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Niecy Nash-Betts Talks Menopause, Hot Flashes, and the Power of Skinny-Dipping – best news

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Niecy Nash-Betts is hot. Yes, her career is on fire (did you see her iconic Emmy’s speech last year?). But she also quite literally feels hot, she tells me during our conversation at the Pendry Hotel in New York at the end of March. Donning a blazing red suit, the “Dahmer” actor admits that she is in her menopause era and owning it.

But while the hot flashes weren’t a surprise, just about everything else about menopause was. Growing up, Nash-Betts didn’t understand what menopause was or how it impacted the body. “My mama failed me without giving all the information,” she tells PS. “But you don’t know what you don’t know.”

In her 50s, Nash-Betts would become more familiar with the other life changes tied to menopause, including hair thinning, skin dryness, and fatigue — although she didn’t immediately realize that last symptom was related to menopause. “I’m a hard-working Black woman, I’m always tired,” Nash-Betts tells PS. Her first-hand experience with a lack of knowledge about the life stage is why she’s partnered with Versalie, a digital-first platform offering support and resources for all things menopause.

One key aspect of getting educated about the realities of menopause is breaking apart misconceptions — like that there’s no fun after menopause. Nash-Betts is living proof that that’s not true. When asked about how she likes to stay healthy these days, she tells PS, “My health routine these days looks like skinny-dipping.” It’s something that she and wife Jessica Betts love doing together, and often. “Right after I won my my Emmy…[we went] skinny-dipping. We went straight to the pool, trophy and all,” she says.

Not only does it feel good — “you’re swimming back and forth, kiss a little bit in the middle, and then you swim a little bit more” — skinny-dipping also a total-body workout, Nash-Betts says.

In terms of other fitness trends, she tries to stay away from the ones that don’t quite make sense to her. “I don’t understand people working out with goats, and lambs, and baby pigs. I don’t know what they’re doing in there,” Nash-Betts tells PS. As far as she’s concerned, if she wanted to go to the farm she would — and the same goes for yoga. “When you put the two of them together, it’s just a lot going on,” she says. She’d rather invest her time in something that she knows will yield benefits: therapy.

“We live there,” she tells PS, admitting it’s a non-negotiable of being in a relationship with her. “My better half and I go separate and together — it’s a necessary evil.” That said, finding the right therapist hasn’t been without its hurdles. But she encourages everyone to stick it out, likening the journey to dating. “You have to try [therapists] on for size,” she tells PS. And just like finding a potential partner, “a referral from a friend is usually the best way to go,” she adds.

Which brings her back to the menopause conversation. When it comes to navigating the life stage, Nash-Betts hopes to be a kind of referral for other women — and particular Black women, who often aren’t privy to the conversation and may find themselves silenced in their own health journeys.

“I hope that people see themselves,” Nash-Betts says of her partnership with Versalie. “Let me let me be a part of the conversation and the solution.”

Alexis Jones is the senior health editor at POPSUGAR. Her areas of expertise include women’s health, mental health, racial and ethnic disparities in healthcare, diversity in wellness, and chronic conditions. Prior to joining POPSUGAR, she was the senior editor at Health magazine. Her other bylines can be found at Women’s Health, Prevention, Marie Claire, and more.

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