Lisa Snowdon on managing stress during the menopause: ‘We can go a bit slower and look after ourselves'
Lisa Snowdon has discussed the stigma she believes still exists in talking about the menopause and opened up about needing to avoid certain stress triggers while going through it.
The TV and radio presenter, 51, has reflected on how she managed her symptoms after she went into perimenopause aged 44.
While she says taking hormone replacement therapy (HRT) "really helped" her, she also advises women to work out their “triggers” to help manage stress as they enter the menopause.
“As we get into the perimenopause and menopause, processing stress can be hard. Working out your triggers can help," she tells Women's Health magazine.
“If it’s certain people, try to avoid them. If it’s caffeine, stop at one coffee. And if you say yes to everything, be mindful of that.
“We may not be able to do all the things that we used to do, but we can go a bit slower and look after ourselves.”
Read more: Emma Thompson calls for menopause to become protected characteristic in Equality Act
The broadcaster is a self-described “holistic, hippy-dippy person” and alongside managing her stress levels, she practises mindfulness, meditation, acupuncture, reflexology and keeping a journal.
“I’ve got crystals and I love burning sage,” she revealed.
“I sometimes have one-on-one sessions with a PT [physical trainer] called Paul. He’s a life coach and, like me, he’s quite spiritual. We have some great chats between sets.”
Read more: How menopause can affect your mood and other things you need to know
She has also begun incorporating resistance training into her fitness regime as well as aiming to complete 10,000 steps a day.
“Don’t underestimate the power of a brisk walk or a hike,” she said.
“I make sure I get a walk in every day and I’m always aiming to complete my 10,000 steps.
“My partner George and I live really close to Epping Forest, so we’re lucky to have the opportunity to get plenty of fresh air in our lungs and see the seasons changing.”
Watch: Govt announces women to get year's supply of HRT for £20
Elsewhere in the interview Snowdon shares why she is supporting a campaign to make HRT more accessible to women.
“I’m part of the Menopause Mandate campaign calling for HRT to be free on the NHS in England, like it is in Scotland and Wales," she says.
“Since I went into perimenopause at 44, HRT has really helped me, but there’s still some stigma around taking it – much like talking about the menopause in general.”
Read more: Kathy Burke considered taking own life during menopause
The Department of Health announced last month that from 1 April, women in England prescribed HRT as part of menopause treatment will be able to access a new scheme to enable access to a year’s worth of treatment for just under £20.
Health officials estimate that the change will benefit around 400,000 women, with a prescription pre-payment certificate for HRT valid for 12 months.
Under the plan, women can use the certificate against a list of HRT prescription items including patches, tablets and topical preparations.
It isn't the first time Snowdon has discussed how perimenopause and menopause symptoms impacted her life, having previously discussed how she was left feeling "quite lost" from her early 40s.
The presenter revealed that she started experiencing weight gain, as well as heart palpitations and night sweats, at the age of 42.
Speaking to the Mail on Sunday's You magazine, she said: "At its worst, I was three stone heavier than I wanted to be.
"I was having horrible palpitations before going to sleep, when it felt like someone was grabbing my heart and squeezing.
"I had night sweats and was waking up soaking, so I’d be shivering. Then the next day I was sleep-deprived and having hot flushes. I felt quite lost."
Read more: How can alcohol affect you during menopause?
Snowdon revealed that after time on antidepressants, she was prescribed HRT.
She said: "It’s been really helpful for me once I got the right balance."
Now going through the full menopause, Snowdon uses a daily oestrogen spray, progesterone pills and also applies testosterone gel.
The full Lisa Snowdon interview can be read in the April issue of Women’s Health UK, on sale now.
Additional reporting PA.