How to Make Friends with Your Menopause


A post by Susanne Herrmann of St. Jude Retreats:

During menopause, many women experience physical effects associated with this time in a woman’s life, or as they call them the “gifts of menopause”.

Everyone who ever went through it, could relate to Samantha Jones in the famous Sex in the City episode.

From the hot flashes, to the weight gain, the way menopause is portrayed in the media often puts women in a position to fear this natural stage in their life as something to be endured. And women do. They suck it up and endure it, often too embarrassed to look for alternatives. After all, it’s normal to feel that way, right?

Not to mention that menopausal women not only have to contend with the physical side of menopause and the emotional problems as well, but with everything that society came to expect from a menopausal women.

Should we mention the irritability, the feelings of sadness, depression, anxiety, fatigue

How about the lack of motivation, the difficulty concentrating or the moodiness?

All things that will make any sensible woman want to run around screaming.

And yet, some women seem to have found the key to not only surviving menopause, but enjoying it. How do they do that? What is the secret?

Move It Up

You probably have heard that one before but a regular exercise program can do miracles for menopause or any stage of your life for that matter. Of course, the exercise doesn’t have to be rigorous, if you have other issues that do not allow that. Many fitness centers offer programs especially for women above 50 and would be happy to accommodate a level of activity that you are comfortable with. Yoga classes are an excellent example, as they can bring that balance between mind and body that you are looking for.

Food for Thought

A healthy diet is the best way to feel at your best at all times. Eat regularly, eat healthy and you will notice the difference. If you need help in deciding how to change your dietary habits, many large grocery store chains offer dietitian services, free of charge at that. If you can, take advantage to talk to someone who is knowledgeable and can relate to your situation. Improving your diet will go a long way when it comes to leaving a healthy lifestyle. If you don’t have access to such services, many books stores and libraries have a large selection of healthy diet books.

Get Creative

You might also want to find some sort of creative outlet such as painting, ceramics, or get involved in a favorite charity group. Find something to put your focus on and foster a sense of achievement at the same time. There are also many online communities that you can join that will help you meet people in a similar situation, offer support and maybe even help you make new friends.

Stay Connected

Be sure to stay connected with your family and friends. Sometimes, menopausal women who become sad or depressed will tend to isolate and this is one of the worst things you can do. Isolation is often a reason for women to engage in destructive behavior like alcohol or substance use, thinking it will ease their discomfort. These behaviors are ultimately a choice, but it is a known fact that alcohol use usually adds to the perceived distress. In fact, alcohol is known to cause sleep disruptions and increase hot flashes that women experience during menopause. Build your support network and stay connected!

Make You Happy

The good news is that there are certainly many positive options available to women to help replace feelings of sadness and depression, so why not make a list of the things that truly make you happy. Maybe you’ve been busy with your career or raising your kids and you never took the time out to accomplish your own goals.

This can be a great time to take that class you never took, start the hobby you’ve always wanted to do, or if you were a homemaker, start the career you always wanted to start. Happiness is subjective, so it will be different for everyone, but if you put your focus on creating a happy life, you will then be happier.

Susanne Herrmann is the Director of Business Development for Saint Jude Retreats.  Susanne travels the US and networks with different professionals in the substance use field to promote the lifesaving Saint Jude Program.  The Saint Jude Program is a non-12 step, alternative substance use program and is the definitive guide to self-directed Neuroplastic change.  When not traveling, Susanne shares an interest in physical fitness with her husband, David, and enjoys her three rescue dogs, a Jack Russell Terrier, a Mini Dachsund, and an English Bulldog.  If you would like to contact Susanne, please call 1.877.351.0731 or email 

Susanne's Picture-New (3) (2)

More info on Saint Jude Retreats:

Saint Jude Retreats is a non-12 step, non-treatment alternative to traditional alcohol and drug rehab.The Saint Jude Program focuses on empowering individuals to change behaviors and solve lifelong self-defeating habits such as drug and alcohol use. By utilizing positive reinforcement and integrating the science of Neuroplasticity (the ability of the brain to change and rewire itself), we educate in a customized process that focuses on integrating positive thought processes into individual’s life.While the fundamental educational pieces are crucial for  success, the integrated social aspect provides the confidence and necessary life skills to return home and build a fulfilling life.

8 responses »

  1. Great tips! I’d like to suggest exploring the offerings of senior centers which are open to anyone 55 or over (at least in my area). I used to be put off by the “senior” in senior centers but there are lots of vital people there taking exercise classes, jewelry making, listening to lectures, etc.

  2. Ditto to Susan above. There are so many resources out there. Personally, I find getting outside and walking in the woods for fresh air and exercise is very therapeutic. If walking alone it allows for great thinking time. Or, with friends, a great time to visit. In general, a new phase of life to either embrace or not. Thank you for this post!!

  3. For real physical issues a woman must speak up to her doctor, her friends and find out what can help her. I found Chinese herbs to help me with the night sweats and hot flashes. My oncologist of all people recommended I look into this alternative care. I have sent my sister and several friends the Chinese herb route, all successfully! Who knew???

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