Menopause can be difficult to understand for those going through it – so for friends, family and colleagues, it can be even more confusing.
But ensuring you understand how it can impact those close to you is so important, as it can change the way you offer them support – and subsequently, their own experience.
Below, we look at a few key signs to watch out for, and ways that friends, family and colleagues could offer support. Please let us know if you find these tips helpful in the feedback section at the bottom of the article.
Understanding symptoms and impacts:
Perimenopause and menopause can lead to:
- Change in self-perception
- Arguments and misunderstandings
- Change in ability to carry on with caring commitments
- Change in relationship dynamics
- Weight loss/weight gain
- An overall sense of diminished wellbeing and resilience
- Issues at work with performance, absence, etc
- Work / home/ relationship issues
So how can you help support someone through this tricky time?
Tips for offering support:
- Understand that symptoms are wide and varied and the result of fluctuating hormones – there IS a physical reason for it
- Try not to be judgmental
- Allow space
- Show you care – just little things can make a big difference
- Actively listen and offer support
- Try not to fix anything for them, but support them to find their own solutions
- Offer help when needed and encourage them to ask for help
- Gently challenge unhelpful behaviour
- Signpost to helpful resources…
- Womens Health Concerns
- Menopause Matters
- The Daisy Network
- Dr Sanjay Gupta (Consultant Cardiologist NHS York) – for heart related issues
- British Menopause Society – YouTube videos
- The Menopause is a Workplace Issue
Remember – always stick to reliable sources and resources and avoid Dr Google!
Listen to our podcast episodes around menopause
In a particularly candid chat, our Wellness and Behaviour Change Coaches, AJ Whitaker and Sally Walker, share some of their personal experiences of menopause and discuss everything from brain fog to HRT and the early symptoms of peri-menopause and menopause. Listen to both parts of the discussion here:
Try our online courses
Our short BiteSize course will only take you a few minutes to complete, just click the image to get started
Find Out More
Our Find Out More – Menopause course has a bit more information to help you navigate your way through the menopause
You can find more courses HERE and also join our Understanding Menopause Wellness Workshop Group in My Fire Fighters Charity, where you can chat to others going through similar experiences and access advice and peer support. Just ensure you’re registered and head to the ‘Groups’ tab at the top.
Please let us know if you found this article helpful, or if there’s anything you’d like us to have focused on more in the feedback section below.