Become a Nest Menopause Friend

Become a Nest Menopause Friend

Women are slowly opening up about their menstrual cycles and menopause. By sharing our own experience with friends and family, we all contribute to normalising what has been for decades, and in even for centuries, a taboo or at least an inappropriate topic for a conversation. It is reassuring to see the growing coverage about menstruation and menopause in the mainstream media, and it offers us an opportunity to become courageous and to join in with the discussion, to exchange stories with the circle of peers.

Women’s wellbeing and its uniqueness is carving its rightful space in our society. Nevertheless, if we want others to understand and respect what menstruality and menopause is all about, then we need to understand it ourselves first. After all, menstruation, perimenopause, and menopause are part of life and the most natural processes happening through female bodies. It is time to amend the old narrative, which every so often labels the symptoms in an over-medicalised way, giving us the impression that there is something wrong with us and that all women suffering through various menopause symptoms need a medical cure. Sometimes medical support is necessary, but frequently the menopause is broadly misunderstood.

Last year The Nest Southwest CIC has launched its Menopause café as a platform for people experiencing perimenopause and menopause. There we meet every first Friday of the month in an informal friendly atmosphere over the coffee and a cake, in a cosy setting of The Glorious Art House Café, Fore Street, Exeter. This project received an immediate response, and it clearly shown that the Menopause café and its affiliated Nest Menopause Facebook group filled a gap.

When facing menopausal changes individually, we crave a safe place where we don’t feel alone and can learn how to navigate through the unknown territories of the menopause by simply listening and sharing, being together, laughing, being vulnerable, and creating a new circle of friends that are on the same boat. Personally, it filled me up with a profound sense of belonging, which I had started to miss while losing the regular structure of the menstrual cycle.

When we are in the menstruating years, the cycle is our anchor, our companion, if we like it or not. In Menopause, this anchor is gone, the structure is no more. A friend can step in and support with their ears and with their own experience. In Menopause, women often focus more on what really matters in their stage of life, somehow it comes with all the changes that we go through. And a reliable, non-judgmental friend is sometimes all that matters in certain circumstances.

After the successful launch of the Menopause café, the phenomenon of menopause deserves in Exeter a deeper dive. This year, the Nest Menopause book club is being born and following up on the structure of the other Nest peer support groups, we are currently creating the Menopause Peer Support Network and opening the position for volunteers to join us.

The Menopause Friends will be happy and comfortable to spread the word, take Menopause awareness and support into the larger community, and help hold space for peer circles to reach even more women and people experiencing this profound life transition. To become The Nest Menopause Friend is a remarkable opportunity to step up and embrace your own cyclical and Menopausal journey.

We are all unique, and we are all in this or that way facing the challenges that are not always comfortable to go through. We often lack the greater spectrum of information that would lead us to discover available and resonating choices related to hormonal changes. We can inspire each other about practices that build trust in our own body and mind and share about options keeping the menopause related mental health and menopausal gut in equilibrium.

The hormonal system is a delicate mechanism, and Menopause transition is an invitation to become our own alchemist, that transforms, embodies and empowers us as a wise, respected elder. Together with our friends and peers, we can keep the circle of life in motion, inspiring and guiding the next generation with a new, more positive approach towards the Menopause transition.

If the Nest Friend volunteer position dedicated to Menopause support is calling you, please send the application form by 19th of August.

Blog post written by Sati Katerina Fitzova-Sgouros

The Nest Menopause Project co-leader

Sati lives currently in Exeter, she is a writer, trauma healing therapist, breathworker, doula and a facilitator of embodiment and cyclical awareness workshops. Besides her formal trainings in EU and UK, she has been actively working with various indigenous traditions for over 20 years, implementing in her work the diversity and perspective of the ancient cultures, art and traditional ways of healing.

*photo by @soulfocus_media

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Published by Hazel Acland

Director of The Nest SW social enterprise Women's circle facilitator Doula Writer Mum

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