Becks Armstrong, Founder Of Clarity & Expert In Menopause, Mindfulness & Sleep! Ask The Expert!

Becks_ArmstrongBecks_Armstrong Posts: 28 Menopause Mindfulness Expert
edited March 15 in Ask the Menopause Experts
We're proud to bring you the expertise Becks Armstrong & Clarity, specialists in mindfulness & relaxation and sleep for women!

Post your questions below now

Mindfulness can be a powerful tool to help combat the many symptoms of the menopause, which is why we built the Clarity app. The first mindfulness, relaxation and sleep app designed by women for women.

About Becks Armstrong & Clarity

Becks Armstrong is a degree educated women’s health specialist, with 20+ years senior leadership experience within UK tech startups.

With a mission to improve the lives of women through mindfulness, Becks Armstrong wanted to share her many years of working in womens health and creating personalised guided visualisations, nutrition and exercise plans, as well as her knowledge of acupuncture and doula services.

In 2017,  Becks spotted a lack of real and substantive solutions for women going through perimenopause and menopause.  As a result, she created Clarity - a technology solution to improve women’s health through mindfulness, relaxation and sleep.

The Clarity app features specific content and mindfulness practices for situations that may arise due to menopause like hot flushes, sleeplessness, night sweats and improving a low libido.  Such exercises improve the quality of life for users - from better mental health and relationships to performance in the workplace.

Clarity is available now on the iTunes Store & Google Play


Becks from Clarity will be joining us on the 19th of March to answer your questions on all things mindfulness & sleep

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Check out the Clarity app on iTunes & Google Play

Comments

  • KazKaz Posts: 436 mod
    edited March 12

    Hello Becks!

    Welcome to the forum!

    I was so excited when I read this last night, I immediately downloaded the app.

    I've used another mindfulness app for a long time to help me get, and stay asleep, so I was really interested to see what yours could do, especially with the focus being on women! 😊

    I'm going to enjoy getting to know the app, there are lots of sections I'm keen to try out, but I used it last night for the first time to get to sleep. I don't remember a thing! That's a good thing - right!?

    I was always sceptical when people suggested using mindfulness as a way of taking some time out of my day to help with anxiety issues and chronic insomnia, but I'm happy to say I was proved wrong, and it's one of the best habits I've developed.

    Looking forward to seeing everyones questions! 😊

  • Becks_ArmstrongBecks_Armstrong Posts: 28 Menopause Mindfulness Expert

    Hi Kaz,

    Thanks for the warm welcome - it is indeed a good thing that you don’t remember anything- in fact I’m delighted to hear it!

    I hope you enjoy getting to know Clarity and let me know how you get on .


    Facebook - hey_clarity
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    Check out the Clarity app on iTunes & Google Play
  • MaryMary Posts: 9

    Hi there- unfortunately I am post menopausal and have developed urinary- Genito atrophy due to low oestrogen levels - I have been prescribed an oestrogen cream to use once a week and there has been a little improvement but symptoms have not gone away - should I be using the oestrogen cream more than once a week?

  • Becks_ArmstrongBecks_Armstrong Posts: 28 Menopause Mindfulness Expert

    Hi Mary, thanks for your note. When it comes to prescription medication it’s best if you ask your prescribing doctor. I’m sorry to hear that it’s not resolved for you, hopefully you can get some answers and some relief quickly.


    Facebook - hey_clarity
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    Check out the Clarity app on iTunes & Google Play
  • JuJu23JuJu23 Posts: 22 ✭✭

    Good morning

    advice on breathing exercises when awake at night would be really useful!

    X

  • Becks_ArmstrongBecks_Armstrong Posts: 28 Menopause Mindfulness Expert

    Hi JuJu, I have quite a few tips for getting back to sleep in the night. For straight breathing technique you can try counting each breath to 21 - trying to make your out breath slower than your in breath. Each time your mind wanders to something, just acknowledge it and bring your mind back to your breath and the last number you counted. Try to make your breath slow, your belly to rise on the inhale and fall on the exhale.

    If you feel wide awake you can also try a body scan - where you start at the top of your head and you go down your body slowly noticing where it is touching your bed, your duvet or your clothing and how it feels. Again if your mind wanders it's ok just bring it back to the last place you remember noticing.

    On Clarity we have a few tracks to listen to that can help you get back to sleep (the garden, the pass, and cool your body back to sleep - if you have a nightsweat) or a number of background sounds that are soothing and relaxing if you don't want to listen to a voice.

    Goodluck trying these, let me know how you get on and what works best for you x


    Facebook - hey_clarity
    Insta - @hey_clarity 
    Twitter - @hey_clarity

    Check out the Clarity app on iTunes & Google Play
  • sheilaesheilae Posts: 27 mod

    A big welcome to the forum Becks!

    So lovely to see you on here! Mindfulness is such a widely used word these days....& it works for sure!! Regular practise is key though isn't it.....our brain & its thoughts need this type of workout like the rest of our body parts!! It certainly helps with anxiety & negative thoughts .....my problem though is sometimes if I'm stressed, I forget the mindfulness technique & the stress causes havoc with my breathing & so it can take me a while to get back into the zone if that makes sense?? So I guess .....practise makes perfect so I'll keep on that road!! 👍😁💕

  • Becks_ArmstrongBecks_Armstrong Posts: 28 Menopause Mindfulness Expert
    edited March 15

    Thanks @sheilae!


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    Check out the Clarity app on iTunes & Google Play
  • KazKaz Posts: 436 mod

    Hello Becks,

    Hope you're well 😊

    I swapped to your Clarity app when it was announced on the forum that you'd be one of our experts, especially during sleep week. I think I already mentioned that when I started using mindfulness apps a while ago now, I was one of those sceptics that didn't believe they could possibly have a positive effect! I'm happy to say I have been proved wrong in so many ways !

    I wonder if I enjoyed Clarity more because I've already developed the habit of practising mindfulness, and have been using another mindfulness app to help me fall asleep. It's been a regular part of my bedtime routine for months, to the extent that I struggle to fall asleep without it. My problem with the other app, as good as I feel it is, when the session finishes, I can sometimes find myself waking up again. That hasn't happened with Clarity. The car wipers sent me to sleep last night with a smile on my face - they appealed to my sense of humour, but my favourite is Dream. I rarely get to the end of the session - which I am loving! Falling asleep has never been so easy!

    The instacool button in the middle of the night is brilliant! And I also loved the Feel Better Body Scan. Again, I was sceptical, but it really helped! I look forward to working my way through all of the sessions eventually. So far, I've enjoyed every session I've tried, and it may take me a while, but I will try to work my way through as many as I can. There's a great range to choose from, whether I need help to sleep, relax, or soothe my anxious and restless mind, and I love that the app is designed by women, specifically for women. 💕

    I would encourage everyone to have a go at mindfulness - I love my time out during the day just to gather my thoughts, and recharge my batteries. I love this app, and I'm definitely sticking with it.

    Thanks @Becks_Armstrong 😊♥️

  • Becks_ArmstrongBecks_Armstrong Posts: 28 Menopause Mindfulness Expert

    Oh @Kaz what a lovely testimonial - I’m so delighted that you have enjoyed using Clarity and you’ve managed to sleep so well. The quirky windscreen wipers is my personal favourite to get back to sleep if I wake up, you wouldn’t think it would work but I find it so relaxing! I'm pleased we have the same sense of humour 😁

    When designing the app I made sure we had a variety of sessions to help cater for individual needs - we are not all the same! I do love to get feedback as it lets me know that we’re on the right track, what women need and how we can also improve.

    Thank you very much 😍 


    Facebook - hey_clarity
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    Check out the Clarity app on iTunes & Google Play
  • SHE55SHE55 Posts: 3

    Hi been going through menopause for 6 year now started when I was 47/48 sweats night sweats unbelievable mood teeth for getting my words and how to spell also I have been depressed for a long time because of things that happened to me when I was a child but in the last 9 years I have tried to kill myself 2 maybe 3 times I find it hard to exercise because I suffer with severe pains in my legs shooting pain up and down my legs and lower back severe pain to the point I sometimes use a stick I have tried everything spent a fortune on different things nothing helped wish I could take HRT but I can not tried a few times but all it did was make me scratch and even hotter hope you can help I have asked the same question to someone else thanks

  • Becks_ArmstrongBecks_Armstrong Posts: 28 Menopause Mindfulness Expert

    Hi @SHE55, I'm really sorry to hear how you've struggled. It sounds like you have a lot of things really impacting you at the moment. I hope you have a good support structure around you - do you have a cbt therapist or psychologist that you are seeing on a regular basis? Depression is something that needs to have ongoing support and I hope that you have it, if not I would strongly recommend you seek out a professional to talk to for help.

    I want to be able to give you a little help, and a little hope. I can't help with prescriptions as you need to talk to your doctor about what would be the best for you to take.

    Have you tried meditation before? It's not a quick fix by any means but there's a couple of things that it could do for you if you could try getting into a daily practice. I would recommend you seeking out a mediation course if you can as I think you need to have a structured course to help you. There are courses run in most cities and you can find specific depression and pain courses. Just be aware that it will take some time so don't put too much pressure on yourself.

    Meditation won't take the pain of your legs away, but it can help you to understand it and teach you how to refocus - there's an article that explains it here. On Clarity we have sessions like the Lake and the Ocean that can help you with helping you understand your emotions. We also have a cool your body back to sleep and a bunch of getting to sleep sessions that can help you with your night sweats.

    From the sounds of things there is a lot going on for you and it's important to take one day at a time. I wish you all the very best and I hope you find some comfort very soon.


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    Check out the Clarity app on iTunes & Google Play
  • SHE55SHE55 Posts: 3

    I have seen a specialist but said that they couldn't do anything for me doctor put me on fluoxetine for depression and told me because I can not take hrt then he could do nothing more for me but thank you for for all your advice xx

  • Becks_ArmstrongBecks_Armstrong Posts: 28 Menopause Mindfulness Expert

    @SHE55, I'm so very sorry to hear that there's nothing pharmaceutical that can be done for you. I do hope you have a trained talk therapist (like a Psychologist or Psychotherapist or someone trained in CBT). Do look into the mediation aspect - it's by no means a quick fix but it really can help.

    Don't forget to reach out to everyone here at the Live Better With Menopause community if you're struggling and stay in touch.

    Good luck x


    Facebook - hey_clarity
    Insta - @hey_clarity 
    Twitter - @hey_clarity

    Check out the Clarity app on iTunes & Google Play
  • MaxMax Posts: 2

    Hi, I've noticed the past weeks that my mood has became very black. I'm already taking 30mg citalopram. Had my bloods done months ago and it should early menopause. Can anyone give me some advice?

    Max

  • Becks_ArmstrongBecks_Armstrong Posts: 28 Menopause Mindfulness Expert

    Hi @Max I'm sorry to hear that you've been feeling dark. As your body starts to make the hormonal changes to get ready and go through menopause it's common to have changes in your mood. There are a number of things that can help to start to feel a little better - doing some exercise, making sure you prioritise your sleep and doing some meditation. Start small and celebrate every win.

    I think you need to go back to speak to your doctor to make sure that you're on the right medication and the right dose if you feel it's not working. Depending on what you would like to do to manage your menopause you may want to look at HRT to help support you through. What ever you decide, just make sure that you get outside, find a community that can support you and take some time to look after your own self care.

    I hope you feel better soon x


    Facebook - hey_clarity
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    Check out the Clarity app on iTunes & Google Play
  • KazKaz Posts: 436 mod

    Hello @Max

    Welcome to our forum!

    So - you've had your bloods done, and you've been told that you're perimenopausal. Did you have any discussion about symptoms at all? Are you aware of any other symptoms you're experiencing (as if the black moods aren't enough on their own)? I'm sorry that it's happening to you - a lot of our ladies will empathise!

    Some women are genuinely surprised when they see a list of symptoms, and realise how many of them they actually recognise as happening to them. It's really about being aware of what's happening to our bodies so that we can have informed discussions with our GPs and practitioners.

    I would be inclined to have a think about your circumstances and perhaps arrange to have a chat with your GP to see if there are adjustments that could be made to your current medication, or if there are other options they can offer you, such as HRT if that's something that you might consider.

    We have lots of helpful conversations happening on the forum too. Grab a cuppa and have a look around here and you'll find lots of information that might be relevant to you 😊


  • MaxMax Posts: 2

    Hi, thank you for your response. I was told in a phone conversation with a GP that my bloods were high and I should consider trying HRT, and he would send some literature out for me to decide.

  • Nickib65Nickib65 Posts: 1
    Hi, new to this so here goes.  I have read all the symptoms of the menopause and like many women of my age (53) can relate to a lot of them but the worst of them all for me is insomnia.  I am taking zopiclone (sleeping tablets) at the moment but because I am taking them every night my body has got use to them.  My doctor said I have got to wean myself off them but having a full time job and no sleep does not bode well!  My eyes want to sleep but my brain is saying nope, let's just think about anything and everything all night long.  Anything you can recommend that I don't need to see a doctor for as this is effecting my personal and work life.  I have tried hrt but couldn't get on with it.  Thank you.

  • Becks_ArmstrongBecks_Armstrong Posts: 28 Menopause Mindfulness Expert
    Hi @Nickib65 thanks for your note and welcome! 😁Insomnia is a killer - I'm sorry to hear that you're struggling with this. Unfortunately there's no quick fixes to this but given what your doctor has said then it's important to start the journey to turn your sleep around.
    The standard advice (which I'm assuming you know already but am leaving it here just on the off chance you don't) is to look at your "going to bed" routine. Getting off your screen (TV, laptop or phone) for an hour or two before bed, lowering the amount of coffee and alcohol you drink, making the lights dim in the evening and when you go to bed making your room cool and as dark as possible are the main things.
    The same things that you would do for a kid you need to do for yourself, slow things down, speak softly and lower the lights and think of nice things (you would sing a song or read a lovely happy book to a child) to help them prepare for sleep, things that slow your heart rate down.
    If you have a racing head (which I call tired but wired) then I highly recommend going old school and writing your thoughts down in a journal daily. There are a couple of tricks with it -
    • it's got to be written in hand writing (the second best is typing on your phone but that negates the screen thing) 
    • you can write down as a flow of consciousness or a to-do list (whatever is worrying you the most) but just get everything out of your head and on to the paper - don't worry if it goes for a few pages, just get it out
    • you MUST finish with 3-5 very specific things that you're grateful for - again may seem too simple but what it does is that it will break the negative thought spiral that you can get into before bed. Having to think about and write down people, events or things that you're grateful for and more specifically why today you're grateful for them - not like I'm grateful for my partner/friend/kid but I'm grateful for my p/f/k because they did something unasked or remembered to take out the trash etc. You have to find instances in your day that you're grateful for to make it "work"
    Once you have written your journal and turn your light off you can then start with concentrating on your breathing, using mindfulness to help you off to sleep is a great tool (I created the sleep sessions on Clarity https://clarity.app for this reason) it can help you open your chest, relax your muscles and just get out of your head before you drift off to sleep - I do get that it's on a phone but you can start it up and leave it next to you and listen without having to look at the graphics or stay on your phone for any length of time.
    I would recommend that you start practicing these things before making any change to your meds just to see how it feels and if your sleep changes in any way. If you start to notice a difference then on a Friday night look to have one night without the pills (so if you're impacted it won't effect your work) and see how you go. My caveat to this is you need to go slow and you need to talk it through with your doctor to make sure you pace it right as there can be some significant effects from coming off too quickly from some sleeping pills.
    I wish you the very best of luck - if you need anything more specific you're welcome to send me a PM to have a chat about it.
    Warm regards
    Becks

    Facebook - hey_clarity
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    Check out the Clarity app on iTunes & Google Play
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