090: How perimenopause affects admin with Mel Kettle
In this episode, Mel Kettle discusses perimenopause with Mia and Dinah and its impact on mental load, productivity, and life admin. Get tips for navigating this transition.
Mel Kettle is a food-loving, book-reading beachgoer who lives on the Sunshine Coast in Australia. She's a trusted mentor to executives and leaders, and a highly sought-after speaker and trainer on leadership communication and setting healthy boundaries. After surviving the debilitating effects of work-related loneliness, stress, and burnout in her late 20s, Mel believes self-leadership is essential to create real connection and sustained engagement. In both 2022 and 2023, Mel was recognized by Leaders Hum as one of the top 200 biggest voices in leadership, one of only seven Australians on the list. She's the author of two books, the best-selling Fully Connected and The Social Association.
In this episode Mia and Dinah discuss the often overlooked topic of perimenopause and its impact on women's lives. They are joined by Mel Kettle, an expert in self-leadership, who shares her insights and experiences with perimenopause, menopause, and postmenopause.
Perimenopause is the transitional phase leading up to menopause, marked by hormonal changes and various symptoms. It can last for a significant period of time, during which women may experience changes in their menstrual cycle, hot flushes, night sweats, and other physical symptoms. However, what is often not discussed are the cognitive symptoms, such as brain fog, increased anxiety, and short-term memory loss.
The Impact of Perimenopause on Women's Lives
Perimenopause can have a significant impact on women's lives, especially in the workplace. Research shows that 60% of women aged 45 to 55 report that their perimenopause symptoms negatively affect their work. The symptoms can lead to increased anxiety, forgetfulness, and difficulty managing life admin tasks. It is crucial for women to be aware of these symptoms and seek support and resources to navigate this transition.
Mel Kettle emphasises the importance of self-awareness and preparation when it comes to perimenopause. Women should be proactive in understanding their symptoms and finding strategies to manage them. This includes using tools like calendars and reminders to combat forgetfulness, adopting flexible work arrangements, and considering lifestyle changes such as eliminating caffeine and alcohol.
Support in the Workplace
Organisations are becoming more aware of the impact of perimenopause on their female employees. Mel Kettle encourages workplaces to have open conversations about menopause and provide support for women going through this phase. Flexible work arrangements, understanding managers, and accommodating uniforms made from breathable fabrics are some of the ways workplaces can support women during this transition.
While perimenopause can be challenging, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Women often experience increased confidence and creativity post-menopause. It is important for women to be proactive in seeking support, understanding their symptoms, and preparing for this phase of life. By breaking the stigma surrounding menopause and having open conversations, women can navigate perimenopause with confidence and support.
- Mel Kettle's website
- Australasian Menopause Society
- Dr. Jen Gunter's book "The Menopause Manifesto"
- Dr. Jen Gunter's Instagram: @DrJenGunter
- Lara Bryden's book "Hormone Repair Manual"
- "Not My Mother's Menopause" podcast