4 amazing reasons to go on a women’s menopause retreat

Retreats are big news in the wellness industry, but finding the right one – whether it’s for the first or fifth time – can be a challenge.

Women’s menopause retreats offer a chance to practice your passions, while in a safe and supportive environment that caters for midlife women. They also offer the opportunity to meet like-minded people and make lasting friendships, while learning valuable skills that you can take home with you.

Here, we chat to yoga teacher, Jess Horn, and nutritionist, Charlotte Schilcher, who run menopause retreats together, to explain what to expect.

4 amazing reasons to go on a menopause retreat

It’s self-care that fits into your schedule

A retreat can often feel like a big commitment, but the good news is that there are plenty to choose from to fit into your lifestyle.

“Many women feel like they never have time, or feel guilty for spending time on themselves, especially if they have a family,” explains Charlotte. “We recognise that not everyone has time to spend days away, which is why we offer day retreats alongside our longer four-day retreats.”

A day retreat can be just the antidote to a busy schedule and can be enjoyed as part of a weekend or a day off.

“Our retreat days offer a full but relaxing itinerary,” says Jess. We’ll often begin with some grounding breathwork and yoga, followed by a nourishing lunch.

“We’ll then take a mindful walk in the afternoon, followed by a nutrition talk with Charlotte. These workshops discuss topics important to midlife women, such as how to handle stress. After lunch is digested, we’ll practice yin yoga and enjoy a smoothie. We then finish the day with a sound bath and a closing sharing circle.”

It’s fab for meeting like-minded people

Menopause can often be a lonely time – especially if you don’t know anyone else experiencing the same symptoms as you. As Jess explains, heading on a menopause retreat is a fantastic way to meet new friends and build your confidence.

“Our menopause retreats encourage people to connect with others and educate themselves,” she says. “You’ll leave them feeling ready to embrace the change – rather than fear it.”

“We often start with a sharing circle,” adds Charlotte. “It’s incredible what people share in these sessions. Sometimes women make instant connections when they realise others are struggling with the same things.”

Wellness retreats that specialise in women-only offerings are the perfect opportunity to make new friends. You’ll be in a safe, supported environment, with individuals who are going through similar experiences. While it can be daunting to share your struggles, you’ll be amazed at the amount of people who resonate with how you’re feeling.

You’ll learn techniques for relaxation

Nowadays, there’s more information than ever when it comes to menopause, thanks to an army of campaigners like Dr Louise Newson, Diane Danzebrink and our very own Liz Earle. That being said, it can often feel like a mountain of information to understand.

“The media is hugely beneficial to women but, equally, it can scare the life out of us!” says Charlotte. “There’s so much information about everything from diet and lifestyle to HRT – it can be a lot to take in.

“If we aim to change our habits for healthy ones – think around 1% a day – we’re more likely to have better results. Our retreats are designed to help women make small changes that make a lasting difference.”

One simple change is learning easy techniques that you can continue with once you get home.

“Along with movement classes, I include a lot of breathwork for stress and anxiety,” says Jess. “I also share techniques for helping women to cool down from hot flushes, and share meditations to help set intentions.”

You’ll discover how food can help menopause symptoms

Food – along with yoga and mindfulness – is often one of the highlights of a wellness break, and a menopause retreat is no exception.

“Meals on our retreats are nutritionally dense and tailored to meet the needs of midlife women,” explains Jess.

Plus, while you’ll eat well on the day, you’ll learn plenty of kitchen-friendly tips to take home with you.

“My role as nutritionist is to explain the important functions and systems that we have in our body, and how, through food, we can help to support and improve menopause symptoms,” says Charlotte. “For instance, blood sugar levels are an important health predictor, and menopause can affect our insulin sensitivity.

“I aim to simplify the biochemical information and give women solutions to optimise each body system, in turn helping women learn how to thrive in midlife – whether it’s through reducing stress or building muscle.”

Join Charlotte and Jess’ next retreat, Navigating the Perimenopause and Menopause with Yoga and Nutrition, on Saturday 4th February 2023 in Hertfordshire. Click here for more information.

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