Grab a martini, let's demystify menopause.
Today’s Topic: Valentine’s Day and Self Love!
Ladies, are you taking care of yourself? This post will make sure of that!
Happy February! This month, it’s all about hearts - the ones decorating stores and Valentine’s cards, AND the one in your body. It’s American Heart Month, and we’ve got some things to talk about!
Did you know that heart disease is the leading cause of death for women in the United States? And that, even though we consider it a “men’s disease”, an equal number of women are affected every single year?
At menopause, a woman’s heart disease risk starts to increase significantly. So let’s talk about some ways you can start TODAY to keep your heart healthy!
PHYSICAL STRATEGIES FOR YOUR HEALTHY HEART
Knowledge is power. And who doesn’t LOVE power?!
1. TIME TO SEE YOUR MEDICAL DOCTOR.
Spend some time this month collecting your numbers. Make an appointment with your doc and learn exactly what your blood pressure is and what your cholesterol and triglycerides levels are. Once you are aware of your numbers, you can work with your medical provider to strategize how to optimize your heart health. Some of us need medications, and all of us need to work to lower the negative effects of stress on our hearts.
ACT: call your doctor and make that appointment
EXTRA ACT: On your way to that appointment, head to the grocery store and stock your shelves with foods that are good for your heart! Walnuts, almonds, fresh fruits and veggies, avocados, and olive oil.
2. TIME TO SEE YOUR DENTIST.
Get a thorough dental health exam. What does oral health have to do with heart health you ask? Well, the same bad bugs found in periodontal disease can attach themselves to your heart tissues, and can lead to the thickening of your arteries. Scary, right? It doesn’t have to be! Pick up that 400-pound phone and make an appointment this week.
ACT: STEP UP YOUR DENTAL HYGIENE GAME! Besides brushing 2-3 times a day, you need to do something to clean out the gunk in between your teeth. Floss, pics, and waterflossers are all great solutions. A good oral rinse is the cherry on top and you can be sure to keep those bad bugs from setting up camp in your mouth.
3. STOP THAT STRESS!
Every day, find a few minutes to be alone. Even if the only driving in your car or walking from the parking lot into work, be intentional with those few minutes. Quiet your mind and focus on breathing deeply in and out. Listen to your breathing. You will feel yourself calming. Centering. This behavior lowers your stress levels.
ACT: Deep, slow, centered breathing. 2-4 times a day, and whenever you feel that blood pressure rising from stress!
EMOTIONAL STRATEGIES FOR YOUR HEALTHY HEART
YOU. You are the most important person for you to love. This year for Valentine’s Day, let’s not focus on partner love, or relationship love. I challenge us all to focus on self-love.
STORYTIME: In my early twenties, I was a part of a faith-based children’s performing troupe. We performed shows that taught different ethical messages. I remember clearly one of the main themes we sang about was an acronym for J-O-Y: Jesus First, Others next, Yourself…last. I was totally into that message at the time, but I have grown to see how damaging it is to tell anyone to put themselves last. That mindset has contributed to women everywhere ignoring our own needs and not taking care of ourselves. In order to meet the needs, desires, and wants of others we neglect ourselves and feel shame and guilt for any “self indulgent” care we give ourselves.
No more J.O.Y for me.
Join me this month and take the time to stay home and have a warm bubble bath by yourself. Give yourself the gift of a work out and get those endorphins flowing! Say yes to nurturing your creative self. And even yes to considering leaving a damaging relationship. We women have put others wants and needs before our own for far too long.
Taking care of yourself, allows you to give more- to those you love, and to causes you believe in.
Yes, it’s a balancing act, and yes, sometimes sacrifices must be made for the good of others. But as a general principle to live by, taking care of yourself is the best way to feel better, honor your heart, and be a positive force for others.
SELF-LOVE AND PRO-YOU SEX!
Speaking of hearts…and love…those of you who know me, know I’m a huge proponent of being INTENTIONALLY sexual and intimate. Not just with your partner, but with yourself.
Many of you already know that when you sign up for my newsletter, you receive my 5 Wonder-Woman Strategies to Live Your Best Self. (if you haven’t yet subscribed, go to www.kellijaecks.com and join us.) Anyway, in that piece, I talk about the practical ways to be good to your whole body. Sex and masturbation is of course, on this list – and for a good reason.
During the perimenopausal years, lots of changes can happen to us, sexually. Hormone levels shift, and what once got you hot and bothered might just make you cranky and irritated!
Now, more than ever, it’s important to stay friends with your sexual self - whether it’s sex for one or with a partner.
Here are a few ways to keep your engine revved up!
1. Start foreplay early - morning wake-up kisses, hand holding, whispering (and texting!) sweet nothings during the day will keep you connected with your partner.
2. Thinking about sex and engaging in intimate activity will heighten your desire and push your sex drive, allowing you (and your partner, if you have one) more time and care to enjoy your sexual experiences to the fullest.
3. You don’t need a partner to enjoy your sexuality! Masturbation is not a consolation prize - it’s got plenty of benefits, and can be a lot of fun, all on its own. “Sex for one” releases tension, reduces stress, helps you sleep better, strengthens pelvic muscles, and improves self esteem and body image.
ACT: Think of the new ways you can be sexual — alone and with your partner — this month.
Decide… and then do it!
UP NEXT: LET’S PARTY!
As my book, Martinis & Menopause is now in production and it’s exciting to announce several things coming up: our FINAL Soirée before the big celebratory book launch, a reminder to you Salem ladies to buy your ticket to the upcoming theater performance of Calendar Girls, and a new website for the book!
It is such a good, rich life and I am grateful to have you here with me.
Soirée at Club Paradiso!
February 19th | 6pm - 8pm
195 High St. NE Salem, OR
This private dining club will be ours for the evening to soirée away! With it’s regal Gatsby-esque interior design, an extensive wine list, and full bar this is a perfect place for an M&M Soirée! I will be speaking, as I usually do, this time about SELF LOVE!
Thank you to owner Bernard Malherbe for hosting us!
Come to the Pentacle Theater
March 2 - 24!
(visit their website)
My spirit has been craving to perform in a show, so I decided to audition for the role of Chris in my local theater’s upcoming (hilarious!) production of Calendar Girls. I am happy to announce that I got the part! If you are in the Salem, OR area between March 2nd and March 24th, come to Pentacle Theater and prepare to be entertained! Visit their website for more information.
BOOK LAUNCH! BOOK LAUNCH! BOOK LAUNCH! BOOK LAUNCH! BOOK LAUNCH!
SAVE THIS DATE: WED, APRIL 4, 2018
The Martinis & Menopause Book Launch
Where the Sidewalk Begins Gallery & Gift Shop
Salem-Keizer Education Foundation
233 Commercial St. NE Salem, OR 97301
Stay tuned! More delicious details coming soon!
Happy February, all!
(Make those appointments, ok?)
I’m Kelli. I am a menopause survivor, who has catapulted, stumbled, laughed, and cried my way to the other side of perimenopause and menopause. Along the way I’ve learned invaluable tips and resources to live my best self and beat the Hormone Groan!
No longer a hormone hostage (at least most days), my goal is to help you live well and with personal power through all the changes we go through in this incredible journey of life!