The menopause, whilst much more commonly discussed these days, is still considered somewhat of a taboo topic.

Without social media and modern-day celebrities and influencers, we wouldn’t be where we are now; in the 21st century, where people from all walks of life are able to discuss hard-hitting topics much more freely, without feeling ashamed and most importantly, knowing that they aren’t alone. And this has been echoed on through older generations, alongside the power of the human connection, which is ultimately, the most impactful tool we have.

Talking freely to break the stigma is something that people should adopt in the real world, too. With around 13 million women in the UK entering menopause each year, it is no longer something to ignore or brush under the carpet, but something to embrace – together, and in person, as nothing quite beats the getting together of likeminded people.

And with some people noticing perimenopausal changes as early as their 30s and one in 100 women entering the menopause prematurely, it is important for women and people to be educated as early as possible.

Victoria Cranmer, founder of international retreat company Mindful Escapes, is a female entrepreneur aiming to do just that ahead of World Menopause Day on 18 October.


A sense of community

Offering a variety of unique coaching via health, fitness and wellbeing retreats, Mindful Escapes has recently announced the launch of its UK-based Menopause Retreat.

Keen to support and empower women through the varying stages of menopause, Victoria explains that the aim of the retreat is to educate and inform, as well as to enlighten and build support groups.

And with Covid-19 still very much at the forefront of our minds, Victoria is prioritising the safety of guests, which is why the retreat will take place in the UK before venturing abroad to much sunnier climates.

Guests will be surrounded by nature and countryside, as the retreat’s locations consist of the idyllic Peak District as well as peaceful and picturesque Surrey.

Victoria says, “The retreat has been designed to ensure women are fully equipped to take ownership of their menopause journey, whilst providing people with a safe space to talk freely with those experiencing something similar.

“Throughout menopause, women will experience both mental and physical change, and I provide a safe, relaxing, and experiential retreat by ensuring that women feel comfortable in small groups that they can share concerns, experiences and ask questions openly. The retreat will focus on educating and Informing women, you can’t manage what you don’t understand so we will take you over the basic elements of Menopausing.

The Menopause Retreat, hosted by Mindful Escapes, aims to give people a new lease of life, improve their confidence and to of course, break the stigma surrounding menopause.

“Often, particularly in the workplace, women are considered weak in comparison to their male counterparts simply because of what we have to go through in life.

“And I hope that by doing this retreat, we will help to break down such barriers and bring people together, especially after almost 18 months of lockdown restrictions,” Victoria continued.


Combining professionalism with relaxation

Similarly, to new parents attending NCT groups, the Menopause Retreat will focus on networking, relatability and community, creating a support group where the people involved will feel like family.

This, combined with the expertise and knowledge of industry professionals, including a doctor and a doula will create the ultimate retreat.

Dr Joanne Hobson, MBBS, DRCOG, FRSH, is a member of the British Menopause Society and the Institute of Psychosexual Medicine, and after working with hormones for more than 25 years, this makes her the perfect professional to be a coach at the likes of a menopause retreat.

“I am passionate about all aspects of a woman’s health-life journey, from late teens, throughout their reproductive years and post menopause, too,” said Dr Joanne Hobson.

Dr Hobson is proactive in empowering women to make the right choices for them, with evidence-based information, rather than sourcing their views from the many inaccuracies that can be found online.

As well as a doctor, a menopause doula can provide people with information to learn more about themselves and their menstruation, and Victoria was incredibly excited to get a doula on board.

Fiona Catchpowle, Menopause Doula for Mindful Escapes’ Menopause Retreat, is keen to educate and raise awareness of menstruation and menopause, hoping to in turn, break the stigma.

She said, “I have a vision of care for the modern menopause. Stigma and overwhelm on the topics of menstruation to menopause are restricting human potential, from a physical, gender and mental health perspective.”

Having easily accessible knowledge, breaking down barriers and providing workable solutions, Fiona aims to increase opportunities and reassurance for all people, thereby creating a positive experience during huge hormonal shifts.


A change in lifestyle

Adapting to menopause is a state of mind, and to help with both mental and physical changes, people might benefit from altering their lifestyle and outlook on life.

As people embark upon their journey through menopause, it is important for them to understand what the menopause is, what happens to hormones and how this can affect them.

Victoria explains that there are many ways in which people can take control, including;

  • A change in mindset
  • Yoga and meditation
  • Exercise
  • Food and nutrition
  • HRT

As part of the retreat on offer from Mindful Escapes, all the above will be discussed by the coaches, doctors, doulas and medical professionals as they will help you to find what works best for you, your lifestyle and your needs.

Providing a continued support network with both coaches and likeminded people, a retreat is the perfect tool to aid people in their journey through menopause and beyond.

If you’re interested in a UK-based retreat, then visit for more information.