Maybe she’s asking the same thing ten times a day. Maybe you’ve caught her on a roller coaster ride of emotions. Or perhaps, it’s two in the morning and your mom is on a Netflix binge without an ounce of sleep in her eyes…
Our mothers are our pillars of support; and to see them go from being their loving selves to someone else can be a confusing time for us kids–no matter how old we might be. But hey–it’s not your mamma, it’s menopause.
Menopause might bring relief from the monthly dread of periods, but it also opens the door to changing hormones. The result? You might witness your mom doing things that might sweep you off your feet.
While a gynaecologist can help her deal with the side effects of menopause, she’s counting on you to help her through the ordeal.
So we got Dr Bhavna Barmi–senior clinical psychologist, relationship therapist, and life coach at Fortis Escorts Heart Institute, Delhi–to help you deal with menopause mayhem.
First things first: Let’s understand menopause
Menopause happens, much like menstruation. While the commencement of menses proclaim that the factory is open, menopause is your body’s way of saying: “babe there are no more eggs in the oven.”
“This is the time when your mother needs you more than ever,” says Dr Barmi.
Menopause might manifest slowly, so look out for these symptoms
“The first few signs of menopause are constant mood swings, depression, fatigue, insomnia, weight gain, bloating, anxiety, forgetfulness, stiff muscles and joints, increased hair growth (on face, arms, etc.), skin dryness, increased urination, sore and tender breasts, and hot flashes,” says Dr Barmi.
Follow the “all is well” mantra to tackle the situation like a pro
How will I manage this? Now, what should I do? Will I be able to calm her down? Can I really do this? You’re bound to have all these burning questions and more. But to answer them, Dr Barmi suggests that patience is key—which you’ve got to give time to both her and yourself to adjust.
Follow this guide to deal with the symptoms
Dr Barmi says: “Awareness plays an inevitable role in understanding physical and emotional symptoms”. She also suggests that you:
1. Track her symptoms
Help your mom maintain a diary where she can track her symptoms and remind her to do some deep breathing exercises.
2. Be ready for hot flashes
If at night you find your mom feeling uneasy and drenched in sweat then it might be a hot flash. Dr. Barmi suggests that keeping a bag of frozen peas or an ice pack under her pillow.
3. Help her relax
Indulging in activities like meditation, yoga, tai-chi and so on can also help her regulate stress emanating from menopause. Ample sleep also goes a long way in feeling relaxed.
4. Be her friend
During menopause, your mother’s emotions will be amped up. So, be her confidant during this time. Try new things with her to give her a confidence boost and keep stress at bay.
5. Ensure that she eats right
Dr Barmi suggests that there are a few food items that can make her symptoms worse during menopause–like caffeine, tobacco, alcohol, fatty foods, and even hot chocolate.
6. Keep her stress free
Ensuring that your mother is not stressed about anything is another task at hand. Dr. Barmi says, “Having a balanced diet, exercising, and indulging in a hobby can take the stress away. The keyword during menopause is stress–if that’s tackled then half the battle is won.”
7. Celebrate her menopause like a milestone
Make this day memorable for your mother. Dr Barmi suggests activities like making breakfast in bed for her, taking her out, organizing spa days to make your mom feel special.
“If your mom can maintain a healthy lifestyle, strengthen her social bonds, and do things and activities that make her feel happy then after her menopause is over, her body will automatically come back to its default setting without putting an extra effort,” says Dr Barmi.
“Phasing it out with fun is the only way, and love and attention are the only natural remedies to menopause,” concludes Dr Barmi.
So, now that you have heard it all, it’s time to share the wisdom with your friends. Trust us, their moms will thank you for it.