One of the worst experiences a woman can have during a media interview is a meltdown. No, I’m not talking about forgetting a thought or feeling the heat from an interesting question. I’m talking about having a hot flash.
If you’re in your mid to late 40s or early 50s, you may feel the heat in more ways than one. A hot flash is a momentary sensation of heat that may be accompanied by a red, flushed face and sweating. The cause of hot flashes is not known, but those of us who have them know all too well the impact they can have in just a few seconds.
When I was touring the country promoting my first book, Whatever! A Baby Boomer’s Journey Into Middle Age a few years back, I remember joking with some of the TV talk show hosts about the possibility of having a “moment” during the interview. I even sold hot flash survival kits as a part of my promotion. Since many of the journalists read my book, they understood but if you haven’t written a book about menopause, these tips will help you when it’s your time to shine in front of the mic:
1) Dress comfortably. A light sleeveless shirt with a jacket allows you to take off the jacket if you suddenly start to heat up. When shopping, ask the clerk for easy care fabrics that can take the heat. Stockings are “old school” so you can get away with not wearing them as long as you look dressed for success.
2) Stay hydrated: It’s always important to get plenty of water during the day. Keep some bottled water with you and feel free to take a sip or two during the interview. The worst they can do is a “take two…or three.” Doctors recommend you try to get 48 ounces a day to keep you from overheating.
3) Avoid spicy foods: If you know you’ve got an interview, you should avoid spicy foods. If you must have a cup of coffee, go for iced instead of hot. Hold the hot sauce and anything else that might spike your body temperature—that includes alcohol.
4) Watch your makeup: I recommend wearing as little as possible. Dab, don’t wipe your face when you perspire and carry thin handkerchiefs for blotting.
5) Carry a fan: A little Japanese fan can be a nice touch to your ensemble. If you’re being interviewed on the radio, no one’s going to see it. If it’s TV, you can discreetly fan yourself when the camera is on the interviewer.
When it’s your time to shine, don’t let a hot flash keep you in the dark.