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Diane Danzebrink is the founder of menopausesupport.co.uk and the #MakeMenopauseMatter campaign. Menopause Support is a not-for-profit organisation offering 1-1 support for individuals, a community for over 30,000 women, and menopause awareness training for organisations to help them understand how menopause can impact on both corporate and personal wellbeing. She’s 55 and lives near Banbury with her husband and their two dogs.
Coming home to yourself is the best thing about menopause. Having supported other women through this transition, I know that this means different things to everybody but for me, it is the freedom to be myself without worrying about what anybody else thinks. Others have spoken about no longer feeling a need to fit in or do things you don’t want to with people you don’t choose to spend time with. I often refer to the menopause spring clean, essentially taking the time to reflect on what no longer serves you and choosing to do things differently going forward. It’s a process, not something that happens overnight, but we owe it to ourselves to take the time to consider how we want to live the rest of our lives whatever that might look like to you.
Not having the right education and information before it comes along. We all want to understand what is happening to us when things change but if nobody has ever taught you or spoken to you about menopause that’s impossible. I believe that it is just common sense to teach all young people about the basics of something that will happen to half of them and indirectly affect the other half as they get older. We should ensure that all our GPs are trained to be able to support those women who need their help and there should be support in all workplaces too. I have also suggested many times when talking to MPs and ministers that we should have a public health campaign dedicated to menopause and everyone who will experience menopause should receive an information booklet about it before perimenopause comes along. Unfortunately, common sense approaches don’t always seem to translate into action, but we will continue to campaign for these changes because they make sense and would end so much needless suffering. I am delighted to say that all the wonderful people who have supported the campaign so far have been instrumental in ensuring that menopause is now on the Relationships and Sex Education curriculum in schools in England.
Sadly, not until many months after my surgery to remove my ovaries, putting me into surgical menopause, when a GP saw me at crisis point and took the time to explain the link between hormones and mental health. Information that I should have been given prior to my surgery. Having finally been given the right information and support I started to wonder if it was just me that had been so unlucky which started me researching. I came across thousands of women online saying things like ‘I feel like I am going mad’, ‘I don’t feel like me anymore’ etc. I remember one day turning to my husband and saying that if I ever felt like me again that I would make damn sure I did something to change the menopause landscape and that’s how Menopause Support and the #MakeMenopauseMatter campaign were born.
I can’t pick just one!
Focused Breathing is something that I practice every day, even if it’s only for a few minutes. It is such a simple but powerful and free practice for grounding that I try to share with as many people as possible. There is a short introduction video on my YouTube page if anybody wants to try it.
Yoga Nidra is something that I discovered a few years ago and I loved it so much that I did teacher training. Yoga Nidra is sometimes described as sleep yoga but it’s about deep relaxation and it can be very powerful.
Woodland walking with my dogs – this is my favourite part of every day, walking surrounded by trees and birds with my dogs is the perfect way to start the day.
Dancing around the kitchen to music on the radio never fails to make me smile.
Dogs, books, music, laughter, my wonderful team at Menopause Support, and my husband’s fabulous cooking.
To find out more about Diane’s work and the #menopausematters campaign head to menopausesupport.co.uk
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