Many women aged 40 to 55 are in a period of peri-menopause, and if you’re among this group, you may experience hot flashes. If you have experience hot flashes, especially at work, then you know how it can be embarrassing at times.

During perimenopause, a woman’s estrogen rises and falls dramatically, and these fluctuations may cause many symptoms. One of the most common is the hot flash. According to the Mayo Clinic, a hot flash is a sudden feeling of intense warmth, sometimes causing skin reddening and sweating.

Peri-menopause can last up to 10 years, and for many women, much of this time may be spent in the workplace. In order to reduce the severity and frequency of hot flashes while at work, it may be helpful to know a few tricks.

Dress properly

One of the first lines of defense against hot flashes at work is proper clothes. Avoid wool, silk, and most synthetic fabrics. These materials trap heat and may raise your body temperature. Clothes made of cotton, linen, or rayon “breathe” better, release heat, and help keep you cooler.

Also, it’s usually best to avoid turtlenecks. Instead, try to dress in layers. So when your body temperature rises, you can remove layers to help cool down. Since cold chills often follow a hot flash, you can easily put the layers back on to warm again.

Lower the temperature

The simplest way to lower room temperature is to lower the thermostat. However, this isn’t always possible. If you work at a desk, you might consider bringing a small fan. A fan not only helps cool you down, it also circulates the air in the room.

If you’re lucky enough to work close to a window, open it a crack to allow some cool, fresh air inside.

Consider your diet

What you eat and drink can play a big role in your core body temperature. Hot and spicy foods increase body temperature and may worsen hot flashes. Avoid spicy meals and allow hot foods to cool down considerably before you eat them.

In addition, when you’re on the job and don’t have complete control over the room temperature, it will help to eat cold foods. Choose salads, sandwiches, or cold pastas. These options will still fill you up without increasing your body temperature.

It’s also wise to choose your beverages carefully. While it may be tempting to start your workday with a hot cup of coffee, try iced coffee or sip on ice water.

You can use cold drinks to your advantage in two ways. Sipping on a cold beverage throughout the day can help cool you down, and you can also place the cold cup or glass against your forehead or your neck.

Be on time

Give yourself adequate time to get to work and to meetings. The stress of rushing can raise your body temperature and trigger a hot flash. When you have adequate time, you’re better able to stay at ease, which can help reduce hot flashes.

Hot flashes are a symptom of peri-menopause for many women. The best way to deal with them at work is to plan in advance for your comfort and take preventive steps to reduce your hot flashes.

Following a diet and health routine that can reduce hot flash strength and frequency are great preventive measures, but special strategies are also important. Having items on hand and practicing routines that help cool you down will greatly reduce the stress or discomfort associated with hot flashes at work.