Men-Oh!-Pause, it doesn’t just affect women.

Men-Oh!-Pause, it doesn’t just affect women.

Ramdas Shenoy speaks to Terril Guy – Mindset and Transformational Coach from United Kingdom, on Menopause, Professional Productivity, Relationships, and Life challenges

How can a mindset of an individual be an important element of life?

Our mindset shapes the way we view the world and ourselves. It can influence how we think, feel, and behave. So, it stands to reason it can expand or constrict the way in which we engage with life. If we look at life through a glass half empty scenario, then we are pessimistic and think the worst will happen. We are more likely to be stressed, anxious and low in mood. If we see the glass half full, then we have a positive, optimistic outlook where we notice opportunities which are more likely to lead to success and happiness.  

How does menopause impact women in leading a professional life?

Menopause can have such a negative impact at work. The many unpleasant symptoms that women will experience such as poor concentration, stress, hot flushes, memory loss and brain fog can have a detrimental effect on confidence and self-esteem. You can forget words mid-sentence, imagine this during a meeting or presentation, it can be very distressing and embarrassing. More women are leaving the workplace because of the menopause. We need managers to be more aware of the struggles of their female employees. Have open and supportive discussions and look at changes that can be made to keep these highly skilled women as part of their work force.

How much do ‘men’ understand about ‘men-o-pause’ and what can they do to bring about a positive change in the lives of their partners?

I am not sure men know very much at all and I am currently trying to raise awareness of this. I would suggest they educate themselves as much as possible on what their partner is experiencing. Remember she has no control over what is happening to her body. Be supportive in helping around the house with chores/ jobs, childcare etc, that need doing. Do not put her under any pressure. Our hormones are all over the place which effects our emotions. Listen and validate what she is going through without trying to problem solve.  If your partner does not want to be close or intimate with you do not take it personally or as a rejection of you. Lack of libido is a common symptom of the menopause. Try and have open communication regularly and see what she needs from you, as all women are different.

In this digital age, are women open to discuss these challenges, considering most of the women who are in the menopause age bracket, belong to an age where such topics were taboo for discussion?

I think in the past the topics were taboo; I never heard my mother openly talking about the menopause. However, at 56 I am very open with everyone about it, and I am passionate about bringing more awareness.  I think most of the concerns are about how being more open will be received.  For women in work for example, there are plenty of organisations that have no support in place for menopausal women. Why is this? It will impact all women at some stage of their lives. My questions would be, do men want to know how to support their female employees going through this transitional period? If they do then that’s great, let’s get something sorted, if not why? So as a society we need to be more open and accepting without being judgmental and maybe people can be more honest?

Where relationships of today are surviving on a thin wire, what is your advice on improving relationships?

Communication is key, try and sit down regularly to talk honestly with your partner. Both take time to listen and reflect on what they have heard to prevent misunderstanding. Validate each other’s feelings and be as supportive as possible.

Show gratitude when they have done something for you so that you do not take them for granted. Prioritise your relationship, show affection and plan regular times to do fun things together. Be interested in your partner, have dreams and aspirations together and separately. Have some common goals for the future to work towards together.

How do you see as a coach—the steps that you need to take to face any challenges?

I don’t think this is set in stone as it depends on the challenge. Firstly, make sure it is in your control to do something about. So many people worry about things that are completely out of their control causing themselves stress and anxiety. Let those go.

  1. Accept there is a challenge or problem, ignoring it or being in denial just makes it bigger and more stressful.
  2. TAKE ACTION, what steps do you need to start taking to make a difference.
  3. Evaluate – Determine the options available to resolve it. When we look at all the possible solutions, even the ones outside the box, it becomes solvable.
  4. Do you have the required resources and tools.
  5. Ask for help if necessary – Do not suffer in silence, be in communication, reach out to family or friends. Or a Coach can keep you on track and accountable and notice any blind spots you may miss.
  6. Set SMART goals (SPECIFIC, MEASURABLE, ACHIEVABLE, REALISTIC AND TIMELY) keep on track.
  7. Reflect on outcome, reframe any obstacles – learn from mistakes.

#Menopause #Relationships #Productivity

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