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International Women's Day - Menopause

In celebration of International Women’s Day, WISE focuses on menopause and offers some insight into self-care practices, ideas for healthy lifestyle choices, and suggestions on how to seek support from a medical professional.

As women age, they may experience symptoms that occur during the transition to menopause. These symptoms, which can begin as early as the mid-30s, can range from mild to severe and may include hot flushes, night sweats, sleep disturbances, vaginal dryness, and mood swings.

While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to managing these symptoms, making certain lifestyle changes can provide some relief. 

Incorporating healthy habits into your daily life is key to managing the symptoms associated with the perimenopausal transition. 

Eating a balanced diet that includes a variety of vegetables, fruits, lean proteins, and whole grains can help reduce symptoms. Limiting processed foods, refined carbohydrates and sugars, and unhealthy fats can also be beneficial. In addition, adequate hydration is important to help with hot flushes and night sweats. 

Exercise is a great way to manage perimenopausal symptoms. Regular physical activity can help reduce stress, improve mood, and restore energy levels. Research suggests that women who exercise at least three times a week experience fewer and less severe hot flushes and night sweats. Exercise can also help improve sleep quality, which is especially important during the perimenopausal transition. 

Stress management is another important aspect of managing perimenopausal symptoms. Stress can worsen symptoms such as hot flushes, night sweats, and mood swings. Certain stress-reducing activities, such as yoga, tai chi, and mindfulness meditation, can help reduce stress and improve overall well-being. 

Achieving a healthy lifestyle during the perimenopausal transition requires a commitment to making certain lifestyle changes. 

Here is an action plan to help you get started: 

  • Make dietary changes: Start by incorporating more fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains into your diet and limiting processed foods, refined carbohydrates, and unhealthy fats.
  • Incorporate exercise into your routine: Aim for at least three days of moderate-intensity exercise per week.
  • Practice stress-reduction techniques: Try yoga, tai chi, or mindfulness meditation to help reduce stress and improve your overall well-being.
  • Reduce caffeine and alcohol intake.
  • Seek the support of our WISE Wellness Coaches if you need help to make successful lifestyle changes. 
  • Speak to your GP if lifestyle measures are not controlling your symptoms so you can discuss adding in other management options such as hormone replacement therapy. 

By making these lifestyle changes, you can reduce the severity of perimenopausal symptoms and improve your overall well-being during the transition to menopause.

Author: Dr Liza Thomas-Emrus

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