This month we speak to Dee Gardner, Founder & CEO of Fountain Retreats, Europe’s only dedicated menopause wellness retreats for menopausal women. Dee’s passion for people’s wellbeing and in particular mental health, inspired her to create dedicated retreats for women experiencing Perimenopause and Menopause symptoms. And, this was spurred on as a result of the problems she experienced herself, from the age of 44, and when she became aware of the dreadful lack of help, support and information that was out there for women.
Dee wanted to help by creating a positive pathway, encouraging a dramatic shift in the way we think and feel about menopause, which as we all know, is long overdue, and thus fountainretreats.com was created.
We all know, from the constant media bombardment, that as we grow older we should be making changes to our diet and lifestyle. Our bodies change as we age and to help prevent disease we require different nutrients, and more movement and exercise, as well as positive mental health tools and techniques to keep us happy and healthy. This is never more relevant than when ‘we’ as women are experiencing perimenopause, caused by falling hormone levels. During this period of time, changes start to take place in the lead up to menopause (when our periods stop all together). This can happen over a number of years, and some women (but not all) may experience symptoms such as hot flushes, excessive sweating, breast tenderness, joint pain, mood swings and anxiety. These are all very common symptoms and – not to worry you – there are also a whole lot more!
Information on menopause can be accessed via the internet, though some of it is misleading, inaccurate, or just plain confusing. Menopause affects us all differently, and that is why you may want to consider a dedicated menopause retreat, see here fountainretreats.com. As well as choosing to do something lovely for yourself (selfish is good when it comes to health and wellbeing!), it allows you to ‘break away’ from your normal day – literally ‘retreat’ from your daily tasks. You will leave feeling informed, educated, inspired and empowered as a woman. We aim to put the ‘cool’ into menopause on many levels! We are on a mission to make menopause a word that makes women feel good, not bad! And it is working!
Promensil and Fountain retreats have teamed up this month to bring you an amazing competition giving you and a friend the chance to win a place on a one day menopause retreat. Click here to enter.
Busting taboos about certain topics such as menopause and mental illness are so important. As a former Advanced Psychotherapist and Professional Behaviourist, my mission has always been first and foremost to help people understand and look after their minds better. Good mental wellness can help us overcome anxiety disorders, lose weight, sleep better, and enjoy good sex lives. Positive mental health can also prolong life, when we choose to live a life full of vim and vigour!
Your mind is your nerve centre, your data bank, your hard-drive, your mainframe computer – your everything. It really wants to work for you, help you, repair you. All you have to do is tap into its power cells, and away you go! Of course it sounds easy, and it is easy for me to say… however, it really isn’t that hard, and all you require is a desire to make changes, a forward thinking outlook, and often a ‘what the heck, just do it’ attitude.
People don’t just climb mountains or win gold medals; they work very hard physically, but most of their motivation comes from their minds and through their attitude to life. The same can be said of menopause. Women don’t just have a good menopause; they often have to work at it, and make changes necessary to alleviate, and often remove, the negative symptoms associated with it.
Making changes to your diet and lifestyle has to start with your mental health and wellbeing – how you think affects how you feel. Talking openly about your feelings and your symptoms, to people who care and understand, in a place of safety where you will not be judged, is the best start. The more we talk about what happens to us as human beings, and in particular as women, the more metaphoric mountains we can move! Women are so powerful, and you only have to look at what happened during the ‘#metoo’ campaign around the world to recognise just how incredible women are.
So, enjoy your life, and make those changes that will make you feel more in control and free spirited. Ageing is a privilege denied to many, so we should all get together, share our unique stories, and help one another. Be good to yourself today, so that you can be good to others tomorrow.
With more than 20 years of professional experience in Human Behaviour and Psychology, and an overwhelming passion to understand the subject since she was 15 years old, Dee combined her considerable business nous with the skill sets and expertise of other inspirational women (and men) from all backgrounds who then formed the ‘dream team’ that make up the Fountain Retreats Group.
Her passion and enthusiasm touches and inspires everyone who meets her. She is certain to leave her mark, and a legacy behind for her 3 daughters and 3 sons to ensure that menopause as a word becomes one that fills us with hope rather than dread.