Book review

Don't Sweat It

Nicky Pellegrino

In a few words

Don’t Sweat it is the best kind of self-help book: accessible and easy to read, it discusses the joys and pitfalls of the ruahinetanga (menopause), offers lots of suggestions for weathering the changes, and has a message of hope from those on the other side – that life just gets better. 

Great for

Women going through peri-menopause or menopause, and those supporting someone who is. Even women for whom the menopause is a fond memory may be able to consider and better understand their own experience in retrospect.    

Why I love this book

Menopause has had a significant profile boost over the last few years, as celebrities and influencers share their experiences to help demystify something that was never discussed in the past, except as a whispered reference to ‘the change,’ an undefined thing to dread. The way society has approached the topic in the past stigmatised a normal part of ageing, making it harder for women to get help when they needed it. And historically, the remedies were rather unpleasant, and too reliant on the application of leeches.

Broken into 19 chapters, dealing with topics from, mood swings, to sleeplessness, to ageing and hormone replacement therapy, Nicky Pellegrino talks about her own experience of going through menopause, and includes lots of interesting stories from other women too, detailing the challenges they have faced. It was comforting to read about how these women came through a pretty rough time, to feel stronger and more at ease with themselves, now confident in who they are as a person.   

This book uses practical approach to dealing with the challenges that come with menopause, and the author emphasises that there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Readers are encouraged to set themselves up for success early, by making lifestyle changes, going to their doctor, and asking for help when things become unmanageable.

My one criticism would be

The only criticism is that Don’t Sweat it was not available to women sooner – we all deserve to understand peri-menopause and menopause, and to feel confident when entering a new phase of life.

Lisa Mitchell

Book Notes Coordinator

Lisa likes reading books outside her comfort zone and, through her book group, has discovered a love for memoirs.

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