It’s never easy to deal with menopause symptoms. Weight gain, emotional swings, and hot flashes aren't going to be fun, no matter where you live. However, suffering from hot flashes when it is 100 degrees and humid outside is particularly tough. Opening a window to capture a cold breeze isn't possible when the out of doors feels like the inside of a sauna. So, what is a menopausal woman to do when those hot flashes hit during a heat wave? Here are a few suggestions that might help bring a bit of much-needed relief.
1.Run your errands during the early morning hours: If at all possible, try to spend the hottest part of the day inside where it is usually cooler. Errands can be run first thing in the morning and the heat of the day can be spent doing less running around in the heat and humidity.
2. Keep an ice-cold drink with you at all times: Invest in a nice, insulated and reusable water bottle to keep your drink cold for as long as possible. Sip on your chilled drink regularly throughout the day to stay hydrated and keep your body temperature down.
3.Dress in layers: Dressing in layers in warm weather is always a smart idea. A lightweight sleeveless shirt in a breathable fabric layered under a slightly warmer cardigan will allow you to cool off easily once your hot flash kicks in. Cotton and natural fibers breath better and will keep you cooler compared to synthetic materials.
4.Freeze a wet, flexible cloth for emergency relief: There are many products on the market today that contain tiny water-absorbing crystals tucked inside a fabric layer. If you don't want to purchase something special, a wet washcloth tucked inside a reusable baggie and placed in the freezer will also work. Store at least two of these in the freezer and when your hot flash hits, place one on the back of your neck for instant relief.
5. Keep your home cool: This is particularly hard to do in hot weather but important when trying to control your body temperature. Keep the shades drawn to block out harsh sun and use fans to keep the air moving. Try to use your oven and clothes dryer only in the early morning to avoid heating up the house late in the afternoon. Slow cookers come in handy when trying to provide dinner for your family without using the oven.
6. Ditch the sneakers: Sneakers with heavy socks are generally not good choices for staying cool in hot weather. If you are at home, learn to enjoy the feeling of cold tile under your warm feet. If you have to go out, choose lightweight footwear such as sandals or flip-flops.
7. Put your hair up: Having a heavy mane of hair on the back of your neck makes cooling off tough. Consider a shorter style for summer or invest in a few hair ties or clips to get your hair under control.
8. Don't forget to exercise: Sometimes the heat just saps our energy, but exercise is still a great way to combat menopause. Choose exercises that can be done indoors or join a gym. If you have a pool, cool off in the water while doing a few laps for stress relief.
Hot flashes are never a pleasant experience, but the heat of summer can make them practically unbearable. Work hard to keep your body cool, both inside and out, for maximum relief of hot flashes.
Reviewed March 16, 2016
by Michele Blacksberg RN
How to Cope with Hot Flashes During the Summer Months. Huffington Post. Retrieved March 10, 2016. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ellen-sarver-dolgen/how-to-cope-with-hot-flashes_b_5596616.html
Non-Hormonal Ways to Cope with Hot Flashes & Menopause. Cleveland Clinic Retrieved March 14, 2016. http://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases_conditions/hic-what-is-perimenopause-menopause-postmenopause/hic-non-hormonal-ways-to-cope-with-hot-flashes-and-menopause