I’ve had a girl crush on Caryn Franklin since the 80s when she was a regular face on the club scene. Always dressed in the most amazing outfits I used to admire her from afar, unsure who she was, but aware she had a unique sense of style – I wasn’t surprised when I found out she worked on ID and later went on to become a presenter on the clothes show – among other things.
Now a fashion journalist, broadcaster and activist, I admire her just as much as I did back in the day – both for her work and evolving style.
She wrote a brilliant piece on Refinery 29 last week on the menopause which you can read here. Positive, frank and lightening, I urge you to read it – however old you are – as she has some really useful insights – even if you are not yet there, or are sailing through menopause.
Here are some of her tips:
Getting physical and emotional support
I was introduced to bio-identical hormones and unlike the one-size fits all HRT from the NHS, BIH is a bespoke system that can be tailor-made for each woman. There is a cost but it was the best £500 I have spent. Dr. Lynette Yong read my blood test and prescribed DHEA. This hormone can be converted to whatever is needed by the body. My memory improved instantly. The progesterone cream I would later take would act as a calmer to alleviate anxiety and stress. I now pay a fraction of that to repeat my prescription every couple of months.
Francesca Topolski uses muscle testing to tell which minerals the body is deficient in and can restore the body’s balance with dynamic effects. My magnesium levels were low and my adrenal glands were stuck in fight or flight mode which in turn created insomnia (this would have also caused memory problems.) She helped me to make small changes with big impacts.
Make it a post-menopausal woman and a wise old sage. Since menopause amplifies emotions, you will find unresolved issues become more urgent to look at. Be prepared to take responsibility for your own contribution to the areas in your life that aren’t working and be ready to take action. My Maryann was recommended by a good friend – you need someone in your area who comes through the same channel. Ask for recommendations or look through a directory but check testimonials.
The Wisdom of Menopause By Dr. Christine Northrup. This was my bible. Dr. Christine gives advice on every stage your body will go through and how to alleviate the many symptoms. She cites medical studies in support of your femininity, intuition and power that will thrill you while combining spiritual and personal stories of herself and other women to help you get to calmer waters.
Bio Identical Hormones By Dr. Uzzi Reiss, will help you understand your symptoms and get involved in your meds!
The Crone – Women of Age, Wisdom and Power By Barbara G Walker, invaluable for your re-calibration – unlearn what you have learned.
Women’s History of the World By Rosalind Miles. Celebrate women and their amazing grit, determination and ingenuity.
Now is the time to begin Yoga or some other regular and calming activity. 20 minutes most mornings will create a new and focus headspace as well as a supple and strong body.
Clothes and fashion
I love dressing up more than ever. Quality and good design is key to promote modernity and sophistication. I love wearing clothes by emerging designers and I prioritise up-cycling and sustainability.
Beauty and skincare
Organic products like Liz Earl and Weleda keep my skin supple and perfume (my current favourite is Atkinsons 24 Old Bond Street) gives me a true lift.
Make sure you are working with a knowledgeable hairdresser to achieve your chosen natural tone. Matthew at Charles Worthington helped me over a period of years to grow out sections of coloured hair first and then create high and low lights around the crown to disguise change-over
Explain to your loved ones that you are evolving. My daughters understand the changes that have taken place and I’m happy they are now better prepared for their eventual menopause than I was. My husband was kind and considerate. Sharing my vulnerabilities and challenges strengthened my relationships and my honesty was appreciated.