With increased number of women in the workforce, its important for everyone to understand this major life event called Menopause. I intend to write a series of blogposts regarding this because for long it has been a hush-hush topic.
In my first blog men-O-pause I speak about the fact that a Man’s corporate career peaks around 40 while a Woman’s might peak around 43 to 45. A Man is totally comfortable in his skin at 40 with the greys adding a dash of panache to his looks. On the other hand, a woman at 43 is at the start of a life altering event called Menopause.
Brain Fog and Menopause
From the year 1981, I have enjoyed public speaking. I was 12 years old and studying in my 7th std at Kendriya Vidyalaya Happy Valley, Shillong. I came third in class 7 for the first time in my life and suddenly I wanted some other stage to excel at.
From someone who was scared of speaking to a neighbour, I turned into a “speaking” monster, who would participate in every elocution/debate/recitation competition. I didn’t win initially but soon became good at it and won a few competitions. I came into my own in KV AFA, Dindigul where I was the EmCee for several school events.
Right through my corporate career I was known as a good speaker and have won several accolades for it….. Then I turned 44, and everything changed. It started with aches and pains that I had never known, weight gain that was familiar, inflexibility that was new and strange symptoms before my periods.
Within a few years into Peri Menopause, I started experiencing two very disturbing changes – my decision making ability was slightly impaired and I would search for words while speaking 😔. For someone who loves to speak, and who never was at a loss for words, this was disconcerting. And everyone who knows me, will tell you that I don’t struggle with making decisions. But it happened !
How to deal with Brain Fog
It was the Brain Fog at work .. When I spoke to some of my friends, I realised they were going through the same symptoms. Once I identified the problem, some of the steps that I took to help myself are as follows –
- I started making a list of decisions that I wanted to take.
- Took Krishnan’s help to hold me to a decision. I was driving him crazy by constantly changing the goal post 😁.
- Before every speaking assignment, I wrote down whole sentences with words I wanted to use. Much like a personal teleprompter.
- More recently, I have started to recognise that I am about to hit a brain fog situation and I call it out to Krishnan. That way, I wait till my head clears, before discussing any issue.
- Checklists help tremendously. Have got them for every activity nearly.
- Reminders on the phone are a blessing. I write all my To-Do’s and pick a couple that I want to prioritise that day and convert them into reminders. They still get missed sometimes, but at least I remember them 😆.
My friend had sent this brilliant video about How Menopause affects the brain, by Lisa Mosconi.
Do listen and understand this transition a little better.
Menopause is a major transition for women and just needs a lot of adjustments. For millions of years women have dealt with it and prevailed, so will we !!