It’s nearly the end of November which means, if you’re like me, you have at least three weeks before you need to start seriously planning and buying holiday gifts.
If you’re one of those folks who likes to give actual gifts (as opposed to handwritten notes saying, “I got you an X; it’ll be here next Tuesday”), we’ve got some suggestions for you to give that wonderful, sexy, midlife someone, whether it’s your wife, girlfriend, best buddy, or self. A menopause care package never hurt anyone! Here are some gifts the team at Gennev recommends.
One: Help with menopausal night sweats /hot flashes. One of the worst aspects of hot flashes and night sweats is how they interrupt sleep. For women who wake at night from the heat, and then lie awake as the anxiety takes over, a weighted blanket made especially to keep her cool can be an amazing and wonderful gift. Check out the Iced Hush weighted blanket.
(Read up on one Gennev-er’s experience with hot flashes and how she handles the heat)
Two: Relief from symptoms. Many women report real relief from menopausal joint pain, hot flashes, anxiety, and interrupted sleep, thanks to acupuncture, so a gift certificate might be a great way to introduce a friend to this ancient practice. You’ll want to set her up with a licensed practitioner, so check to see if your state has a licensing requirement or consult the directory at the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine. Jennifer Mason of Vitamin Chi also suggests checking out websites to find an acupuncturist who specializes in the area your friend needs, whether it’s pain relief, fertility support, perimenopausal insomnia, etc. Acupuncture for menopause symptoms is a great alternative medicine. For another alternative medicine, we recommend you try black cohosh for hot flashes.
(What can fascia Chinese medicine do for you? Find out in this podcast with practitioner Jennifer Mason)
Three: Peace and quiet. Since we ran our story on how Deborah managed the stress of her breast cancer treatment by floating, we’ve heard a lot from other women who have tried it for various reasons. Nearly all reported an improvement in stress levels and sleep. Lying in a silent, dark tank full of warm salt water may sound like an odd way to manage stress, but reports are floating is a slice of sanity, especially in the mad holiday season. Menopause can really hamper peace and quiet, so this is a fantastic option to get some of that back. Single float, $89 at LifeFloat.
Four: Good food. We talk about nutrition again and again in our blogs: kicking sugar, eating healthy in the holidays, and so on because it’s so critical to nourish yourself right in midlife. So how about getting your buddy a gift certificate for the local organic market, or treating yourselves to some healthy cooking classes? And after you’ve cooked and consumed that healthy meal, there’s nothing better than chocolate that’s good for your skin, brain, heart, and hormones, says Nicole Negron, Certified Women’s Health and Nutrition Specialist.
Five: Exercise equipment to build muscle. Starting in our 30s, most of us begin losing muscle mass and function. Healthy muscles help with posture, balance, strength, metabolism, and general quality of life, so help your buddy keep what she’s got and even build more. We like Bintiva dumbbells because the colors make it easy to grab the ones you want quickly, and the hexagon shape keeps them from rolling under the furniture.
Six: Comfort for itchy skin. Midlife skin needs some special treatment to stay hydrated, which means no harsh soaps. Especially when you’re dealing with down-there care, you want to be sure anything that touches sensitive skin is super gentle and free of the sorts of chemicals, fragrances, and other additives that can irritate. Gennev Ultra-Gentle Body Wash and Cleansing Cloths are great for cleaning all of you without irritating any of you. After cleansing, Nicole recommends a probiotic moisturizer. Skin’s pH changes during midlife, Nicole says, and “this product helps retain moisture for improved suppleness and added glow. It also combats free radicals and calms inflammation to safeguard collagen.”
(ditch itchy menopause skin: tips on how to handle one of the most common symptoms)
Seven: Body-loving smarts. Team Gennev believes the book She-ology: The Definitive Guide to Women’s Intimate Health. Period. is a great gift for anyone and everyone. Dr. Sherry Ross is out to educate the world on vaginas, so we can all stop being fearful and embarrassed and start loving this part of our bodies. Ditching the taboos around vaginas and women’s bodies generally can help all women be healthier, and Dr. Sherry gives us a humorous, touching, seriously smart and entertaining way to get answers to those questions we’ve all been too embarrassed to ask.
Eight: Healthy pleasure. Appeal to all parts of your lady friend with the Lioness! This smart vibrator gives pleasure in more than just the “usual” ways – the built-in sensors also speak to her smart phone, giving her all kinds of fascinating information on her sexual response. She can track her orgasms, take notes on what factors might be involved on a given day (food, sleep, mood, cycle), and generally geek out on her O-information. Plus, orgasms are super healthy, so there’s that (here's our tips on how to orgasm better!). Learn more about the Lioness. $230 at lioness.io.
Nine: Essentials. According to Dr. Arianna Staruch of the Bastyr University School of Naturopathic Medicine, “the safest way to deliver essential oils is through the air in a diffuser. Make sure they are high quality, organic, and if possible, sustainably and ethically harvested. Oils like Sandalwood come from endangered trees. A good all-purpose essential oil is lavender, Lavendula angustifolia. It is one of the very few oils that can be used undiluted on the skin (unless you are allergic). Lavender is helpful to support skin health and is naturally antibacterial. It’s also calming and is great to use in a diffuser at night to promote restful sleep.”
Ten: Hair care. For a lot of women, hair care becomes a whole lot more challenging in midlife. Hair can become drier, more brittle, thinner, and limper. Teadora turns your shower into a rain forest, with all a rain forest’s nourishing, hydrating glory. We love this company because they are so environmentally aware, their products are all-natural, and their products and processes are healthy for women and the planet.
Eleven: Pain relief. Sex after menopause can be harder. Menopause and midlife can come with some extra aches in the joints and some all-over fatigue. Fight both with a potent and ancient pain reliever: hemp. Sagely Naturals has a cooling, non-greasy Relief and Recovery Cream that’s super lightweight and penetrates quickly. We appreciate that it’s made here in the US and isn’t tested on animals. Don’t worry – this is made from hemp, so it’s legal nationwide and won’t affect drug tests or cause you to feel the effects of THC.
Bonus gift: You. One great gift that won’t cost you anything is the gift of your support. Menopause is a challenging time for many women. Understanding the challenges your friend (partner, mom, sister, colleague) is going through and rallying around her when she needs you (and disappearing when she really just doesn’t) might be the best, most valuable gift of all. Thanks for asking.
If you try any of these products or have other suggestions for great gifts for a midlife, menopausal gal, we’d love for you to share. Check in with other women in the same situation on our Community forums!