How To Cope With Hot Flashes
Aside from basically crawling into the stand up freezer while grocery shopping…
Salesperson: “Can I help you find something?”
Me: “I’m just looking for a certain type of ice cream. I think I see it at the veeeeery back of the freezer. Somewhere around here…ah maybe…ah no, that’s not it. Maybe here? Nope. Never mind. I’m good. Thanks!”
I’m sharing some practical tips on how to cope with hot flashes that don’t involve sticking your head in a freezer.
Yeah I’m saying it. Underwear made out of synthetic materials is like wrapping yourself in pizza pockets straight out of the microwave.
Same goes for bras, especially padded bras.
This summer I’ve resorted to relying on some of my cotton workout bras to help me through the worst of it.
One of my girlfriends jokes about keeping her underwear in the freezer. I’m not there yet.
I haven’t worn any polyester this summer.
It is akin to wearing a plastic bag pumped full of hot air.
Remember those plastic suits for sweating off pounds that were so popular in the 70’s and 80’s?
The sauna exercise suit is exactly what polyester feels like on me lately. It is totally off limits.
Sadly almost all of my vintage 60’s and 70’s dresses are made out of polyester or thick bark cloth and impractical for my hot flashes and the insane heat we’ve been enduring this summer.
Don’t Wear A Belt
Belts trap heat, especially when worn at the real waist which is above the belly button and just below the ribs.
Although going beltless can be challenging for women with curvy figures I’ve been slowly learning to surrender the idea of always having a defined waist.
I’ve long been a fan of wearing linen in the summer months to keep cool. Yes it wrinkles but I’d rather have a few wrinkles and remain calm and collected than turn purple, while rivers of sweat pour down my face and I run screaming, throwing anything within arms reach while simultaneously ripping off my clothes. (Not that I’ve ever done that …lately…ha ha!)
Use A Cooling Bandana
This is a trick I used when we would hike in the heat. Take your favorite cotton bandana and run it under some cold water. Wring it out, roll it and tie the bandana around your neck.
I discovered they now have cooling neck scarfs made with special polymer gel balls that retain the coolness longer and can be stored in the fridge or freezer. You can also make your own if you are so inclined.
I’ve worn some silk this summer but was reading recently how it actually isn’t the best choice to wear in the heat. I had no idea that silk doesn’t breathe. Did you know that? Linen or cotton are better choices for keeping cool when in the throes of a hot flash.
This is more for winter, fall or spring when one can actually tolerate wearing an extra layer. If you layer up you can just as easily layer down when needed.
I now carry a little handheld paper fan that I’ll whip out and furiously operate when a hot flash strikes. Do I look like a classic menopausal trope? Yep. Do I care? I think I dealt with that adequately above when I discussed ripping off my clothes.
Evening Primrose Oil
I take Evening Primrose Oil as suggested by my doctor. I’m not sure how much it has helped but it hasn’t hurt.
I drink water, only water and lots of it daily. I don’t drink anything with caffeine or alcohol which they say can increase hot flashes.
Sometimes it isn’t easy if you plan on walking when it’s 35 C outside. I try to get out early or later in the day when possible and I always wear a hat. Hats can also trap heat but wearing bamboo or straw sun hats with ventilation holes will protect you from the sun without overheating.
I can and do avoid saunas and taking hot showers in the summer. Not only does it help reduce the amount of hot flashes but it is also healthier for my hair and skin.
Avoid Spicy Foods & Chocolate
I don’t completely avoid spicy foods but I don’t binge on them either.
As far as the chocolate goes well I’ll give that up when I’m good and dead. I already avoid dairy, bread, fat, alcohol, meat, fish and I limit my consumption of sugar. I’m unwilling to part with my one square of dark chocolate daily indulgence. Seriously, I’ve got to draw the line somewhere. A gal’s gotta live right?
What about you? Do you have any tips how to cope with hot flashes that you’d like to share?