Many women will agree with me that hot flashes are not only uncomfortable – they are miserable annoyances that seem to overtake us without warning.
Hot flashes are about heat. I know about heat. I’m a desert rat. In fact, I’m in the desert right now and it was over 115 degrees today! Imagine adding hot flashes to that! Having had a hysterectomy when I was in my late 20’s, I have taken estrogen for years. Every time I have made the decision to stop taking estrogen, those annoying companions push their way in again and I am driven back to my little bottle of blue pills. In July, however, I decided that I really didn’t want to take them anymore. It is now September and while I am free of my blue pills, those little irritating flashes continue to make me crazy! The body needs to maintain a steady temperature. When our temperature changes, the body adapts to bring it back into balance. Unfortunately, balance is not what comes to mind when those annoying hot flashes swirl through my body from head to toe.
My younger sister recently asked me what she could do about the occasional hot flash she was experiencing in her pre-menopausal state. I thought, “Wow – how great would that be, if my hot flashes were occasional rather than an every thirty-minute phenomenon?” In any case, I gave her some suggestions about how to live through them. Maybe these 10 tips will help you too!
- Sip ice water which will cool your core – and keep you hydrated!
- Keep a beautiful Asian fan nearby – and feel like a gorgeous geisha!
- Sit still for the 2-3 minutes – and use the time to meditate!
- Put ice in a baggy, cover in a silk cloth, pat your face and neck – and feel the soft luxury of silk!
- Wash your face several times a day – and have the dewy complexion you’ve always wanted!
- Stop eating large portions (less weight means less heat) – and see your body be re-shaped!
- Wear light, natural fabrics – and be one of the 'glamour girls' who always wore fabulous natural fabric that draped!
- Sleep in your birthday suit – and remember what Marilyn Monroe said when she was asked what she wore to bed, “5 drops of No. 5 (Chanel) or nothing at all!”
- Since heat escapes most from the head and feet, wear sandals and freely toss the chapeau – and feel like Cleopatra sashaying in silk through her castle!
- Avoid Spandex, (even though you like 'stretch') which creates heat in the body -- and be comfortable with your own beautiful self!
We are incredible creatures of God, and our bodies are amazing miracles. While hot flashes may be uncomfortable, even miserable at times, they remind us that we are fully alive – full of energy, passion, and possibility. We are able to feel and experience hot and cold. We are able to find hope in the midst of discomfort. We can laugh and love and age with dignity. Let your hot flashes remind you of life – full, embodied life – and keep the ice water nearby!