Working in the events industry often involves long hours, lots of stress, and a fast-paced environment. Not great if you’re going through the menopause, like I am right now.
Menopausal symptoms such as hot flushes, night sweats and fatigue can be disruptive in a job that often requires physical stamina, standing or sitting for long periods, and dealing with various weather conditions.
Of course, the menopause affects people in different ways. Some women may not experience any symptoms, while others may feel debilitated by the menopause.
As someone who is currently in the middle of the menopause, it can be a challenge when I’m not feeling my best but have an event to showcall.
Here’s what I’ve learnt since becoming menopausal while working in the events industry:
01 Listen to your body
This is so important. Don’t ignore the signals your body is trying to tell you, as you could end up feeling worse, which will set you back.
I’ve noticed a drop in my energy levels and I get more tired than I ever have before. Of course, I can’t just have a nap on the job – that would be highly unprofessional! Instead, it means I’m not as sociable as much in the evenings anymore, because getting plenty of rest has become way more important.
02 It’s natural to have bad days
Hormonal fluctuations during the menopause can lead to mood swings and emotional challenges, which can affect your relationships with colleagues and clients, not to mention your family.
I have a tendency to be a bit more grumpy! Usually I’m a very tolerant person, I don’t suffer fools, but people are more likely to get a ticking off these days!
It’s a personal choice if you want to go public and explain the reason why you’re experiencing mood swings so people are aware, but you absolutely don’t have to. It’s no one else’s business. Everyone has their off days.
03 Be kind to yourself
Your body is going through a big change and it can be scary. Sometimes I find I lose the ability to communicate! I know what I want to say, but I just can’t seem to find the words. And that really is a bit tricky in my job! The words are there, on the tip of my tongue, but it’s like someone has pinched them!
In those instances, it’s hard not to get frustrated, but I remind myself that I’m not losing my marbles. Memory lapses and difficulty concentrating are common during the menopause, and it will get better, you just have to ride the storm for a while.
Prioritising self-care is also key during the menopause, although this can be difficult during busy periods at work.
Eating a healthy, balanced diet and exercising regularly can help improve your wellbeing and boost your mood, so try and factor these into your daily routine where you can. I feel so much better after I’ve walked the dog or swung some kettlebells. Do what you enjoy!
04 Get the right support
The events industry is a stressful environment. Add to that the stress of managing your menopausal symptoms and it can become overwhelming.
Although work is being done to address the challenges that menopausal women face at work, not everyone understands the impact it can have on our wellbeing. Plus, working in events isn’t like a normal office job. The show must go on, no matter how you may be feeling.
If you’re struggling to cope, it’s important not to suffer in silence. Talk to someone and ask for help. It might be a colleague, a family member or your GP. Your GP may also be able to provide advice on symptom management and treatment options.
There are also support groups where you can share experiences and gain advice from other women going through the menopause.
Similarly, if someone you work with is going through the menopause, be mindful of what they may be going through and offer your support. It may be the lifeline they need.
05 You’re still you
I know it’s easier said than done but try not to let the menopause affect your work. I find the best way to handle it is to have a laugh about it. Give yourself a break and accept that this menopausal monster that’s appeared is not the real you.
Despite the challenges that the menopause can bring, it doesn’t have to stop you from being you. With the right support and strategies to manage your symptoms, you can continue to kick arse in the events industry.
This is the next step for me, I can’t avoid it, so I may as well embrace it with open arms.