According to AARP, nearly 35 percent of the workforce is over 50. The vast majority of women are managing menopausal symptoms at work. While menopause is a natural cycle, there are clear strategies to improve your experience. Here’s what you need to know.
1. Quit smoking
A five-year Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey found that women who smoke tobacco products enter menopause around one year earlier than those who don’t. Studies like this show a clear connection between lifestyle choices and the menopause experience.
In addition to the potential for going into menopause earlier, smoking while in menopause increases your risk of:
- Breast cancer (19 percent increased risk)
- More weight gain than a non-smoker
- Faster appearance of aging
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Gum disease
- Taking longer to heal
Each of these can lead to:
- Lack of confidence
- Lower productivity
- Days off work
If you’re still trying to quit, here are more reasons to make this time the last time.
2. Avoid alcohol (at home)
The North American Menopause Society suggests that alcohol in moderation is OK for a person in menopause, but too much alcohol enhances symptoms. Not drinking alcohol at home will help you get more out of your workdays with fewer disruptions from menopausal symptoms.
When you’re in menopause, you’re going through some biological changes that make you more sensitive to alcohol. For example, you have less water stored in your cartilage and tendons. It’s easier for you to become dehydrated and more likely that you’ll feel awful the next day.
3. Consider the quality of your diet
You know it’s true. Almost every ailment can be traced back to what you’re putting into your body. While eating a healthy diet won’t end menopausal symptoms at work, eating well reduces symptom intensity and frequency.
When you meet with Rickie Guida, WHNP-BC, at Alpenglow Gynocology, she works with you to make the best choices for your health.
4. Practice healthy sleep
You can tell when you got a good night’s sleep. You feel more alert at work without the need for coffee. You have more energy to get things done.
Each night, you go through a series of sleep cycles. Each cycle serves a purpose. Better sleep means faster healing, more energy, more effective memory, and improved mental clarity.
Menopause disrupts these sleep cycles, so it’s important to get the best sleep you can by making smart sleep choices like:
- Setting a regular bedtime, even on the weekends.
- Avoiding caffeine later in the day. Some women find that avoiding all caffeine is best.
- Restricting device usage close to bedtime.
Give your sleep time the attention it deserves to have better days at work.
5. Get more physical activity
We can’t say enough about the benefits of physical activity for managing menopause. When you exercise regularly, you have better sleep, and your hormones stay in better balance.
Have you found yourself getting less exercise these days? Get back on that regular routine, including:
- Weight training to keep your bones stronger
- Flexibility exercises like yoga to ease aching joints and improve blood flow
- Cardio like fast walking or spinning to keep the heart strong
Are you feeling tired or irritable at work? Even doing a little more exercise each day helps.
6. Get up from your desk
Mental fog and mood changes can make a normal day at work feel challenging. It sounds cliché, but sometimes you just need some fresh air.
Even if you exercise each morning, sitting for long periods of time reduces circulation. It impacts how well hormones, nutrients, and oxygen get to the body.
Get up and walk around for at least five minutes every hour. Managing menopause symptoms at work becomes easier when you take care of this basic need.
7. Consider hormone replacement
Menopause is a natural cycle. All women experience it, but it can be managed with hormone replacement therapy. Hormone replacement can reduce the severity of symptoms as it balances your body for a better experience.
Don’t go through this alone. We can help you manage symptoms at work and beyond. Book online today.