Loosely defined as starting after a woman hasn’t had a period for at least 12 months, menopause affects everyone at different rates and ages but typically begins at around age 51. Many people have a lot of questions about this time, such as “are hormones high or low during menopause?” The reality is that it’s a different experience for everyone but there are things you can do to help balance your hormones.

Stay Moisturized
Menopause causes hormonal fluctuations that cause your skin to change. Right before or during the onset, you might notice your skin is thinner, dryer, and developing more wrinkles. You may even start experiencing acne again. Using moisturizers before putting on makeup and before going to bed at night, applying lotion throughout the day, and using moisturizing body washes may help to ease some of the symptoms related to changing skin during menopause.

Wear SPF Daily
Proper sun protection is essential at all points of life but becomes even more important at the onset of menopause. As your skin thins, it becomes more susceptible to damage that can lead to wrinkles, age spots, and even cancer. Use products with at least an SPF 30 every day that you’ll be outside, even if it’s only for a few minutes. Try moisturizers and makeup products with sunscreen in them for additional protection. If you’ll be outside more than normal, be sure to apply again throughout the day.

Eat the Right Foods
The right nutrition is necessary to ensure menopause goes as smoothly as possible. This includes eating plenty of protein, which has amino acids to produce peptide hormones. These hormones are important for helping you regulate your metabolism, appetite, and even stress. Lowering sugar intake is also necessary. This ensures hormones are balanced and that your body isn’t resisting insulin. Healthy fats, plenty of fiber, and probiotics promote feeling full, maintaining metabolism, and good gut health.

Get Plenty of Exercise
Regular exercise is part of staying healthy during menopause as well. It helps you maintain a moderate weight, which helps to keep hormones more balanced and prevents the issues related to gaining weight. Getting out and moving more is also important for enhancing the sensitivity of your hormone receptors, which allows your body to deliver nutrients and hormone signals throughout the body. Exercise also helps to alleviate stress and ease the symptoms of menopause mood swings.

Practice Good Sleep Hygiene
Hot flashes and other hormonal changes make it harder to sleep during menopause, but it’s still important to do as much as you can to get good rest every night. Try to go to bed at the same time every night and get up at the same time every morning. Avoid spending too much time on your screens before going to bed and avoid alcohol or caffeine too late in the day. Trying menopause relief supplements or other medications may help you sleep as well.

Menopause happens to every woman eventually but it doesn’t mean you can’t be prepared for it. By taking care of yourself at home and talking to your family doctor, you can better prepare yourself for the experience.