At Laughology we like to help people to think differently about the menopause.
It can be an extremely challenging time for a significant proportion of women and the people they live and work closely with.
Former Chair of the British Menopause Society, Dr Heather Currie, writes: “The menopause is important and can have significant consequences, but should not be dreaded as a serious illness.”
We have a choice. We can shrug our shoulders and dismiss it with unhelpful language like ‘women’s problems, eh?’, or we can all embrace it, learn about it, support each other and find solutions to manage this inevitable and natural human process.
There are myriad menopausal symptoms that can be experienced. Just because they are inevitable, doesn’t mean they should be stoically tolerated. There are solutions to help women cope. For example, vaginal dryness? Don’t procrastinate, lubricate! Hot flushes? How about desk fans, cotton clothing and HRT*? Mindfulness, meditation and cognitive behavioural therapy can alleviate anxiety. Explore what works. The menopause is not a one-size-fits-all experience and the severity of symptoms and the success of solutions vary significantly amongst individuals.
Lack of energy is a challenging reality for many menopausal women who are often juggling careers, childcare and/or caring for ailing parents. This is a time when more energy is required, not less. Avoid the temptation to inject your eyeballs with coffee. Try introducing safer remedies such as sleep hygiene methods. Decrease your intake of rich foods and caffeine. Do more of what gives you a natural buzz, like being outdoors and spending time with people who make you feel good while avoiding those ‘mood hoovers.’
Menopause is not a dirty word. Let’s talk about it so it becomes part of everyday language. Display helpful information in the workplace in common areas for both men and women to access.
Really? Yes. Let’s embrace the menopause as an opportunity to stop and assess work-life balance, positive coping strategies and support structures. Once you’ve assessed your situation, take action.
Perimenopause refers to the period (pardon the pun) of time leading up to when those pesky periods finally stop and menopausal symptoms are experienced. Many people are unaware of this and often ignore symptoms or frighten themselves by assuming something more sinister is happening to them. Discovering the perimenopause can actually be a huge relief. Knowledge is power.
It is no use burying your head in the sand. You, or someone you care about, will go through the menopause. Acceptance allows you to move forward.
Understanding what your colleague/partner/relative is going through, and letting them know you are there to listen, signpost, and support cannot be underestimated. The menopause need not be a lonely experience.
Looking after the basics really does help with menopause management. Drink plenty of water, exercise, eat well and take time out for yourself. The right measures mean that you and those around you will benefit, so it needn’t be perceived as selfish.
We are all affected directly or indirectly by the menopause. Let’s think differently about it.
Workplace menopause workshop
Bespoke menopause awareness programme for your organisation
Our workshops educate and inform about the challenges and myths around the menopause and investigate best practice on how to support people and help them continue effectively in their roles.
*Most women experiencing menopausal symptoms can take HRT and many women have found HRT to be very helpful. HRT may not be suitable for you if you have a history of breast/ovarian/womb cancer, a history of blood clots, have liver disease or have untreated blood pressure.