World Menopause Day is held every year on the 18th October. The aim of the day is to raise awareness of the menopause and help people who are affected by menopause to understand a course of action, having better emotional fitness when going through the menopause.
Let’s raise awareness in the workplace, understanding how menopause can affect our team.
I remember when I was new to management, in my late 20’s and I had a lady on my team who was of the age of menopause. Looking back, she had all the symptoms of going through menopause, but due to my ignorance of the side effects, I thought she wasn’t coping in a highly stressful role. I had no understanding and no patience as we were all about targets.
Let’s open our minds to what others may be going through, supporting them. Menopause can add to emotional strain, not just physical strain.
Managers, here are 5 ways Menopause Mirrors Depression:
- Low mood: It’s common to experience sadness and low mood during menopause. If someone is usually very positive, then they suddenly are of continuous low mood for at least 2 weeks, they may either be experiencing depression, or it could be a side effect of menopause.
- Lack of motivation – when a team member is known to be very motivated, then shows signs of apathy, low motivation, it may be attributed to the menopause.
- Problems focusing – being 100% focused all the time can be difficult, but if lack of focus continues for a person, they may be experiencing a change in hormones. The common term for this is ‘brain fog’. Think about how you would address this situation.
- Stress – all of us have different amounts of stress we can cope with. If you notice a team member who usually has a high stress resilience, then is suddenly not coping, it may be a result of the menopause.
- Difficulty concentrating – not being about to concentrate can be very frustrating, especially when you are usually a person who usually finds this task easy. Notice and help the person by setting small milestones to achieve their goals.
For us to understand that the person is experiencing the menopause and not depression, we also should understand the physical signs of menopause as well as the emotional signs. The physical signs include:
- Hot flashes
- Temperature changes
- Sleep problems
- Mood changes
- Weight gain and slower metabolism
- Thinning hair and dry skin
- Burning mouth
- Dizzy spells
- Body odour
where she outlines the top tips to understand menopause.
As managers, we can notice physical signs, listening out for conversations where the person may express they suddenly cannot sleep as well as they have before, or they may say they have more headaches than usual.
Let’s start to notice. Once we notice, we can then acknowledge by opening up conversations, then signpost the person to professional help. The average age to go through menopause is 50. People in their teens, 20s, 30s and 40s can all experience menopause. Let’s open up our minds to helping others with their emotional fitness in every situation.
If you want to find out more about how you can help strategise emotional fitness and positive mental health for your team, book in Calendly Strategy Call: