Some women have a smooth menopause transition, with little impact, while others may suffer from uncomfortable and even debilitating symptoms. Menopause can make you feel off-balance and unlike yourself. Hot flashes, insomnia, weight gain, night sweats, and mood swings can make it difficult enough at home — but what about the workplace?
This period of life impacts many women who are at the peak of their careers and still managing other responsibilities like raising children. Getting through the day and staying focused at work can be a challenge when you aren’t sleeping well at night from discomfort. Six out of ten menopausal women say menopausal symptoms negatively impact their work.
In most workplaces, menopause is not a common topic of discussion but nearly half of the world’s population will experience this transition. It can be frustrating when menopausal symptoms impact your work and add stress to your day. But you don’t have to suffer in silence or put your career on hold.
Here are some steps you can take to help manage your menopausal symptoms at work:
If changing the temperature on the thermostat isn’t possible, consider moving closer to the AC vent or a window. Ask if you can plug in a personal fan for your desk to make you more comfortable.
Get the support you need
You may feel you need to hide your symptoms and act like you’re fine when you’re really not. Get the support you need. Whether that means contacting your doctor and making sure the symptoms you’re experiencing are menopause-related or need to talk to your boss about ways your workplace can be more understanding, don’t be afraid to speak up and advocate for yourself.
Get enough sleep
With hot flashes and night sweats, sleeping can be hard when you’re going through menopause. You may need to adopt an earlier bedtime to ensure you’re getting enough sleep. Aim for at least 8-9 hours.
It’s impossible to eliminate stress entirely but we can exercise some control by practicing stress reduction techniques. Deep breathing, meditation, and yoga are all great tools to lower your stress, decrease menopausal symptoms, and even help a hot flash pass quicker.
Drinking enough water is important, especially during menopause when hot flashes and stress can deplete your body of the fluids it needs.
Dress in layers so you can remove clothing during a hot flash. Stick to cotton and light, breathable fabrics.
Avoid problem foods
Spicy foods and caffeine can set off and aggravate hot flashes. Make sure you eat plenty of healthy vegetables, whole grains, and healthy snacks to keep your blood sugar stable and stay full longer.
If you’re struggling with concentration and forgetfulness, it’s time to be proactive with organization. Leave yourself notes, put reminders on your phone, and stay on top of your calendar so you can stay on top of your to-dos.