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Guest Blog: Amanda Jane

November 2023.

A Menopausal Host's Guide to Self-Care During Christmas Holidays

As the festive season descends upon us, the excitement of hosting Christmas can be both exhilarating and daunting. Throw menopause into the mix, with its unpredictable hot sweats and mood swings, and you have a unique recipe for holiday chaos. As I prepare to don the apron and serve up Christmas dinner with a smile, I've learnt that juggling family expectations along with my hormonal fluctuations requires a generous helping of self-care – a crucial ingredient often overlooked during this bustling time of year.

 Mandy Bailey

Picture this: A Christmas kitchen bustling with activity, the savory aroma of roasting turkey wafting through the air, and me, desperately trying to keep my cool – literally. Menopausal hot sweats can be uninvited guests at the dinner table, threatening to turn the Christmas roast into a personal sauna experience. It's a delicate dance between serving up festive cheer and discreetly patting down the inevitable 'glisten.'

In the midst of this culinary circus, self-care becomes my secret weapon. While it might sound counterintuitive to prioritise oneself during such a family-centric occasion, past experience has taught me that a well-nurtured host is a far more gracious one. So, here's my festive manifesto for the menopausal host – embrace self-care, and remember, it's not selfish; it's a holiday survival strategy.

The first slice of wisdom I've carved out of my Christmas experiences is the importance of planning. Creating a realistic schedule that accommodates rest breaks and a moment to cool down.

This is the season to delegate and not feel guilty about it. Let others help out, perhaps bring a dish, set the table, or manage the music playlist. A menopausal host is like a well-choreographed orchestra conductor – directing the festivities with finesse from a strategic vantage point.

Then comes the self-care toolkit, discreetly stashed in my apron pocket. Cooling facial mist, a discreet fan, and a mini mindfulness exercise – these are my secret ingredients to surviving hot sweats while remaining the picture-perfect host. It's like a backstage ritual to ensure the show goes on seamlessly, minus the visible signs of the hormonal rollercoaster.

Humour has become my trusty sidekick during the holiday hullabaloo. Embracing the absurdity of fanning oneself while stirring the gravy or strategically placing ice packs in hidden pockets becomes a source of amusement. Laughter is not only good for the soul but also an excellent distraction from the temperature fluctuations and the pressure of playing the perfect host.

Finally, the post-Christmas reflection has become an essential part of my self-care ritual. Taking a moment to acknowledge the challenges, celebrate the triumphs, and learn from the mishaps ensures that future holiday hosting endeavours are even more resilient and enjoyable for me and my family.

In essence, as a menopausal host, I've discovered that self-care is not a luxury; it's a necessity, especially during the festive frenzy. So, this Christmas, as I navigate the dance of hosting and hormone management, I encourage my fellow menopausal hosts to embrace self-care with open arms. After all, a well-cared-for host serves up the true spirit of Christmas – joy, warmth, and a touch of humour. Here's to a festive season filled with self-love and good cheer!

Amanda Jane is a qualified integrative counsellor an advocate for Women's Health and well-being, and proud to be a registered member of the British Association For Counselling And Psychotherapy

[email protected]

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Menopause Matters has been named as one of "The 12 Best Menopause Blogs of the Year" 2017, by an American site, 'Healthline'

Guest Blogs

  1. Amanda Jane : A Menopausal Host's Guide to Self-Care During Christmas Holidays - Nov 2023
  2. Amanda Jane : Menopause and Mental Health - Oct 2023
  3. Kerry Dolan: Let's emphasise the positive - Oct 2020
  4. Kerry Dolan: Scrapping the Rule Book on Ageing - June 2020
  5. Kerry Dolan: Avoiding Menopausal Melt Downs During the Lock Down - March 2020
  6. Jane Renton: Menopautism - December 2017

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