Menopause Hot Flashes Can Occur at Awkward Times – Stay Cool and Calm!
Let’s be honest – there is no good time to have menopause hot flashes. Some situations are worse than others, however. We rounded up some helpful tips for getting through those challenging times.
- You’re giving a presentation at work.
All eyes are on you, and you…completely forget what you were about to say. Your face is flushed, you’re drenched in sweat, and all you really want to do is get out of there and strip off your jacket.
What to do: Clear your throat, and excuse yourself for a quick break to get some water. And at the same time, take off whatever clothes that decency will allow!
- You’re stuck in traffic on your way to an important event.
It’s rush hour, and you’re on your way to dinner to meet your significant other’s new boss. There are cars on all sides. Worse, none of them are moving. You don’t know how bad this hot flash is going to be, or how long it’s going to last, and panic starts to set in. The last thing you need is to be a “hot mess” in addition to being late.
What to do: Open all the air conditioning vents and turn it on full-blast. If it’s not working, opening the window will also do in a pinch. If you have a cold beverage with you, sip it and hold it against your neck. If you’re the one driving, it’s a good idea to pull over when you can and wait it out, both to alleviate stress and avoid an accident. Remember that stress can trigger menopause hot flashes, and try to calm yourself down by taking some slow, deep breaths.
- You’re in line at the grocery store.
You managed to find everything on your shopping list, and now you’re finally moving ahead in a long line. The only problem? You’re feeling hot, hot, hot. You can’t just abandon your shopping cart, but you’re embarrassed to just stand there with sweat dripping from your face.
What to do: Assess the person in front of you and the one behind you in line. Who looks the most sympathetic? Tell him or her that you forgot something, and kindly ask that person to watch your cart for just a moment. Then head directly to the freezer section, open a door and let the cold air hit you until the hot flash passes.
- You’re at your daughter’s wedding.
Your daughter, bless her soul, decided to have an outdoor wedding ceremony in the middle of summer. You obviously can’t – and don’t want to – walk out on the nuptials, but it’s 90 degrees and you’re sweating through your expensive mother-of-the-bride dress. Since neither a bottle of water nor a fan could fit in your matching clutch, you’re out of luck.
What to do: Take some deep breaths. While you feel that everyone is staring at you, remember that it’s the bride and groom who have center stage! Tough it out and don’t let your hot flash distract you from focusing on your daughter. When the ceremony is over, tell your family you’ll be right back to greet the guests, and get yourself to the air-conditioned restroom. Use a wet paper towel compress on your neck and take a minute to just “chill.” Grab a glass of ice water on your way back.
- You’re sleeping (or trying to).
You just woke up to your pajamas and sheets drenched in sweat, and you’re not just uncomfortable – you’re wide awake. On top of that, you have to be up for work in just a few hours and you’ve got a busy day ahead of you.
What to do: Change your clothes, and either change the sheets on the bed or move to somewhere dry and comfortable. Turn down the heat and jack up the air conditioner, drink some water, and then focus on deep breathing until you fall back to sleep.
- You’re on a first date.
You’re in the middle of sharing your life story with an interesting date, and suddenly you’re drenched in sweat. You suddenly can’t remember what you just said and you’re positive your makeup is melting off your face. You’re so embarrassed that all you want to do is escape through the restaurant’s back door and slink home.
What to do: All you have to say is, “Excuse me, be right back.” Head to the restroom with your purse in hand and fix yourself up as best as you can. Wet some paper towels with cold water and apply this makeshift cold compress to your neck. Take some deep breaths and let it pass. Once you’ve cooled down, you might even want to consider telling your date what happened, but don’t tell any self-deprecating jokes at your own expense and don’t elaborate about your hot flash. There’s no need to share all that information on a first date!
- You’re at your desk at work.
That guy from the IT department you called has come to check your computer. All of a sudden you feel an immensely powerful hot flash coming on. “Power surge!” you think. Wait, did you really say that out loud? The poor young man from IT is looking very alarmed, and says, “Oh, no, did you lose a lot of data?”
What to do: Get over yourself and laugh! This is a real story, shared on a menopause blog by a woman who knew that sharing it would give other women a good laugh. Laughter is a great way to relieve stress, and sharing your feelings with other women in the same circumstances about what you’re experiencing can be a big help. Consider joining an online menopause forum/chat group. You may get support and benefit greatly from (virtually) meeting some members of a community of like-minded women. Just remember that when it comes to making decisions about your health care, other women may have great suggestions, but it’s crucial to get your own doctor’s input.
Menopause hot flashes are bothersome no matter when they occur. If you’re still looking for hot flash relief, learn about Relizen, a non-hormonal treatment clinically shown to provide relief for hot flashes and other symptoms of menopause.*