Breaking through Bio-Disruptions – Women’s Health in the Workplace (pt.2)
disturbance or problems which interrupt an event, activity, or process
I knew a woman within my faith-based circles who could always make me laugh with her one repetitive antidote, “Yesterday I walking through the house trying to figure out where all that screaming and uncontrollable crying noise was coming from…and then I remembered it was me!” She would often times cup my 22-year-old chubby cheeks in her hands, pull my face close to hers and say, “pretty girl, don’t go through the change.” 15 years or so later, and many women are searching to find out where that screaming is coming from, but in their office. It isn’t a secret that women are covering more ground in the workplace. Companies are updating policies to help women find work/life balance, providing benefits that encourage raising families, and having more conversations about pay equity, yet menopause is still such a hush hush topic. As mentioned in part one of this series, YBD has made it our aim to talk more about how Women’s Health affects the Woman at the workplace, and we’re dedicating part two to our Aunt Flow’s older cousin, Menopause.
As the body enters its exit of the reproductive stage, evicts menstruation from its monthly routine, changes chemically and hormonally, what it forgets to do is ask permission before the hot flashes start during the large board meeting. The body in transition also doesn’t take into account you’re probably not okay with night sweats and mild insomnia the night before your 6am flight to meet the client in Dallas. Help? Below are a few tips that can be incorporated into an existing menopause care plan.
1.) Take one day at a time.
Dealing with the way your body feels from day-to-day or your new reactions to (perhaps) common situations will take some getting used to. Don’t be in a hurry to figure it out all at once.
2.) Be as transparent as possible with your leader and your team.
Short phrases like, “Before we start today’s meeting, I need your help. I’ve got some things going on health-wise and may be (insert emotion or reaction) more than normal. So, if you notice a difference, bear with me and keep me honest.”
This is a great time to have a conversation with your leader, especially if you’ll need to adjust some of your responsibilities or take advantage of some work from home days.
3.) Participate in any Wellness or Employee Assistance Programs your company offers.
Along with keeping in lock step with your healthcare professional, take advantage of any wellness programs your company offers. Is there a group fitness class during lunch? Company nutritionist? Taking control of the controllable items such as diet and exercise will help. Some EAPs offer counseling for free or on a discounted basis if your care routine needs to include cognitive behavioral therapy and emotional support.
As the world asks for businesses to do more for women in their 40s, 50s and 60s, we want to help women embrace and celebrate this change in life. Menopause doesn’t mean an end to your career or professional acumen. Your Big Debut does not advocate one type of medicine, treatment option, hospital or doctor over another and is in no way shape or form qualified to give medical advice. In the meantime, Good Health and Wellness Wishes to you as you slay your work day!