How to Cope With Menopause at Work
Rochelle Weitzner | September 30, 2019
Even though we all know we’ll get through menopause, as countless generations before us have (and without the aid of hormone replacement therapy or central air, no less), this transformative time in life can still be somewhat overwhelming. In your private life, you have plenty of space to learn to cope with symptoms and seek the answers to pressing questions like “What are hot flashes?” and “How long do hot flashes last?”, for example.
This may not be the case in your professional life, though, where bodily functions tend to be treated as an annoyance at best. You might be understandably concerned about becoming the office pariah until you return to “normal.” Ladies, listen up. Menopause IS normal. It’s a natural part of life that every woman will go through and it doesn’t have to hold you back personally or professionally.
The trick is to understand the changes you’re experiencing so that you can find effective ways to cope, maintain your confidence, and love your body for the strength and beauty it provides. In other words, you must empower yourself to keep moving forward, even when dealing with menopause at work. Here are a few tips and tricks to create a comfortable and manageable work environment.
Talk to Your Boss
If your boss doesn’t know what you’re going through, he/she may not understand the symptoms you’re experiencing, especially if you’re dealing with a younger person unfamiliar with menopause. It’s important to keep the lines of communication open so that your boss understands your situation and can accommodate you if needed.
Remember that people aren’t psychic – you can’t just expect them to know what you’re going through. Menopause is a natural part of life and it’s nothing to be embarrassed about, so don’t shy away from the conversation. In this day and age, we should be able to speak openly and honestly about this life change, and if you think you might need some leeway or you’re having trouble adjusting, letting people know is the surest way to find a sympathetic ear.
Whether you’re experiencing hot flashes, brain fog, or inexplicable mood swings, you don’t want to alienate your boss and coworkers by sprinting to the bathroom to hide and regroup 10 times a day. Effective communication can help to make everyone more comfortable and pave the way for some latitude when you need to address a sticky situation, like figuring out the best way to soothe a hot flash.
According to the American Psychological Association, the 2015 Stress in America Survey concluded that 65% of Americans cite work as the greatest source of stress in their lives. This doesn’t necessarily bode well for your ability to manage menopause at work, especially since stress is often a major trigger for hot flashes. The good news is that you can try several coping mechanisms to deal with stress, including:
- Tracking stressors in a journal to increase awareness
- Creating healthy boundaries to keep stress at bay
- Responding to stress in healthy ways
- Using meditation/breathing to relax
- Disconnecting from sources of stress to reenergize and rally
- Talking about it and seeking support
Stress can exacerbate the worst symptoms of menopause, including hot flashes, mood swings, depression, insomnia, memory issues, aches and pains, weight gain, and more. Having coping strategies prepared can help you to weather the storm and minimize lost productivity at work.
Walk Softly and Carry a Hand Fan
Pretty much every woman in the throes of menopause has stopped to ask, “Where do hot flashes come from?” At some point, of course, it’s more important to understand how to get rid of them, and in the moment, the best way is to cool yourself down. This can be accomplished with calming breaths, hydration, and the simple act of fanning oneself and using our Hot Flash Cooling Mist. Trust us, you’ll want to always keep a small hand fan and this spray in your handbag for when hot flashes strike.
Bring a Change of Clothes
There are plenty of hot flash remedies you can try to combat this common symptom of menopause, including our Cooling Mist, but often you’ll simply find that you just need to calm yourself and allow it to pass. Unfortunately, this could leave you a sweaty mess in the meantime.
If you’re suffering frequent hot flashes and you can’t seem to prevent them through diet, exercise, and other changes to your regimen, your best bet is simply to come prepared to deal with the aftermath. This means packing a change of clothes and essential touch-up items like deodorant, dry shampoo, and blotting papers to undo sweat damage and return to the work at hand, polished and refreshed.
With a targeted skincare line like Pause and cosmetics designed for women undergoing this transformation, you’re all set for success in the workplace. Embracing the next phase of life and feeling beautiful and composed in the office throughout isn’t easy, but with help from a supportive community of women like you, your path forward is made much easier.
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American Psychological Association
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