How Yorkshire Actor Natalie Anderson is Providing Space for Honest Chats about Perimenopause and Women's Health
Yorkshire actor and founder of The Capsule, Natalie Anderson, wants to provide women with invaluable information and education on the often taboo subject of perimenopause and menopause
It’s no wonder many women feel they have to struggle on alone when it comes to this time in their lives, but that’s where actor, presenter and writer Natalie Anderson, best known for her roles on Emmerdale and Hollyoaks, has stepped in. In 2016 Natalie created The Capsule #inconversation podcast and its digital platform The Capsule to provide a space for honest chat, expert advice and a real insight into all aspects of women’s health and wellbeing.
‘Primarily I’m an actor, but alongside that I’ve always had a real passion for women’s health and wellbeing,’ says Natalie. ‘Talking about women’s health was important to me because I suffered quite badly from anxiety for many years but didn’t really ever discuss it. It was something I had to deal with on my own, and I realised that women in particular keep so much to themselves and burden themselves a lot, whether over childcare, a burnout, or so many different things. I decided to start a blog called The Capsule and from the responses that we were getting to our articles I could see that women just didn’t feel supported. So I wanted to change that and over time The Capsule’s turned into what it is today with a podcast, live events and a website.’
Heading into its eighth series, The Capsule #inconversation podcast has covered a whole range of topics and featured everyone from Helen Skelton to Liz Earle. And building on this success, Natalie is aiming to provide women with even more valuable information and education by bringing the Peri-Meno Meet Up to Leeds, an exclusive event focused on myth-busting around perimenopause and menopause.
‘We have been working for some time now on our podcast to raise awareness of the impacts of perimenopause and menopause as so many of the messages we’ve received from our listeners pinpoint this transitional phase as a turning point in their confidence and outlook on life,’ explains Natalie.
‘As I’m getting older I’ve realised there’s a huge gap in women’s health. We’ve started to talk publicly about the menopause a lot more now, but with the perimenopause it can begin as early as your mid-30s, and women of that age group are just not focused on it. There’s this whole other aspect of women’s health that’s not covered but could have a massive impact on you, and that really interested me. I wanted to do something special to bring women together so that they could share experiences and stories whilst receiving vital information about how to manage what can be an incredibly difficult and isolating time, and so the Peri-Meno Meet Up was born.’
The perimenopause is the transition period before menopause and comes with similar symptoms such as brain fog, mood swings, interrupted sleep, aching joints, skin outbreaks and anxiety. Natalie herself didn’t know what the perimenopause was until a doctor mentioned it on her podcast. She was 38 at the time and couldn’t believe she didn’t know about something that could have such a huge impact on both her mental health and wellbeing.
The Peri-Meno Meet Up aims to provide a safe space for women to come together and have fun whilst breaking the stigma around this transitional phase of women’s health. Taking place in Leeds on the evening of 13th April, the Peri-Meno Meet Up event will feature Q&A sessions with an expert panel, styling demos and shopping and networking at the menopause marketplace. ‘I wanted it to be something that was fun but educational,’ says Natalie. ‘Going into the menopause can be a very lonely and isolating time for women. I wanted to bring women together so that they could share stories and experiences, but also so they could feel like they weren’t alone. We wanted to do it in a fun, uplifting, empowering way where we can actually see perimenopause and menopause as positive stages. Rather than it feeling like the end, see them like a new beginning or the next stage.
‘There’ll be fashion styling, hair styling and skincare. We’ve got the special menopause marketplace where people can look at supplements, skincare products and holistic wellbeing tools. Also an amazing expert panel that can answer all the questions they might have to ask. All the different areas that I wanted to bring to women so they can make informed choices about this next phase of their lives.’
The Peri-Meno Meet Up aims to reframe the narrative, inspiring younger women to get involved with the perimenopause conversation. ‘I’m incredibly keen to try and get younger women to be part of the conversation as I think that post pregnancy there’s a huge gap in the education of women’s health,’ says Natalie. ‘It’s vital younger women know what might be in store for them so that they can make the best life choices for themselves and so I’m hoping we’ll get mothers, daughters and friendship groups coming to the event. This is something we should be embracing together. And as a proud Yorkshire woman I’m delighted to be launching this event in Leeds!’