Having spent virtually all of my working life in the natural products industry, it has never ceased to amaze me how that even with all the research and science we now have to back the ingredients and products we use, it is still classed as some sort of witchcraft or akin to a snake oil salesman. Just the other day, someone was being interviewed about the Corona virus outbreak and commented ‘don’t bother with all those silly health food things,’ another admitted that she had heard some good things about natural products, but that ‘you should really go to your GP.’ Which is great except for the fact the GP doesn’t want you anywhere near the surgery.
So, come with me and take a virtual stroll around a health food store and consider some of the things you might find there and how they can help you in your bid for wellness. When you have read it, Google ‘health food stores near me,’ and take a trip to your nearest one to get some sensible advice and solutions.
It seems that everywhere you look at the moment, you are exposed to worrying news about the spread of illness and disease. Does it make you think that maybe you need to live inside some sort of sanitised bubble and not come out until it is all over? A lot of people are telling me that they are almost afraid to step outside their front door and the stress and worry of the risk of ‘catching something’ is really getting them down.
It can be very stressful when you have families away from home, especially if they are abroad, or have children at university where you can be pretty sure they are probably not eating the best of diets. It is easy to let the fear of something overtake the actual reality, we end up feeling ill from stress, anxiety and lack of sleep more than actually having a virus. This article in Psychology Today US suggests that the our heads are being affected more than our brains.
Let’s Look at Wellness, not Illness.
I am not dismissing the risks and effects of the illness, but it is important to get the figures in perspective. It is more important to consider the at-risk groups and ensure we are supporting them by being aware of early symptoms and treating accordingly. What is important is that when you look at statistics that say there is a 1% chance of dying from something, you have a 99% chance of not!
So much of keeping well is based around simple ideas and common sense. Yes, everyone from the Prime Minister down is telling us how to wash our hands, but it genuinely is one of the easiest and most effective ways to combat the transference of viruses and bacteria. You really don’t have to sing Happy Birthday out loud as you wash, but it gives you a good idea of the length of time you should be taking to wash your hands thoroughly. It is also a great way to get children engaged in handwashing.
If you fancy singing something different, CNN have created a list of a songs from each decade, from Elivis to Lizzo
The Perimenopause, is it like the menopause but different?
Many people know about the menopause and all the issues that can surround it, whether it be hot flushes, memory loss, weight gain, lack of energy or much more, it gets plenty of coverage and attention. A previous blog talked about my own experience. But are you aware of the perimenopause? That period of time prior to the menopause where many women experience a whole raft of symptoms whilst sometimes still experiencing relatively regular periods. It seems that for many women and for a lot of health professionals, the awareness is not what it should be.
One lady, Emily Barclay from Norfolk, is on a mission to support women though this time of their lives and raise awareness for of it. I first met Emily via a ladies business networking group, she is one of those people that instantly gets involved, no sitting on the side lines. Full of energy and enthusiasm, she has single-handedly created the Perimenopause Hub, bringing together a wealth of knowledge, experience and education by finding many experts and authorities to provide information and support.
Emily is currently planning a Perimenopause Hub Summit for March this year, an opportunity for women to discover more and see what support is available to them. The chance to gain insight and knowledge on how best to deal with what comes with the situation and how to make the best of it in their life.
I recently caught up with Emily to find out more about her and all about the Hub. Please do take a look at her site, she has collected so many experts and sources of information together in one place, that it is hard to think of something that she hasn't provided. Read on and discover more about this lady on a mission to support perimenopause women everywhere.
Hi, I’m Emily,
A perimenopausal woman who has spent too long trying to get answers. I decided that if I was struggling, then so would women like you, and that I could bring together experts to help us all find our best route through this life stage.
Tell me a bit about you, your background, what you do for a living.
I am a dog walker and a personal trainer. I have had my dog walking business since 2012 and retrained as a PT in 2016. I set up perimenopausehub.com in 2019.
I know the Perimenopause Hub is something that is very important to you. How did it come about?
Since the age of 39 I had been going back and forth to the Doctor with symptoms including fatigue, unexplained weight gain, crazy mood swings, uncontrollable sobbing, and irregular periods (sometimes after just 3 weeks for a couple of days, sometimes bleeding for 3 weeks). The very first Doctor suggested menopause, but as I was only 39 and still had periods, I dismissed the idea. It took 4 years before another Doctor and I agreed it could be perimenopause (which I had discovered was a thing by that point).
In a nutshell, what is the Perimenopause Hub?
It is a website bringing together perimenopause/menopause experts from across the world, offering advice, help and support to all women experiencing this life phase. Women are encouraged to work with any of the experts who seem the right fit for them and their outlook on life.
What is your future vision for the Hub?
World domination!!!!! No, seriously, I want all women to understand that this is a natural life stage and that they will come out the other side, not the same as they were in their 20s, but stronger and ready for the rest of their life. I also ultimately want to start educating younger women about the power of their monthly cycle, so they are forearmed when it starts to change.
I think more needs to be talked about in regard to perimenopause – at the moment most women know they will have periods and that one day when they’re in their 50s they’ll stop, around which time they’ll probably have a few hot flushes. And yet perimenopause can last up to 12 years and is often the time when women have the worst symptoms. Frustratingly, even Drs don’t know much about this – menopause is barely covered at medical school (even by gynaecology students …!)
If women take away one thing from it, what would you hope that would be?
Your best time in life is just coming.
The whole issue of the perimenopause and menopause is a massive area, women have to find a way to utilise what works best for them. Can the Hub help women coming at it from all angles such as those that would rather follow a more natural path than an orthodox medicine route?
Absolutely. This is why we have such a range of experts. There are the medical experts but also mindset, hypnotherapy, yoga, health coaches and so on.
You have gathered a superb and wide-ranging group of experts to support the Hub, tell me about some of them and how they can support women.
For example, we have Lorraine Miano who is a Menopause Coach from North Carolina. She has a book called The Magic of the Menopause, and she is the absolute embodiment of how amazing our lives can be after all this malarkey is over and done with.
Then there is Claire Doherty who is a Medical Intuitive from the UK. She looks at the whole person and helps people identify WHY they are experiencing symptoms, which in turn can help them address unresolved issues.
You are running your conference on March 20th, 21st, 22nd. This sounds incredibly exciting and looks like a great opportunity for women to engage with some life changing and life enhancing content. Tell me more …
This is going to be epic! Over the 3 days there will be 20+ expert speakers, many who are Hub experts but some who are simply experts in their field. There are two types of tickets available: watch live and lifetime access.
How can anyone sign up or join in with the conference?
For those who buy Watch Live tickets (£10 on early bird pricing, then £15) they will have a login that enables them to watch the summit as it is broadcast live. For those who purchase Lifetime Access (£35 early bird, £50 full price) they will have a login to be able to rewatch the interviews time and time again.
Will partners and families of women experiencing the perimenopause learn anything from visiting the Hub?
You have a Facebook Group to run alongside the Hub, how does that work and how can women join?
Just search Perimenopause Hub on FB [links at the bottom of the page] and you’ll find us. It’s a super supportive group, and we try to keep things quite light-hearted – each evening during the week we talk about a specific symptom, and then at the weekend it’s things like GIF night, or share photos of pets, or whatever.
Do you have any support on the Hub that would be useful for anyone within the transgender community or with gender issues that may also be coming to terms with the perimenopause?
There isn’t a specific section as yet, although in the FB group I know of at least one mother to a trans daughter, and we are 100% inclusive of anyone who identifies as female.
You’re a very busy lady, do you ever have time to relax and what do you do if you ever find yourself with time to wind down?
Ha ha! I walk my dogs, I watch TV, I go to the gym, I go to the pub, I hang out with my partner. I try to go skiing once a year, too.
If a Perimenopausal Fairy Godmother could wave her magic wand and grant you one wish for the Perimenopause Hub, what would it be?
That it be the go-to resource for women hitting this stage of life.
Youcan get in touch with Emily in all these places:
I really wish Emily every success with her conference and the Perimenopause Hub, there is such a wealth of information on the site, it genuinely is a hub of resources. Please do take a look, you might just find the answers or at least some pointers to the help you need or maybe to explain why someone you care about is not quite themselves. Thank you to Emily for taking the time to answer my questions.
If you are affected by the perimenopause either yourself or someone you know is experiencing these symptoms and could do with a great resource, please take a look at the site or sign up to the conference. It could make a real difference.
Are you sick of the constant bombardment of 'get it now, buy today, you are missing out’ media that is being thrust at us every second at the moment?
Black Friday has turned into Black Month and it seems to all be about how if we don’t get it now, we will miss out and be worth less for not being part of something.
I am not sure that it is doing any of us any good. We are at risk of missing the important things, things like what makes each of us unique, special and far better than £1.50 off something we don’t need!
Do we value ourselves and each other enough for the simple and unsung talents and traits we have? I don't think we do. Maybe we should make more of the special skills we may have or the things we have done that go unspoken.
I think that many people are probably more special than they think they are and perhaps we should take the time to celebrate little victories and simple pleasures while we can.
ME! ME! ME! Yes, you are important!
Why am I thinking about this? At the beginning of the year, a good friend of mine, WIll Hadcroft, took a career change and trained to be a Funeral Celebrant. Not a job we all rush out to do, is it? But if you think about it, we should be grateful that people like him want to do it and do it well.
Although Will had not ever planned to go into this line of work, he found himself taking a couple of family funerals almost because there was no one else available, he found that he was able to conduct a simple and meaningful service and received positive feedback. His experience in public speaking helped him deliver the ceremonies with ease, his experience as an author helped him create an articulate, personal and heartfelt eulogy.
As with any career change, there is more to it than just wanting to get on with the job, so he went through some formal training to understand the ins and outs of it and then set about visiting local funeral directors to offer his services. As with any new venture, it takes time to get it up and running, but eventually he began to get some funerals booked and has since had previous clients ask for him by name when suffering the loss of another family member. Praise indeed for his services.
"Once again many many thanks for today. The service was beautiful and very much my dad. We have had so many compliments about what a lovely service and how well delivered it was by yourself.
Many of the older ones said it was the best of the services they had been to recently."
Gaynor, September 2109.
So, what does that have to do with wondering if we are all worth more than how we feel we might be? It is easy to see that he will get some clients with full and varied lives, everyone in the family will know of their exploits. Some have even prepared their own funeral in advance. But for others, the bereaved family often begin with, 'we are not sure there is much to say about them, they led a quiet uneventful life.'
Of course, the role of the celebrant is to interview the family and find out the details of their life to be able to create a picture of them, a summing up of their life. One thing Will has discovered is that even the quietest of people that may not have had any major roles, still have something special about them. Maybe they a simple thing of helping someone in an accident or believing that while they were fit enough, money could be spent on better things than busses and so walked everywhere. Perhaps they took up painting and had pictures displayed in a local exhibition, but never shouted about it.
It seems to me, that we need to look out for the hidden treasures in the people around us. Whether it is an act of kindness or the fact they make amazing cakes. Maybe they grow all their own veg or perhaps they have helped out in the community without ever shouting about it. Let's not wait until that person is gone and we reflect on their life before think about or discover all the things they were good at. However small, look for those details that make someone who they are.
A Funeral Celebrant is not the job for everyone, it takes certain skills and a good understanding of people. I know Will finds it rewarding and extremely humbling that people entrust the character and personality of their loved one to him and he works hard to capture the essence of them. Whether it is helping the family find the right piece of music or poems, or capturing them in his talk, he knows it is a privilege to be part of the journey for the family.
The feedback he has received has been touching and shows he finds those hidden details in lives that some consider so ordinary. Family members have commented that he 'completely captured their nature,' or how he 'summed up Dad perfectly, he would have loved what you had to say.' Others have commented how having someone creating the service in the way he did made the whole process so much easier for them. the ceremony becoming a celebration of life, rather than a deeply depressing event. The sorrow will still be there, but the personality of the loved one shines through.
So, what have you done today that is amazing, special, kind, or have you allowed yourself to enjoy a simple pleasure? Celebrate and allow yourself to see the magic that is you. If you know someone that has gone the extra mile, the unsung hero, the person that made you a lovely meal or simply gave you a smile, let them know how important and special they are. Let's not wait for someone to interview us before a funeral to discover how valuable we all are in our own small ways.
Although it is not a situation I would wish anyone to be on, if you need a caring and professional Funeral Celebrant and you are lucky enough to live in the Bolton area, check out Will's website here.