You’re going through menopause, which is difficult enough, but you also have work responsibilities while experiencing the uncomfortable and sometimes embarrassing symptoms associated with this change in your life. This can feel extremely frustrating, but trust us, there are ways you can manage your symptoms and get more comfortable while on the job.
Dr. Judson Shelnutt, as well as the rest of our team at Shelnutt Gynecology located in Athens, Georgia, wants to help you minimize the severity of your menopausal symptoms with fewer disruptions to your day-to-day life, including going to work without discomfort, pain, or other issues. Here are some of our best tips for managing menopausal symptoms at work.
1. Stay hydrated
Drinking water throughout your workday is one of the best ways to minimize menopausal symptoms. For one, drinking water can help with feelings of skin dryness and bloating caused by menopause, which are both side effects of lowered estrogen.
2. Eliminate the coffee
Avoid caffeine, as it can exacerbate the symptoms of menopause. If you absolutely have to have a morning pick-me-up, try green tea instead, which is loaded with antioxidants and has far less caffeine than coffee.
3. Deep breathing
Have you ever tried yoga? If not, it might be time to start. You’ll learn relaxation techniques that you can bring with you to work. For example, deep breathing is a great way to manage a hot flash. If you can stay calm, it will minimize the severity of the symptoms, making it less likely to overwhelm you.
4. Keep a fan beside you
Consider keeping a fan at your desk for those times you experience hot flashes. Many people do this anyway, just because offices can often get stuffy, so you won’t be drawing extra attention to yourself. And it’s better than fanning yourself with a folder if you get a little warm.
5. Dress for symptom relief success
We know all jobs have their own dress code, but you can dress appropriately for work and still avoid feeling overheated. Ditch the wool sweaters and thick blazers and wear cool, breathable clothes that are still work-appropriate. If it’s cold outside, dress in layers, so you can remove a few when you’re in the office.
6. Try supplements
Before you head out the door, try taking a few supplements that can be helpful during this time in your life. Black cohosh, evening primrose oil, and probiotics have all been found to be helpful for many women going through menopause. However, it’s still important to discuss these with Dr. Shelnutt to make sure they won’t interfere with any medications you’re currently taking.
7. Do your Kegels
According to the Office of Women’s Health, Kegel exercises help strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. This is a simple way to fight urinary problems like urge incontinence, which often occurs with menopause. You can easily practice your Kegels while sitting at your desk.
8. If you need to go, go!
Still, we don’t advise holding your urine by any means. Kegels are a good first step, but menopause will make trips to the bathroom more frequent regardless. If you need to use the restroom, do so. Your health and safety should always come before making a meeting or sending an email.
9. Talk to someone
You probably won’t want to tell everyone in the office that you’re going through menopause, but choosing to share it with a few sympathetic coworkers or a superior can help remove some of the pressure of hiding your symptoms.
10. Take a day off
If you’re at the point of exhaustion and your hot flashes kept you up all night, or you are simply not feeling like yourself, consider taking a sick day. You are, after all, dealing with a major physical change, and your body will need time to adjust.
Want to learn more about coping with menopausal symptoms?
We understand that every work environment is different, as well as the fact that a host of symptoms not mentioned here might occur during your menopause. If you want to learn more and get personalized from Dr. Shelnutt, consider making an appointment by calling 706-225-8551 or by requesting an appointment online.