Are hot flashes, insomnia, vaginal dryness and erratic mood swings making you crazy? Are they really a “normal” part of menopause? 

Here’s the good news and bad news …. you are not crazy and these are “normal’ symptoms of menopause. Be assured however that YOU ARE NOT ALONE, and in time, they will subside. 

Menopause is a season, not a disease. It’s not fatal. In fact, it is a good time to take stock. In the same way that a harsh winter is always followed by spring and new life, menopause can be a precursor to a fresh beginning for the rest of your life. Take time to reflect on what you did right the first two-thirds of your life, and care to dream about your next twenty-five years or so.

Here’s what you need to know about the most common symptoms of menopause:

Hot Flashes: Hot flashes are sudden surges of heat that radiate throughout your body, causing sweating, palpitations, and discomfort. Hot flashes are triggered by hormonal fluctuations in your body, particularly a decrease in estrogen. To manage hot flashes, you can try simple techniques such as dressing in layers, avoiding spicy food and caffeine, and practicing relaxation techniques like meditation or deep breathing.

Insomnia: Insomnia or difficulty sleeping is another common symptom of menopause. Changes in estrogen levels can affect your sleep patterns, leading to sleep disturbances, night sweats, and fatigue. To improve sleep quality, create a relaxing bedtime routine, avoid electronic devices before bed, adjust your bedroom temperature, and take a warm bath before going to bed.

Vaginal Dryness: Vaginal dryness is a condition that occurs due to decreased estrogen levels. It can cause discomfort during sex, itching, and inflammation. You can use over-the-counter vaginal moisturizers or lubricants to ease the symptoms or talk to your doctor about hormone replacement therapy options.

Mood Swings: Mood swings are changes in your emotional state, ranging from irritability, and anxiety, to unpredictable emotions. The hormonal changes during menopause can affect your mental health and cause mood swings. Manage your mood swings with regular exercise, a healthy diet, positive self-talk, and a solid support network.

So, when those pesky hot flashes have you peeling off layers of clothing or when you can’t remember what that one thing was that you came to the supermarket for, you’re likely to feel a kinship with any woman as sweaty or forgetful as yourself.

Talking and joking with other women about the menopausal symptoms you’re experiencing can be very helpful by reassuring you that you’re not alone, because you aren’t alone. Start to exchange your coping strategies with other women. Have courage to face the world knowing that you’re in good company and that these unwelcome symptoms will not last forever.

Put your shoulders back, stand tall, stick a geranium in your hat and be happy.