Since 1966, Gloria Steinem's NYC apartment has served as the birthplace of many movements. In celebration of World Menopause Month, Kindra had the opportunity to host an intimate conversation led by Gayle King, with Gloria Steinem and Kindra CEO, Catherine Balsam-Schwaber.
Inspired by the first ever Couch Conversation, Kindra is inviting and challenging our community to continue the conversation within their own circles. As Kindra CEO, Catherine Balsam-Schwaber often says, "This should not be like Fight Club. The first rule of menopause should be to TALK about menopause."
Read on for a guide on how to plan your own Couch Conversation, so you can be a part of this revolution.
What is a Couch Conversation?
As Gloria Steinem has shown us, change starts with conversation. A Couch Conversation allows everyone to listen, participate, and discuss our changing bodies and mind through this new chapter of menopause. Collectively, we are unapologetically starting the conversation to redefine menopause. Change starts with conversation and an opportunity to see ourselves through trials and triumphs of our friends, family, and peers. Collectively, we are unapologetically redefining menopause by starting the conversation. Let’s start here, from the comfort of your sofa.
Why should you host a Couch Conversation?
Couch Conversations are meant to open the dialogue to cross-generational people at different stages of life. Creating a safe space for a group of people to redefine menopause and encourage conversations. We want you to feel unafraid and empowered to say more and rise up. According to Gloria Steinem, "change starts with a conversation". Through this, we can help break down stigmas that get in the way of wellness education.
How do you host one?
1. Select a group of friends you’d like to join with you in the movement to change the conversation around menopause.
This can be family, friends, an intergenerational group, members of your community, online friends, you name it.
2. Invite them to a safe space where you feel comfortable debunking the taboo of menopause.
We like the idea of your most comfortable sofa, but make it your own.
- Pro tip: If you’d like, send them an old fashioned invite in the mail, or use Paperless Post or Canva to invite them over email.
3. Put together an agenda. With topics that people aren't used to talking about, it's helpful to have a starting point.
- Self-talk through midlife: Being kind to yourself and getting support from others is important during this transition. Share a mindfulness or self-care routine that has helped you.
- Intimacy and Relationships after 50: This is a personal topic so sometimes it’s helpful to loosen up the group by acknowledging that this is real, and it happens to so many of us. Vaginal dryness is so common and nothing to be ashamed of, and it has real impact on sex life and libido.
- Is anyone in the group struggling with intimacy and comfortable discussing it?
- What are ways you’re reconnecting with yourself?
- Body talk: weight gain, hormonal changes, our relationship to food.
- Our bodies are changing in more ways than one. Is anyone experiencing any discomfort in their body?
- What ways is your relationship with your body or food changing?
- Has anyone discovered ways to really lean into their body and the way it’s changing? What has helped you?
- Talk about products, tips or tools that have been helpful when navigating the menopause transition.
- Mental health & menopause: Did you know that menopause increases the likelihood of occurrences of anxiety and depression. This is another deeply personal topic but important for people to feel they are not alone if they are experiencing this.
- Need some help guiding the conversation? Check out our conversation cards as a way for you and your friends to connect, laugh, learn and explore. Our journaling and conversation prompts will prompt you to deepen not only your relationship with your support group but ultimately, yourself.
4. Now comes the fun part. What's on the menu?
- We have some menopause-friendly recipes on our blog, ranging from sweet treats to salads that you can reference for inspiration.
5. End the Couch Conversation on a positive note
- Have each attendee write down 3 actions they can take to help raise awareness around menopause and make the topic feel less taboo.
- Encourage your new (or old) friends to host their own couch conversation to keep the dialog going.
Change starts with a conversation. To help encourage more people to host their own Couch Conversation, every week we'll be sending one host a $500 gift card to indulge in menopause self care. Simply post a photo to Instagram from your Couch Conversation, tag us and hashtag your photo with #menopauseproud.
How will you destigmatize menopause?