Are you going through the menopause but also working? If so, you are in very good company. 75-80% of women living with the menopause are in work. Although menopause is a natural stage of life, it can cause issues, and for one out of every four women those issues can be severe and debilitating, and can impact negatively on their work.
14 million working days are lost each year through menopausal related absences, and some women actually go as far as leaving their role because their symptoms become too difficult to handle within the workplace. Yet despite these statistics, a study carried out by Forthwithlife in 2019 reported that 90% of women said their workplaces offered no support to women in the menopause.
If this is your experience, try talking with a manager you think might be open to this, and explain how you are feeling and what might help you to cope more easily. The changes that need to happen can be simple and inexpensive. Often a raised awareness of the subject, and an opportunity to access both formal and informal sources of support can make a huge difference.
The last team that I managed had several women going through the menopause, and I found that setting up a support group – where staff could come together, talk openly about menopause and support each other – worked really well, and sometimes made the difference between someone being able to continue in their role and walking away.
Whether or not you are working, self-care is also very important for women living with the menopause. Making sure that you have times when you can put yourself first and step away from everything else is essential. Just a bit of time to focus on you – to relax and to do something you really enjoy doing – can give such a boost. Focussing on ways of improving sleep, diet and exercise can all help with feelings of wellbeing.
Peer support is also very important. However supportive partners might be, this stage of life can feel quite isolating. It is easy to feel that we are alone, and no-one else is experiencing what we are. It’s true that everyone experiences menopause in their own way, but nevertheless there are common symptoms and feelings. So really there is no better way to combat feelings of isolation than to share what is happening to us with female friends. Simply talking and sharing can make us feel so much better. Peer support also gives us an opportunity to share ideas, tips and hints and gives us support through the bad days. I had a good friend, also going through the menopause, who helped me through some of my bad days – we laughed together, cried together, and finished each other’s sentences when we were groping for words!
So, the message really is – don’t suffer alone! If you are having a tough time with the menopause, reach out. There are people who can help, and there are things you can try that will help you live well in this stage of life.
At Menopause and Me, we are passionate about helping women to live well at this time.
We can offer:
- Help to your workplace to enable them to become more ‘menopause friendly’
- A Talk shop to give individual women an opportunity to talk openly about the menopause, to share ideas and gain support
- Individual support sessions
- Resilience training for individuals/Team Leaders.
Do please contact us if you would like to talk through how we might be able to help. We would love to hear from you.
In the meantime –
Happy World Menopause Day!!