In a lot of ways, caring for the planet is a form of self-care — the environment, your specific environment, and menopause are all intertwined. Think about how much your body can change with the weather + changing seasons:
- Headaches from changes in pressure
- Varying nutrients from seasonal produce
- Dryer skin, lower energy, and seasonal affective disorder in the winter
- Allergies, hot flashes (exacerbated), and dehydration in the spring + summer
- (Side note: maybe it should just be Fall all year?)
There’s no doubt that the environment plays a crucial role in our body’s chemistry, which can become even more noticeable during a time when your hormones are already out of whack.
In the spirit of Earth Day, we’re taking a deeper dive into some of the ways the environment relates to your menopause experience, and some strategies to cultivate a healthy environment — for the sake of the planet and your menopause journey.
Advocate for clean air, water, and products.
In addition to the impacts listed above, the health of the environment can directly impact your menopause experience. Studies have indicated that chemical exposure via plastics, self-care products, and the environment is related to the onset of menopause.
A 2015 analysis concluded that women exposed to these chemicals began menopause roughly two-four years earlier than women with less exposure to these chemicals.
Of course, no one wishes chemical exposure — menopause or not — but researchers have found that chemical exposure can disproportionately affect older women. With age, your body’s stored reserve to fend of toxic chemicals diminishes. This is why it’s increasingly important to advocate for clean air, clean water, and clean products.
How can you do that? Here are just a few ways:
Advocate for clean air at a national level through organizations such as Earth Justice, Earth Day, and Environment America. Search for local clean air + water advocacy organizations, so you can get an idea of volunteer activities in your area.
Take a look at your self-care and home products. Do you recognize the ingredients? What does research have to say about the ones you’ve never heard of?
Consider replacing any questionable products with safer, effective products:
- Our MSM skincare products are formulated with organic sulfur (nature’s beauty mineral!), aloe vera, vitamin E, pure, botanical extracts, and antioxidants. These ingredients work together to purify your skin, restore its collagen, and leave it feeling smooth and supple.
- Our menopause relief products are fortified with powerful ingredients like wild yam, aloe vera, vitamin E, and seaweed. These naturally-derived ingredients work together to soothe your skin and lend relief to your stubborn menopause symptoms.
Not only do these products work to give you relief and improve your and overall health — their naturally-derived ingredients are easier on the environment, too.
Spend more time in nature.
As you might be dealing with mood swings, menopause weight gain, hot flashes, brain fog, and more — spending time in nature is more important than ever.
Studies show that more time in nature has the potential to lower stress hormone levels, blood pressure, and nervous system arousal. It can also enhance your immune system function, increase your self-esteem, and improve your mood. When you’re not cooped up inside, you’re much more likely to get moving and give your body the gentle exercise it needs.
Time with nature tends to awaken our mindfulness and gratitude practices. When you’re outside experiencing the sun, fresh air, and sounds of nature, it feels easier to soak up the present moment, forget about the past and future for a second, and really think about all the things you’re grateful for right now.
On top of this, traditional meditation literature suggests that the human body is made up of the elements: water, wind, earth, and fire (heat). The same tradition suggests that being closer to these elements in nature allows us to restore balance to the body and mind. If we acknowledge our reliance on nature to feel at peace, we feel a deeper obligation to care for it. We become more aware of how our actions directly affect the environment. Again, these habits can help us care for ourselves and the world around us.
Some great Earth Day outdoor activities that’ll get you outside, on your feet, and feeling mindful + grateful:
- Gardening: you can start small with this, even just a small container for herbs is a great start! Gardening is such an active, meditative activity, and you get fresh produce out of it.
- Walking + biking: these are low-intensity, highly underrated forms of outdoor exercise.
- Neighborhood clean-ups: a great way to get outdoors and clean up waste.
These are all great activities to keep in mind regardless of Earth Day. Take advantage of the longer, warmer days ahead!
Eat fresh, organic foods.
Eating a fresh, organic diet full of dark leafy, greens is better for you, your menopause experience, and the environment. A study in the Journal of Scientific Reports found that if everyone lowered their beef, pork, and poultry consumption by one quarter, it would save around 82 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year.
Organic farming also has the potential to reduce air, ground, and water pollution, conserve water, improve soil longevity + fertility, and use less energy. Lack of synthetic pesticides can help protect nearby communities and wildlife, and keep unnecessary chemicals from entering your body when you eat these products.
This is especially good news for menopausal women since organic, plant-based foods are such an important part of a menopause diet since these foods are so nutrient-dense. So, to do something good for your body and the environment, focus on creating a diet full of natural, organic foods that are also protein and antioxidant-rich, such as:
- Chia seeds
- Dark leafy greens
- Cruciferous vegetables
For more details and ideas, check out our Menopause Diet Advice article.