How to Manage Perimenopause Symptoms Back at the Office
Reviewed by Dr. Lisa Czanko MD, MPH
One of the silver linings of working from home for the last two years? People experiencing perimenopause (the transitional phase before menopause) suddenly had much more flexibility to care for themselves without the watchful eye of a micromanaging boss.
But as employees start to head back to the office, people experiencing perimenopause will need to readjust. Like it or not, it’s possible that your perimenopause symptoms will affect you at work. However, a few new routines and supplies can help you adjust to this new normal. Here’s what to know about perimenopause and work.
How To Manage Perimenopause Symptoms At The Office
When working from home, those experiencing perimenopause symptoms had more options to manage their symptoms and their workload. Hot flashes? Wear shorts – no one can see them on Zoom. Difficulty sleeping? Take a 20-minute power nap between meetings. Surprised by irregular bleeding? No big deal, pop over to your bathroom to grab your preferred tampon or pad.
But when you return to the office, that type of flexibility and comfort isn’t always possible. Instead, here are some helpful strategies to manage perimenopause symptoms at the office.
Try our new perimenopause assessment
1. Talk to your medical provider about medication
For example, birth control may help ease some of the common symptoms of perimenopause, like menstrual irregularity, heavy periods, painful periods, and hot flashes.
2. Start a mindfulness routine
Mindfulness based stress reduction has been shown to significantly reduce the amount of distress that people with hot flashes and night sweats experience. Mindfulness and relaxation training has also been shown to improve sleep quality, quality of life, and attention levels in postmenopausal people.
3. Stock your desk
Make sure to have a few perimenopause essentials on hand: extra tampons or pads, fresh underwear (and clothes if you have space), and a small fan. You might also stash a few ice packs in the freezer of your office kitchen for hot flashes.
4. Advocate for perimenopausal people whenever possible
If you’re comfortable, be honest with your co-workers about when you need to take a break from a meeting to let a hot flash pass, or if you’re experiencing difficulty focusing as a result of your own symptoms.
If you’re a manager, in leadership, or in HR, you have the power to make your workplace more welcoming to perimenopausal employees. Build a flexible team culture that prioritizes employee self-care and allows for employees to adjust their work schedule based on personal needs.
Try our new sleep supplement for better rest.
Start Talking About Perimenopause At Work
It’s no secret that reproductive health is considered a taboo subject. Especially at the office, perimenopause and menopause is often a sensitive topic.
Typically the average person transitions into menopause between the ages of 45 and 55. Workplace ageism may discourage or prevent people from being open and honest about perimenopause and the medical symptoms they’re experiencing.
However, perimenopause and menopause are completely normal parts of life, and we need to shift the narrative. Symptoms should be seen as no different than those of any other medical condition.
By treating these important life transitions with confidence and without discrimination, workplaces can create a more welcoming, accommodating environment for someone to thrive at any phase of life.
Our Simple Note
You deserve to feel comfortable and supported in your workplace. And one major part of feeling supported is knowing that you have the space to speak your truth about the issues you’re facing. Perimenopause is as common as the cold and as ordinary as a bad Zoom connection. By speaking matter-of-factly about perimenopause in the workplace, we’re paving the way for others to do the same. At SimpleHealth we are dedicated to raising awareness and resourcing you so that you’re empowered to succeed – during perimenopause and beyond.
Try our new perimenopause assessment
*Information in this article was taken from other SimpleHealth blogs and our perimenopause guide. For specific citations please refer to the blogs linked in this article and view their citations.
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