By: Guest Author
Published: July 15, 2019
Written by Brooke Faulkner- Guest Contributor
Summer can elicit a lot of different feelings. You might be looking forward to the vacation of a lifetime, hanging out at the pool, or spending some much needed time with the grandkids. On the other hand, if you’re struggling with the uncomfortable symptoms of menopause, you may be dreading the dog days of summer even before they get here.
Don’t worry. We’ve got you covered with a few great tips for beating the summer heat and keeping hot flashes under control so that you don’t have to miss any of the fun this summer.
Choose Foods that Ease Symptoms
Nothing is quite as refreshing as a cold glass of water when you’re dripping with sweat. However, we all know a cold drink isn’t the only thing you can use to ease the discomforts of menopause – in fact, what you drink might not only cool you down, but food itself can also affect your symptoms in both good and bad ways. For example, increasing your dairy intake can boost bone health and even improve the quality of your sleep, which is especially important if you plan on running around most of the summer chasing kids and being in the sun. Be sure that you’re getting plenty of whole grains, healthy fats, and fruits and vegetables as well. Avoid spicy foods, added sugars, and excess caffeine, which don’t mix well with the heat of the season.
If you’re looking for treats that can run double-duty by keeping you cool and minimizing the risk of hot flashes, keep chilled fruits and veggies on hand. You can even freeze fruits and use them in smoothies for a refreshing and healthy afternoon snack, to sip on when the sun is high in the sky. If you want to indulge your sweet tooth and have a little fun with the grandkids or your spouse, consider stirring up a batch of homemade coffee can ice cream – but only in moderation, as too much caffeine might have the opposite effect on your body.
Plan Outdoor Events in the Evening
Hot flashes shouldn’t keep you from enjoying and even hosting summertime events like pool parties and backyard barbecues, meaning you should plan your events for the evening or early morning to avoid the sun’s rays when they’re the strongest. If your parties tend to go long and you want to keep socializing later into the day, though, you have an excellent reason to upgrade your outdoor space to boast areas of your yard for intimate conversations, cocktail parties, and even lighting that makes yard games possible after the sun goes down.
Dress for Hot Flashes
When a hot flash hits, your first instinct is to probably remove as much clothing as you can. Obviously when you’re out and about this isn’t always possible, so learning how to dress for hot flashes is essential so you’re never caught off guard. For example, you might believe 100% cotton garments are most breathable – and while this is technically true, they also soak up any sweat that hits them, meaning a hot-flash could disrupt your overall look without warning. Instead, dress in moisture-wicking fabrics that are often found in clothing made for athletes.
What more, consider dressing in layers if you’re going to be inside so that you can shed one or two pieces if needed. If you’re going to a special event or plan on being outside for an extended period of time, pack an extra blouse so that if you have a hot flash that leaves you uncomfortable, you can change and feel refreshed.
Plan Indoor Fun
If you have an upcoming play date with the grandkids and the weather looks like a scorcher, plan a few fun indoor activities instead. Try some safe craft paint activities, grab a few new coloring books, or make lighting bug habitats together during the day that you can fill up at night. You can also try indoor fun with the grands such as learning how ink is made, making your own snow, or experimenting with chemical reactions. These science experiments might even get grandpa excited, too!
Pack an Umbrella
Don’t forget to pack an umbrella if you’re going to the beach or the pool, in order to keep you out of the sun’s direct rays. This will help keep you a bit cooler and provide some summer sun protection for your skin, too.
Know When It’s Something More
While all types of hot flashes can be downright miserable, you need to make sure you know the difference between hot flashes and heat illness, especially during the summer months. Heat stroke happens when your body overheats from prolonged exposure to high temperatures, and can be very dangerous if not acted upon right away.
If you’re outside and start feeling like maybe it’s more than just a hot flash, move indoors right away, remove excess clothing, and cool down with a refreshing beverage or even a cold shower or bath if possible. A few signs that it might be heatstroke include:
- Elevated temperature of 104 degrees Fahrenheit or higher
- Hot, dry skin and very little sweat
- Confusion, agitation, or other changes in mental state
- Increased breathing and heart rate
- Nausea and Vomiting
Breathe Through the Worry
If you tend to worry about having a hot flash before it even starts, try mindfulness exercises like meditation or yoga. When you work on connecting your mind and body through these practices, you can ease your thoughts and better control what you worry about. Meditation can also help you connect with your breath anytime you start to worry about a hot flash to ease the worrying.
Enjoy Your Summer
The symptoms of menopause aren’t just uncomfortable, they can cause you to worry and even begin to change behaviors just to avoid dealing with the inconveniences. However, we hope you can use these tips to keep you cool, worry-free, and enjoying your summer months!
Author Bio: Brooke Faulkner is a mother of two and animal lover from Portland, Oregon.
The views expressed herein this article, written by a guest contributor, do not necessarily represent those of the Red Hot Mamas organization. The content is for informational purposes and should not substitute the advice of your doctor.