared towards your age and gender. Vitamins for senior women usually have extra vitamin D and calcium for bone health.

Vitamins A and C are highly concentrated in your eyes, and so aim for 5,000 IU of Vitamin A (as beta carotene), and 2500 mg of Vitamin C to combat free radicals. You may need to buy these as additional supplements.

Wear Sunglasses

Sunglasses are not too expensive, so find one that protect your eyes from both UVA and UVB rays when you’re outside. Plastic frames may be better if you’re playing sports, so there is less chance of them shattering if dropped or knocked off.

If finances are tight, there are clip-ons available that can be worn over regular glasses.

Schedule Regular Check-Ups

Cataracts usually grow slowly, so your eye doctor may choose and wait and see approach, so schedule regular check-ups at least yearly. Your eyes will be dilated so the pupil opens and your doctor uses a bright light so the whole inside of the eye is visible.

When first diagnosed, stronger bifocals, new glasses, or using a magnifying glass can be very helpful.

 

 

 

4 Ways Volunteering Can Change Your Life in Menopause

Of course we need to earn money in order to live a successful life, but there is something magical about volunteering. There are opportunities in every field, and most of them could use a helping hand. People with disabilities can still volunteer and work phones, update websites, or send out correspondence.

You may find that the life you have changed the most is your own. Here are 4 ways that volunteering can change your life in menopause:

Find the Right Opportunity

Make a list of your interests and look for those volunteer opportunities. Do you enjoy working with animals? The local animal shelter is always looking for volunteers to help feed, clean, and give affection to lonely or abandoned animals.

Do you enjoy making a difference in the lives of children? Be a Big Sister to a deserving child. This requires a commitment of a few hours twice a month. For example, you could play board games, work on arts and crafts, or visit the park playground.

Make New Friends

Volunteering puts you in contact with new friends, and it is often more fun to work as a group than by yourself. If you’re new to the community, new friends can put you in touch with local resources, and you may find that you enjoy getting together for social occasions.

Change Your Focus

It’s just human nature to complain about your problems, but when you change your focus to help others, it gives you a new perspective.  Your problems may not seem so big after helping a cancer patient, mentoring needy kids, or working with abandoned animals.

Explore Career Change

You may have worked at the same job for many years, and are ready for a change. Some volunteer opportunities require training. For example,  if you were interested in nursing, choose a setting such as a nursing home or hospital.  

5 Tips to Eat Healthier At The Fair In Menopause

 

It’s getting that time of year again, when rides are assembled, and of course my favorite part of the fair is the eating. Visions of corn dogs, cinnamon rolls, and waffle cones dance in my head.

Menopause is a time when you want to eat healthier for weight control, but you can indulge your fair cravings and not break the calorie bank.

Here are 5 tips to eat healthier at the fair in menopause:

Buy A Water Bottle

Fair time is usually the hottest time of the year, so you’re going to need a lot of liquid during the day. Sipping from a large water bottle will cool you off, and will help you avoid soft drinks, which only make you thirstier. Fair buildings usually have a drinking fountain when you need a refill.

Pack Healthy Snacks

Healthy snacks such as fruit or trail mix can quiet your hunger, and with the high prices at the fair, will also save you some money.

Indulge in One Favorite

For me the cinnamon roll is a must, and I want it iced and sprinkled with nuts. Go ahead and eat your favorite, but you may want to buy a smaller portion, or take something home. If you have been eating a healthier diet, these rich foods may not be as tasty.

Look for Lean Protein Options

Chicken or beef on a stick is portable so you can nibble on it as you’re going from exhibit to exhibit. That lean protein will keep you satisfied for a longer time. Avoid the giant turkey legs that are big enough to throw a saddle on, and choose the smaller turkey kabobs.

Share

There are always new foods being introduced at the fair, and I am usually at the head of the line to try them out. Share with a spouse or friend, and you can try out more treats. It’s also nice to avoid that bloated feeling from overindulging.

 

 

 

5 Helpful Tips to Beat Caregiver Burn-Out in Menopause

Keeping up with your own health needs in menopause, family needs, and work obligations are more than enough to cope with. Now, add caregiving for a loved one into the mix, and it’s easy to experience caregiver burnout.

Sure, you can hire a professional, but that can seriously impact your finances, and there may not be much wiggle room in your budget.

Here are 5 helpful tips to beat caregiver burn-out in menopause:

Take Care of Yourself

Put yourself first. It’s not selfish, and you need that energy in order to be the best caregiver. Eat a nourishing diet, make time to exercise, and get an annual physical so you stay current with needed screenings and immunizations.

Seek help

Jot down some things you need help with, and enlist supportive friends or family. Tasks such as making a casserole for dinner or taking the person you care for out for a walk, can give you some much needed alone time.

Help with groceries and laundry are just two less things you have to cope with.

Use Community Resources

Many communities provide Meals on Wheels programs, that meet daily nutrition guidelines. Meals are tasty and it saves you from slaving over a hot stove when you’re dead tired. Check out adult day care centers that let your loved one interact with others for a few hours a day. These centers play music, teach exercises, and share current events.

Instead of stressing out coping with commute traffic, take advantage of Dial-A-Ride transportation for medical appointments.

Don’t Feel Guilty

Make peace with the fact that you’re not perfect, and concentrate on the things you can do to help. Make the decisions that you feel are right, and be open to improving along the way.

Join A Support Group

There is no greater feeling than realizing that you are not the only person experiencing the stress of caregiving. Group time allows you to share your joys and frustrations, and you can pick up some good tips from others that make things easier.

Create meaningful friendships so you can get together for coffee or a walk outside of group time, and it’s another opportunity to support each other.

 

4 Tips to Enjoy Healthy Diabetic Treats in Menopause

 

Once you get over the shock of being diagnosed as a diabetic, you may wonder what you can eat and still keep your diabetes in control. However, that doesn’t mean you have to sob in your soup while watching other people indulge in your favorite foods.

Here are 4 tips to enjoy healthy diabetic treats in menopause:

Get rid of junk foods

Don’t stockpile goodies such as quarts of ice cream or bags of candy. When temptation strikes, buy a single serving of dark chocolate with at least 70 % cocoa. It can also be high in fiber and contain nutrients such as iron, magnesium, potassium, and as an added bonus, good for your heart.

If ice cream is more your thing, buy a single cone. Some ice cream shops have more low-fat flavors to choose from, and they’re still delicious.

Trade-Offs

Watching your carbohydrates doesn’t have to be a drag, and by making trade-offs with yourself, you can still enjoy your favorite foods. Is spaghetti a personal favorite? Skip the garlic bread. Who doesn’t love a good burger cooked on the grill? Eat it open-faced  or skip the bun altogether.

Some days you just have to indulge in a dessert, so count those carbs and trade-off with another carbohydrate in your meal.

Don’t Indulge on an Empty Stomach

When you let yourself get too hungry, you just want to eat as soon as possible and that leads to overindulging on the first food you can get your hands on. Too much carbohydrate may also send your blood sugar numbers off the charts. Instead of eating a piece of garlic bread for a snack, combine with a protein-rich meal such as chicken and vegetables.

Keep Exercising

Exercise is not only good for your overall health, it also helps counteracts the balance of protein and carbs for better blood sugar control. If you’re stressed out, exercise is healthier than reaching for a sugary snack to make yourself feel better. Aim for 30 minutes a day, which can also be broken up into three 10-minute sessions.

4 Ways to Prevent Skin Cancer in Menopause

When I turned 50, I noticed a rough patch of skin on my nose. It would bleed and then go away, and come back every few months. Years past and then about 6 months ago I woke up and the spot was bleeding again. This time I went to the doctor who diagnosed it as a pre-cancer and burned it off. So far, it hasn’t come back.

Melanomas are the most serious type of skin cancer and can be mistaken for moles. If they are caught early, the cure rate is very high.

Menopause is a time when you have to pay more attention to your health, so taking care of your skin is just one more way of taking care of your body. Here are 4 ways to prevent skin cancer in menopause:

Know the Warning Signs

According to the American Cancer Society, there are 5 warning signs:

  • When you look at the suspicious spot, are both halves equal?
  • Is there an uneven border around the spot? Deadly melanomas are uneven.
  • If the spot is cancerous, the spot will usually be brown, black, or even red.
  • Most melanomas are the size of a pencil eraser or larger.
  • Is the spot growing, itchy, bleeding, or crusty?

Examine Skin Closely

Pick a time once a month to do a complete skin check. Use a hand mirror so you can look at all the hidden spots such as behind the ears, between the toes, or under your arms. Schedule an appointment with your dermatologist if anything looks suspicious.

Omega -3

Eat fatty fish such as wild salmon, whitefish, and albacore tuna to fight inflammation. If you don’t like fish, ask your doctor about an Omega-3 supplement.

Use Sunscreen

If you’re going to the beach or spending any time in the outdoors, use sunscreen with at least an SPF of 15. This filters out 93% of ultra-violet rays. Apply 30 minutes before going out, and reapply every two hours.

4 Tips to Cure Back Pain in Menopause

 

Declining levels of estrogen in menopause can cause pain and stiffness in the lower back. This pain can come on suddenly or last for many months. Medication is helpful, and there are also things you can do on your own that will make a big difference.

Here are 4 tips to cure back pain in menopause:

Sit Up Straight

What kid didn’t hear this growing up? Turns out mom knew what she was talking about. If you’re slouching in your chair, your back is not in proper alignment. Your chair should support your spine and feet should be flat on the floor or a foot support.

Move Around

It’s easy to get involved with your work and you forget to take a stretch break. Move around every 20 minutes and take a short walk.  Invest in exercise bands and use them several times a day. Who knows, you might even lose a few pounds.

Eliminate Gout

Gout is a form of arthritis that most often affects the big toe, but can affect the spine also. Gout is caused by too much uric acid in the blood. Work with your doctor on the proper medication, and reduce your intake of meat, seafood, and alcohol.

Exercise Program

One of the best exercises for a bad back is to do exercises in a pool. Being in the water provides both support and resistance and you can join a water aerobics class, swim laps, or walk from side to side.

If being in the water is not your thing, work with a physical therapist who can demonstrate helpful exercises and make sure your body is in correct alignment.

 

Could You Feed Yourself on $50 a Week in Menopause?

 

I know it’s important to eat healthy food in menopause, but have you been to the store lately?  I almost feel like I have to mortgage the house to pay for groceries.

I was reading an article this morning about how to eat on $50 or less a week.  Check out these 5 tips:

Stick to a List

I know it is a temptation to impulse buy and those bakery goodies seem to call out to you. Resist temptation and stick to your list. Take just enough money to cover your purchases, and leave credit cards at home.

Join a Membership Store

Stores such as Sam’s Club or Costco will save you money by buying in bulk.   You’ll have lots of leftovers and if you don’t care to eat the same thing every day, split the bill and food in half with a friend.

Buy Generic Brands

I found that buying the generic brand cereal saves me $2.00 a box and there is very little taste difference. Before you plop that brand name item in your cart, check out the generic price and compare the savings.

Prep Work

Cheese is cheaper to buy whole and grate yourself. Instead of buying expensive vegetables that are already cut-up, buy fresh and do your own chopping.  Make oatmeal from a box instead of buying the flavored packets.

 Use Coupons

Coupons are a must to save money so scan your Sunday paper and cut out as many as you can. Stores now have apps that allow you to download coupons to your phone. Join a few coupon websites such as Money Saving Mom or the KrazyCoupon Lady.