Managing menopause symptoms helps women stay comfortable in the workplace as they move through this new stage in life.
Menopause often arrives during a time when many women are hitting their peak working years. Trying to give a major presentation during a hot flash or forgetting a colleague’s name are common situations for women in menopause that can throw them off track. Although women’s rights in the workplace are gaining more ground, there still remains some stigma regarding discussions about something that all women will go through at some point. Finding ways to help women manage their menopause symptoms in the workplace can keep them focused and ready to make strides in their careers.
How to Stop Hot Flashes in Their Tracks
Hot flashes are one of the hallmark symptoms of menopause. While some women only have mild hot flashes, others have ones that are severe enough to interfere with their comfort during their workday. Women who have hot flashes may need to make a few changes in their workplace to make managing menopause symptoms easier. If possible, they can try to move their desk to a cooler part of the building. Some women find it effective to sit near an open window or to use a portable desk fan when they can’t control the thermostat. Dressing in light layers is also helpful. Women can simply remove a top sweater if they begin to feel the heat creeping up their neck.
Strategies to Get More Restful Sleep
Sometimes, making a few changes at home is helpful for overcoming challenges in the workplace. Menopause disrupts sleep for many women. Insomnia, frequent wakings and night sweats are a few issues that women report during menopause, and they can all contribute to the feelings of brain fog that interfere with work. During menopause, women may want to head to bed earlier to compensate for getting fewer hours of sleep through the night. It may also be helpful to exercise during the day and avoid stimulants before bedtime.
Ways to Cut Down On Stress and Mood Swings
Menopause also tends to hit when women are dealing with a large amount of stress in their lives. Women going through menopause may still be raising children, caring for a parent or experiencing other health issues that make this time extra challenging. Even workplace stress could exacerbate symptoms. Women may want to seek out a confidant that they can talk to about the issues that they face. Receiving understanding feedback helps women to benefit from having their symptoms acknowledged. This is also a great time to implement new stress reduction strategies. Journaling, meditation and even taking long walks are all ways to help women destress and reduce their likelihood of experiencing mood swings.
Know When to Seek Help with Managing Menopause Symptoms
There are times when it is necessary to seek professional help with menopause symptoms. Women who experience more severe symptoms can often benefit from options that include both hormonal and non-hormonal medications. A visit to the doctor also gives women the opportunity to make sure that their symptoms are not related to other types of health problems. For example, hot flashes can sometimes occur with certain medications. Finding out if the symptoms are definitely related to menopause can relieve anxiety in women who feel like their bodies are changing so rapidly.
Tactics Employers Can Use to Support Women in Menopause
The menopausal years are also a time when women are most likely to be entering a leadership position in the workplace. This puts women in a great position to advocate for more understanding about the impact of menopause on women who work outside of the home. When women in leadership roles open up about their symptoms, it helps to remove the stigma that comes with discussions of women’s health topics. For example, a woman might suggest loosening up dress codes to include uniforms that help women to stay cooler during a management meeting. When menopause becomes an open topic, women can benefit from more helpful changes in their work environment.
Menopause doesn’t have to bring women’s careers to a halt. Instead, empathy and compassion go a long way toward helping women feel safe managing their symptoms. With a little self-care and understanding from others, women can make it through menopause while continuing to enjoy productive careers.