Hot flashes are a common symptom of menopause, and they can come about suddenly and unexpectedly. As many women know, crowded spaces and indoor public events can make hot flashes particularly difficult to manage. Fortunately, there are ways to handle your menopausal hot flashes when stepping outside for some fresh air is not an option. Keep reading to find out how.
Tips for Crowded Places
Prior to attending events such as weddings, funerals, or crowded concerts, we often don't think about the fact that we are generally stuck where we are until the event ends or there is an intermission. This can be a real cause of concern for the millions of menopausal women who regularly suffer hot flashes.
So what do you do when you're stuck in a public situation and feel a hot flash coming on? Follow the tips below to help you navigate this unpleasant experience.
Hot flashes in crowded places can come with feelings of panic, as if your mind and body are shouting in unison: “I need to get out now!” If you feel yourself start to panic, take a step back and take several deep, measured abdominal breaths. You'll feel your heart rate start to decelerate, as your body naturally releases tension when you breathe this way.
Carrying a Towel
Having something on hand to dab your forehead and exposed skin is essential for managing hot flashes at crowded events. It can be embarrassing to feel drenched in sweat with nothing to use for drying off.
If you're at a wedding or funeral, chances are you've applied makeup for the occasion. Hot flashes are notorious for making a mess of even the most long-lasting makeup, so be sure to pack a little extra and small mirror for applying it.
Most events have moments where it is more appropriate to step out. If you're at a wedding, a musical interlude can be a good time to step outside for some fresh air. If you're having a hot flash and need to leave the room, know where the exits are and be ready to step out as soon as an opportunity arises.
In addition to preparing for hot flashes, taking steps to prevent this common menopausal symptom can save you a lot of frustration in the future. Avoiding hot flash triggers like caffeine, spicy foods, thick and tight clothing, and cigarettes is a good place to start.
Improving your diet and exercising more will also help. If continual hot flashes are very disruptive to your daily life, you may want to talk to your doctor about treatment options. For more information on hot flashes and how to treat them, follow the links below.
- "Hot flashes ... in January". Canadian Medical Association Journal. 2004: 170 (1).
- Miller, Heather and Rose Maria Li, M.D. "Measuring Hot Flashes: Summary of a National Institutes of Health Workshop". Conference report. Mayo Clinic. June 2004: 79.
- Sikon, Andrea and Holly Thacker M.D. "Treatment for Menopausal Hot Flashes". Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine. July 2004: 71 (7).