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This article originally published on Get Healthy Stay Healthy

Menopause may be a fact of life, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. Declining estrogen levels can affect your mood, your quality of sleep, your ability to regulate body temperature, and much more. And when all of these things are added together, it’s no wonder menopausal women often don’t feel like themselves! But there are things you can do to cope. To help you feel a bit more comfortable, try these tips from Canan Esinduy, M.S., M.D., Director, Women’s Health/Urology, Pfizer Field Based Medicine:

1. Reduce stress. As challenging as it can be, try to manage stress levels. Some symptoms of menopause are more difficult to cope with when you’re experiencing stress. Try experimenting with different stress management techniques—like yoga or meditation to see what works for you.

2. Stay active. Regular exercise keeps you in shape and releases endorphins that can help keep your mood in check.

3. Try to get enough sleep. Sleep can help when you’re trying to reduce stress. Plus, feeling rested can also help your mood. Try to go to bed and wake up at the same times every day.

4. Fight hot flashes. Avoid alcohol and spicy foods, which may trigger hot flashes. And don’t forget to dress in layers so you can stay as comfortable as possible.

5. Talk with your doctor. No matter how uncomfortable it may seem, don’t be afraid to discuss any and all menopause symptoms with your doctor. You may be surprised by how many women have symptoms such as hot flashes and vaginal dryness. Your doctor can also tell you about different options for managing menopause, including hormone replacement therapy for the treatment of approved symptoms. Additionally, your physician can recommend age-appropriate preventative tests to help maintain overall health. Taking the initiative and getting the answers to your questions will help you feel empowered.

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