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#104 Driving home for Christmas with The Fabulous Pharmacist, Laura Dowling
The 360 Leadhership Podcast, Episode 104, 20 December 2023 by Lucy Gernon
Is there anything like logging off for Christmas?
Knowing you and your team are done and you can switch off- FINALLY!
The cosy traditions, the smell of delicious meals, and the excitement of being with loved ones—it’s truly magical. But for some, it can also be a challenging time.
If you find Christmas tough, I see you and I’m sending love. And if you’re mid last minute gift shopping and feeling the pressure, I see you too!
That’s why I’m so excited to present you episode 104 of The 360 LeadHERship podcast, with my special guest, Laura Dowling, aka The Fabulous Pharmacist.
Laura, a pharmacist by profession, has not only successfully carved her own brand with “Fabuwellness” but has also emerged as a prominent advocate for various aspects of health. What sets her apart in the wellness sphere is her dedicated focus on women’s health and wellness, including the whole area of sexuality and genitalia.
Her authenticity and unapologetic approach to her work make her a beacon of inspiration, and I’m excited to share her insights with all of you.
In this special episode, she imparts wisdom drawn from her entrepreneurial journey and unwavering commitment to health. Join us for a fun and exciting conversation that promises to enlighten, inspire, and infuse a touch of fabulousness into your Christmas
Wishing you health, happiness, and a festive journey home for Christmas!
Here’s the episode at a glance:
[5:39] Pharmacist Turned Entrepreneur: Unveiling the Journey of Laura from Prescriptions to Vaginal Health
[10:24] Is it possible to maintain professionalism while having fun?
[16:36] How to reduce pressure on yourself over Christmas
[28:19] Do you have trouble sleeping? Try This
[36:56] The Real Reason Behind the Vulva Costume!
[47:13] The Power of Self-Advocacy During Menopause
Prefer to read?
Welcome to the 360 leadership podcast, the top rated show for driven women in senior leadership with new episodes released every Wednesday. I’m your host Lucy Gernon, a multi award winning executive coach for women leaders and the founder of 360. Leaders Club exclusive high level membership for career driven family orientated women just like you. I created the 360 leadership podcast to share practical tips, actionable step by step strategies and inspiring stories to support you to unlock the power and belief within to accelerate your impact and potential so you can build a life filled with success, balance and happiness. So are you ready to achieve 360 degree success? No more excuses. No more waiting. Your time is now. Welcome back to another episode of the 360 leadership podcast. I am delighted today to be joined by a very very special guest somebody a little bit, who I love a lot because she is so authentically herself. It is ridiculous. And I hope that you all will learn a lot from my guest today who is Laura Dowling, who is the founder of Fabi wellness and an absolute powerhouse on Instagram if you don’t follow Laura. She is a pharmacist who has created her own brand and she’s a massive advocate for all things health, women’s health, vaginal health and all these things and I’m delighted to have you on the podcast this week as people are driving home for Christmas. So Laura, you’re very welcome to the show today. How are you?
I’m greatly see Thanks a million. You’re
looking beautiful in your pink. I was just saying to you before your lipstick matches your jumper and everything. That’s
a complete coincidence. That’s a complete coincidence. I’m not I’m not I’m I’m definitely not a moolah anyway.
Well, listen, it’s great to have you here. So look, I suppose you want to just maybe introduce yourself a little bit to my listeners in case people are living under a rock and don’t know who you are. Tell us a little bit about you and your journey to I suppose where you are now. What’s your what’s your business?
So I I’m Laura, I am a pharmacist have been a pharmacist for 20 over 20 years and in community pharmacy. And I have three boys. Everyone’s always very jealous when I say that, you know, boys are so quiet and you know so unassuming and the house isn’t always a mess as you can imagine. And I saw in my practice as a pharmacist that was utter confusion about nutritional supplements are more people should be taking. And I also was practicing in that time when women who were going through the perimenopause and menopause, you know, weren’t getting much support because it wasn’t a subject that was talked about in Ireland and also HRT was wrongfully demonized. So people were experiencing the symptoms of perimenopause and menopause which can be any range of symptoms from fatigue, hot flashes, irritability, anxiety, panic, wanting to stab your partner when they breathe on vaginal issues, you know, discomfort UTIs joint pain, so many so many issues, and they didn’t know why they’re experiencing this. So I you know, I could offer them a certain amount of help in the sense that I could dispense prescriptions for them that they that they were coming in with or advise them on certain products that I sold in the pharmacy in the nutritional supplement range. But there was nothing really that had a blend of ingredients that say I could I suppose stand over in terms of I was very much into traditional Chinese medicine, Ayurvedic medicine and how those two disciplines can be used alongside contemporary Western medicine because for for China and for for India and where those those medicinal practices happen it’s very much food as medicine people will go to the doctor and they’ll get prescribed like herbal teas or mushroom coffees or you know all of those kinds of things. So I’d always done I download the research and it I was very into it when I was in college as well and the pharmacognosy that’s a study of plants and herbs for medicinal purposes. So I will send people around to the health food shop but the list as long as my arm for blends of ingredients that could help with say, you know, issues with sleeping issues with stress and that kind of thing and I just thought look you know I know what I’m really bad at I’m really bad at certain things and very badly organized person I did have to reschedule this podcast with you and stuff like today like so you know I do, but I know what I am good at and I’m good at formulation I’m good at mixing things together and all that that’s why we into pharmacy in the first instance I loved chemistry and maths but also healthcare so it was really really suited me. And so that’s that’s how i i brought about my brand and then my Instagram was kind of it was very organic, very random. Like it happened completely sort of spontaneously I was posting originally on Facebook just like written captions such as you know if you have thrushes. He tweeted, but then when stories came about on Instagram, I was able to kind of get my personality across and I suppose I’d be a little bit of centric or a little bit mad As people wouldn’t look at me and say, Oh, that’s a very typical pharmacist. But pharmacists have our personalities too. And that was kind of how I started to grow on social media. So it was I was always going to come out with my my products because I there like 12 years in the making, but the the Instagram profile Canary happened quite quickly, I suppose during the COVID times when I was it was breaking down the information that the government were putting out about how long people had to isolate for you know, who to stay away from, it was all very confusing. And when I started talking about that, my following just grew. So
you know, I love those two things that you said there that I really want to dig into. And there’s something that I think is really, really important for women at some point and massive advocate for is just being your authentic self and being real and being you. And you said at the start, she said I know what I’m, I know what I’m not good. I just said not organized. But I know what I am good at. And you said it with a lot of certainty in terms of like, I’m good at formulating, I’m good at mixing I’m good at this. And then you also talked about you know, that you have the following on Instagram, because you said you’re a bit eccentric, and you just show up as you so well, I absolutely love about you genuinely way I wanted to have have you on the show was because you’ve been able to build a fantastically successful business in a very short space of time. And this Instagram kind of following just by knowing what you’re good at and being yourself. So talk to me a bit about what goes on in your mind in terms of that piece, as you hear me say that,
Oh, my goodness, like 20,000 things are always going around in my head. But actually just just on that, when you said a very successful business in a very short period of time, it seems like that, right? Because I launched 18 months ago. And my range is now and pharmacy and health food stores and I’m selling online. But you know, this brand was 12 years in the making swept 12 years of r&d of blood, sweat and tears of brick trying to bring it to market and 2017 and failing miserably. Because I didn’t have a business head. I had a pharmacist hat. So I didn’t understand financials or margins, or what a distributor would take off me. And I would have like, ended up bankrupt within a month of launch. If I’d done that. So I brought it to the very end in 2017. And then couldn’t, couldn’t press the go button on manufacturing because it wasn’t was never going to be financially viable. So what I what I and I tell that story to you, so you’re far your your listeners will understand that nothing happens overnight, even even that way. And like when I say my Instagram following blew up over COVID Prior to that, like I was posting, I was posting things not not really regularly not as regularly as I do now. But I was posting stuff back when my baby who was no 10. So my youngest was two. So like it started eight years ago, the Instagram thing and it was fairly slapdash. Like it wasn’t it wasn’t. You know, it wasn’t I suppose structured or organized. It still actually isn’t to be honest. It like I mean, it actually isn’t. And I’m someone, you know, I have some people that I that helped me with a little bit of marketing. And they’re always looking for, like content calendars for me, and I drive them crazy, because I don’t have any because I literally just do what I do on the day when I feel like it. So I probably have to be a little bit more organized that way. But in terms of being your authentic self, I think it’s really important because I think particularly if you’re online and you’re not your authentic self, it really comes across and and I’ve always loved a laugh and a joke and a bit of fun. And you know, I suppose maybe when I went online first and I was able to do the videos, and I was kind of dancing in the dispensary. I’d say a few of my colleagues were like, I see my peers like oh my goodness, who is this one? And I’m sure there was a few conversations about me open head office. But But at that it was bringing people into the store as well because they they knew that I was kind of relatable like I think as a mom and I’m a woman I am relatable like, you know, I’m a good cook. I’m a good cook in terms of like I’m a mommy cook Yeah, I’m not a chef, but I can cook food that’s tasty that feed my kids and my husband and myself and they love us right? But I hate housework. So you know I’ll have a messy kitchen but everyone be well fed. So I actually when I started putting up my cookery videos and it’s just really quick little videos of what I add to things and I don’t even put the recipe up I literally just like because I don’t have recipes everything’s in my head or else I just things out of the cupboard and they’re like, you know, like most moms do we follow recipe books now. And people love them because they’re like, Oh my God, thank God I’m seeing like you know, you do in dinners like my mom used to do or you’re pulling everything out of the fridge like my mom used to to use it all up or you’re actually doing some woman said to me the other day because I love the fact that your crockery is all different and shipped your loved one great like nor Yeah, so or outside throw a dessert down the table and there’s still peas and gravy on that. You know that kind of way. So. And I think that it’s important to not try and be someone that you’re not because people do see through that. They may not initially, but they’ll see through it eventually. And also, I’d say, I mean, it’s exhausting anyway, when you’re trying to shoot content, I suppose when it’s, and you’re trying to resonate with people, so it’s tiring, and it’s on your mind to do it. So if you have to do that, and not be yourself, I’d say it’s completely draining. Like, I mean, it would just turn you off, you know,
100%, like, and, you know, a lot of the women listening that are listening to the show today, they’d be working in professional environments, right. And, you know, a lot of my clients come from the stem industry, like tech, and pharma, and pharmaceutical manufacturing, things like that a lot of corporates. And what can happen is, is, it’s like, sometimes you lose your personality at the door, like they feel like they need to potentially conform to, you know, the male dominance around them, and not really show their true selves. But actually, I think what you do is and what I tried to do, too, was like, redefine my professional means. So like, Why does professional have to mean that you have to wear your white lab coat and be really stiff and not have better crack? When you’re mixing? You’re mixing your formulations? Because that’s where all the creativity comes from? And like, with you people are you’re like a magnet for people because you’re relatable. So like, what do you think in terms of like professionalism, and being your authentic self? Do you think it’s like, what does professional mean for you?
Professional means knowing, it means knowing what you’re, you can speak about authentically, and means you being very aware of what you can do for people, but also being very aware of what you can’t do for people. And it doesn’t mean not being able to have a little dance or a movie, or show that you have a glass of wine or show your vulnerable side. And it doesn’t mean that you can’t wear a short skirt, if you’ve got great legs, or even if you don’t have great legs. It doesn’t mean you don’t I mean, it’s you being you. And I think there is that line, and social media has brought that about, and I know that there are some professional organizations pharmacy as well. And I’ve seen that the, the, the art is at the IMO and I what who are the crowd that look after the doctors, they have come up with their own guidelines on social media use and you know, combining the professionalism and the the, the behind the scenes, but I think it’s great, because you get to see that, you know, people that are considered professionals, whatever that might be, they are real people as well. You know, I think there used to be, and it’s getting better. And it used to be this hierarchy in society whereby if you were a doctor, you were like, revered, or, you know, no one could ever say something negative or disagree with you about a certain thing. But now we’re encouraged to ask questions, we’re encouraged to, you know, maybe go and get second opinions. And equally, we can see that doctors are just as vulnerable and can have just as much hurt and, you know, have little kids and are just as stressed as the rest of us. And, you know, similarly for, you know, even like lawyers or pharmacists, or whatever it might be that the profession is that they are human beings at the end of the day. And I also very much believe that a professional, if they have got the state of the art oftentimes has got that way because they’ve, they have a privileged life, they’ve they’ve had an education, they’ve been able to have an education, they’ve either had a family that’s helped them, or they have had money to be able to do that or like, and I know there’s people that will have struggled to do that too. But more often than not, there has been a foundation there, where education and professionalism are going into a job that is a profession has been encouraged and allowed for within a family group. There are so many other people in the world that are just as intelligent as me or just as intelligent as you are just as intelligent, that just hasn’t had that start in life that may that we may have heard. So it’s really important that, you know, people aren’t put up on a pedestal and seen as some other worldly thing, because they are well educated, inverted commas. I know so many people that are so far more far more intelligent than me, that may not be considered educated, but boy, can they talk and can they walk? And can they you know, do business? So, so very important. And I’m sure you come across that too.
Yeah, no, absolutely. And I think it’s like, I think I love what you’re saying there. Because professionalism does not mean you know, you have to have so many degrees or so many MBAs are so many certificates. It’s about exactly what you said, No one who you can help, uh, no one who you can’t know what you can talk about nor what you can talk about. And as you were saying that I was just thinking about, I met a girl yesterday. I’m sure she won’t mind me sharing my once that her name, but she’s a master’s student in the local university where I live, and she’s on a scholarship to the Irish government. She’s from Gaza. And she was explaining to me obviously, as we’re recording this podcast, you know, they won’t even get into it but the town Over that’s going on over there. And she was explaining to me that every year the Irish government offers 10 scholarships for women from God or people from Gaza to come over to Ireland and do scholarship. And she was one of those lucky ones. And my god, the intellect that this girl has, she’s into digital marketing, she was helped me with ads and all this kind of stuff. She is so smart. And like, I just wonder, had she not got that opportunity, like 10 people out of 1000s of people in Gaza, and she’s one of the lucky ones that’s got the scholarship. She’s now in Ireland, you know, she’s carving a career for herself. But there I imagine the amount of people who just don’t get that chance. You know,
I know I often use the term and I’m not I’m not very, I’m not very religious, I do believe there’s something out there. Like, we can’t all just be here for no reason. I do say, but for the grace of God, go i because you could live, it’s literally you are a product of the country that you’re born into the family that you’re born into. And you could if you were in any other place, you would still be high, still be lower, but my life would have been very different. And as a result, I could have a very different outlook on life and personality and life in general. So absolutely, I think it’s really important that we’re cognizant of that, no matter how successful or you know, seemingly successful we are, that there’s always that bit at the back of your head that knows how privileged you are, you know, what you often hear like, someone with a third degree, you know, a college education or whatever it was like, oh, you know, I worked really hard, though, to get where I am. And it’s like, Of course you did. But that doesn’t mean you’re any more deserving off foot than someone who may have not got that opportunity before. Yeah, exactly.
And I think like success does not mean smarts. I think there’s a lot of people who are in certain positions who’ve got there, because they’re good at promoting themselves and they’re good at, you know, putting themselves out there, they’re more risk averse than maybe some people who may be smarter. So I think when it comes to professionalism, I just think there’s so many different facets to it. So I love that you’re an advocate for that, too. And so what else I want to ask you Okay, so obviously with Chris, it’s around Christmas time when this episode is coming out. We were talking just before we got on about the pressure women put on themselves. So let’s have a little chat. Let’s relieve some pressure from the women who are listening.
Oh, yeah. Like, I think the pressure on women around Christmastime is just crazy. And the fact that there’s even a knowledge, not knowledge now, six, like, even the fact that we have to have that and it’s crazy, like women take on the bulk of the responsibility for everything at Christmas time, whether it be the presence, the cookin the organization things. And, you know, I remember, I remember myself when I was back in the pharmacy, one one evening, it was a Christmas Eve, I think, and I ran out to Tesco, and I was literally flinging things into the trolley, random things like, you know, it’s only and we do hear that all the time. Like, it’s only a day, you know, and literally the shops are break open on the on the 26th. But I think we need to kind of take a step back and take a breath and say what in the name of God am I doing this for, but it’s also really important to be delegate and not only delegate within the house, that people open their eyes, they’re in there in the living with us. Yeah, there’s nothing worse than having to say to someone, would you empty that dishwasher? But like, it’s great when they go over and just do it? And you don’t have to say to them, isn’t it but I think most ISOs Now, correct me if I’m wrong, because I’m Maybe I am wrong. But I think a lot of the managerial that a lot of that workload about the house is falls on the mother’s head and falls on the on the woman’s head. And, and we’re always thinking about, you know, the kids or, or work or a partner or parents, there’s so much going on. So, so much so that just this year, I gave the task to Mr. Fabulous of looking after the kids and looking after all the training sessions Barwon. So I have three boys. As I said, I look after the younger fellas, because he doesn’t do very much. But the other two are into so many sports, particularly one of them. And the team are notifications that are flying in left, right and center like every day and WhatsApp and all this and that and like you know, can you come to this much can go to this train and then oh, and even arrange and lift and stuff. And my head was addled. And you couldn’t even have written it down on it on a sheet of paper and put it on the fridge because sometimes they change and then like you might get a team a notification within you to ask to verify that and what’s up like it’s mental. So when he took that over, it was literally like the biggest relief because then my kid had a dog trainer. And I’m like, I don’t know, ask your dad. And no, my husband did actually, he set up a WhatsApp group within our family called training and he just sends notifications to the kids, and then they have to remember themselves to go whereas I was like, Oh, I’m going to you know, I’m gonna enable you to ask me all the time when it’s on because I’m remote. I’m remembering for you. So the first thing that he did, he said I’ll take over and then he went and put it back on there. So that goes to show you the difference between a mom and a dad and the way they think that it’s really important that we we don’t try and do everything. It’s not part smell to do everything and that we we are kind to yourselves like I’m a big advocate for leaving the laundry in the kitchen and going out for a run because the the laundry in the kitchen will still be there when you get back. But your mental health is so much better after that run. So and you can only do that if you have support around the house too though we can’t do everything. It’s so important. And women are at breaking point like they really are the stress and anxiety around Christmas time is crazy.
I think though, like just follows this into what you were saying around like men and women, right? Like, my husband is great in the house. And he didn’t used to be. But the reason he wasn’t is because I wanted to be in control of everything. I wanted to do everything like I wanted to make sure like I took care of the finances, I took care of the cooking, I did all the shopping, I did everything. But I never actually gave him the opportunity to do it. And when I think I think sometimes as women I know for me, like my mother was a stay at home mother. So I would have modeled like, my idea of a mother was well, you take care of your children, you do XY and Z you blah, blah, blah. But actually like my mom stayed at home and she worked at home, she baked for local coffee shops and stuff. But like when I when you’re like when you’ve got your own business, or you’ve got like a high pressure role, it’s very, very different. And I think what we’re doing as women in this society is we’re modeling what we think a good mother is based on a generation that’s totally changed. And now we’re putting all this pressure on ourselves. And then on the flip side, like I have clients who would be like quite senior in large companies, their husbands have taken a step back from work. And the husbands do all the cooking all the shopping so that the women can work. And I I love that that narrative narrative is starting to shift. But I do think it starts with us as women starting to go, do you know what? Like, like what you do love it. I love when you put up your reels of like domestic kitchen, and you’re doing your yoga or whatever. Like, I couldn’t do that because I am like, Oh my God, my kitchen has to be tidy. But really like your health is more important. So think it’s about us dropping our standards a little bit, letting go of a bit of the control as well, like what you’ve done, what your husband and I think that’s the key, a lot of the time, I don’t think it’s there, that the men won’t help out. I think it’s actually that we don’t invite it. What do you think? A
bit of both? A bit of both? Like to be honest with you, I think that yeah, it’s probably in us as a society to do it all. So my mom was a working mom. So but did all the cooking as well, you know, she probably did too much. Or maybe I’m in my role I modeled myself on her. And when I think about it, and that’s literally just dawned on me while we’ve been on that podcast, which is mental. And so yeah, I agree with you. But I think that society puts too much pressure on moms too. You know, it takes her next question, it takes very little to be considered a good dad. But equally, it takes very little to be considered a bad mom.
But the same time, like when we say society, right, like who is society? You know, we are
a society and that we’re hard on ourselves, and we’re hard on other women as well. I think it’s really important that we are much kinder and much more understanding. And it’s so very important that we that we shift that narrative, particularly for the younger generation growing up. And it’s only through us doing it ourselves. Now, you were saying you loved the control. I’m not sure I love that. But it just kind of like, fell into the hole like, oh, you know, I’ll just have to do it. And maybe, but but I think it comes through conversations and I think it comes through you’re saying look, I need help and I don’t just need help. Do I need it all the time? I need people to open their eyes. And believe me, you I love men love them show the house full of them. And I have a lovely dad and two brothers as well. And but yeah, I think that it’s time for I think women need to be able to ask for help, like what you said, relinquish control a bit of control they like and then also be easier on themselves.
Yeah. And I think as well like to say, just saying that word helped. Like I caught myself saying that to my husband the other day, I was like, Can you help me do the laundry? And then I stopped and I actually said to him, no. I said, Can you do the laundry? So like, yeah, he’s not helping me to do the laundry. It’s his bloody clothes as well, right? Like,
I know, even with the kids, like, one of them turned on to that and goes, Oh, I’m just sick of these chores for you. I think that’s like a red rag to a bull now to me, right? Because I’ve always been into getting my children I always call it raising man, they have to do work, you know, they have to do the housework. They have to know how to cook a bit of pasture for themselves. I could die tomorrow and what are they gonna do? Like, you know, none feed themselves and not be able to scrub a toilet. And I said to him, chores for me, you live in this house, you eat all the food, you’re getting free board and free food, you know, for at least 18 years. So you’ll do whatever is asked for you. And if you ever seen that again, you’re gonna get double the amount of shores. Absolutely. So yeah, it’s just really important that we catch them in that moment though, and don’t let them get away with it either. It’s really important. And what
do you do them with your with your boys there because I’m like that as well. I think our job as mothers is not to enable it’s not to mollycoddle. Like you said, if you were to jump off the face the earth in the morning, they need life skills. Don’t think they think that’s our job is mommy’s?
Absolutely. And I hear from some women. So I hear from some women that they say are listened, you know, it’s actually easier to do it myself, because I nag so much it takes them so long. And yeah, I get that sometimes you have to ask them five times. But then if you on the fifth, if on the fifth time you do ask them, you just say, Well, look, the phone’s gone. Because you haven’t actually done on the first instance, or the television is gone off now. Or I’m actually not feeding you I find what boys in particular, ration is a great motivation. So yeah, it has to be given take. Yeah,
no, absolutely, totally agree with that. So on the Christmas thing, then, so if anyone’s listening to this now, what would you say to the women now around Christmas time, what they need to do to relieve the pressure,
you need to take a few deep breaths, you need to ask for help. Demand the help. You need to get time out for yourself. A lot of women are running on empty, a lot of women are so tired and exhausted. And you know, I get asked all the time. Oh, my goodness, I need all your supplements. I’m like, you actually don’t even need one or two. But if you actually use them to plug a little gap in your lifestyle, but then also make sure you’re going to bed early and getting enough sleep and trying to get out and exercise and trying to eat well. Then you’re doing the best you can but a lot of women, it’s sheer tiredness and exhaustion, and it’s doing everything to
get enough sleep. Laura looked at you, are you good with your sleep? And
no, not at the minute I’m really, really busy and work and I would I’m not practicing what I’m preaching. And I’ll be the first to say that, because but it’s just at the minute my life is really, really busy. But I need to I do need to watch that. Because it’s not good for me. It’s not good for anyone you know, it’s not good for a cortisol level. It’s not good for anything so but I think that if you if you could get that sorted, I think the Western world would be much happier place to be a lot less depression, obesity, heart disease, you know, you name it. All of those illnesses and diseases that are related back to can be related back to lack of sleep, like certainly a good night’s sleep can help to reduce the risk of getting some some diseases to an issue. You know yourself when you wake up refreshed and you’re feeling happy and your mood is good. Like there’s nothing like it.
I know I’m my sleep is like non negotiable for me. I’m like a baby, I have to go to bed early every night. I just can’t function. And I got a nap during the day as well. I might take like 20 minute nap. I might not sleep every day. Like just before I come on the podcast, I lay down for 15 minutes, but it just gives me so much energy. I don’t have any shame. And that you? I’m
a massive advocate for naps. I am and I like that I could go further than that. Close my eyes. And I could feel like I’ve slept for hours, but it’s only like 15 minutes, maybe. So yeah, no massive I’ve got for that. And some people that work, shift work and work in office and that can’t have naps. But I would say to them, like try and make that over the weekend. You know, can your sleep can be made up over a period of time too. Although it’s ideal if you get it like eight hours every night, of course. But you know, I would say to people, if you get if you normally go to bed at 11 o’clock at night, why don’t you pare that back to 10. And that means by the end of the week, you’ve had a full extra night’s sleep and that week yeah.
Yeah, yeah, absolutely. And talk to me then just while we’re on on sleep, right? Because I tried one of your supplements is it the relaxed one? I just found out really, really good for relaxing for relaxation and sleep like do you recommend that for people who can’t sleep or what do you recommend?
Yeah, no, that can be something that can really help it’s going to blend of Ayurvedic botanicals. So what has ashwagandha l theanine come Milan, Melissa, and they are beautiful little extracts of Ayurvedic botanicals that would have been used in India for 1000s of years to help with those issues. And to help us balance and calm the nervous system just relax you so that they can be used during the day to help if you’re kind of stressed during the day or to help you at nighttime, they’re non sedating, non addictive, so and they have magnesium and B vitamins in them too. So yeah, that’s a beautiful little one. And that was actually the reason why I launched the brand in the first place because I had so many people, particularly women coming into the pharmacy, and they wanted something natural to help with sleep to help with you know, to help maybe with a little bit of stress. And you know, there was a couple of products on the market but I was generally sending around to the health food shop for a kind of a bland like my own with you know what they were buying six or seven items. And but that was it. And it was always women that were coming in and there could have inquired for their partners, but generally the cohort of people that come into pharmacies are are women looking to help themselves or their families. And that was what actually launched me to do this. So ya know, it’s interesting. So I see that there’s a huge issues with sleep in the Western world and it’s that hustle culture that we have as well isn’t it? It’s like, do as much as you can in the day and be as productive as possible. So then from the minute you wake up and do your exercise and feed your family and feed yourself and go to work. And then come back and like, Get everyone ready to bed and do whatever it is it’s hustle, hustle, hustle. Like when do we get the time to sit down and breathe?
I think you have to make the time though. Like, I’m a big advocate of advocate for that as well. Like, I had a client recently. And she was talking about, like, her book ends in the day. And I just think it’s so powerful. Like she had really poor work life balance, we were working together, you know, a lot of pressure, like, like a lot of women. But a lot of it’s in our own, like we are in control of our time. So it’s like, we get to choose, like, what’s most important to us? Is it actually taking care of ourselves? Or is it something else, and a lot of the time we choose something else, because we think if we choose this other thing over here, we’re going to it’s going to somehow make us feel better. But actually, when we actually just choose taking care of ourselves, like I see my clients all the time, when they put in these bookends, and go right like what you do with your exercise. Like the first half an hour of the day is for me, they get up maybe before the kids wake up, they might read a book, they might journal, they might just sit and have a cup of coffee, just to give to yourself before everyone else and then the half an hour before bed just to like online to do yoga, to do some journaling, just anything just to kind of bookend the day. They find that that’s like massive, like massive just to have those bookends, like but I think you have to just have to do it though. You have to just hold yourself accountable to do it.
Yeah, no, I agree with you. I agree in session with Lucy do.
We haven’t straight after this? Okay, we have time we have time. Yeah,
no, I do agree with you. And even just to say any book, and in the day, like I could work all day and all night, because there’s always something to do so. But I think you do need to have that cut off as
you do. And it’s about it’s about like, I remember when I started my business in particular, because then we have a lot more control. This is the thing, like when you start your own business, like you get to decide what your business looks like when you work for somebody else you don’t. So I remember I sat down and like I wrote out my perfect day. And like most days, I live my perfect day, which is I drop my kids to school I you know, most days I do. I collect them, I get to have dinner with them do certain things that I just didn’t have for so many years. So I was like, why I’m just creating my life by design. Now. I find that’s really powerful. Like so I think for anyone listening. I know, like I just think for next year, like for January 2024. It’s about thinking about okay, well, like what do I want my life to look like in a dream world where, you know, it has to be something that you think is realistic, not like, Oh, I’m gonna work two hours a day. But like you have a lot more control over your time. And I think it’s about like, getting intentional. And just making a decision, like what’s most important to me, and then how do I make that happen? Because we are the creators of our own lives. You know, we are the manifestos and the creators. So that’s what I think anyway, so there you go. There you go, Laura.
I agree. Yeah, absolutely.
So what else I want to talk to you about Yes, so a couple of questions come in on Instagram, I put up a little poll and somebody was asking me and this is me probably as well actually. hangover cures or hangover prevention. So it’s the festive season there’ll be a bit more alcohol maybe than usual. What do you recommend to prevent what do you recommend for cure?
Well the only prevention is to not over indulge, but should we all are guilty of that I love an hour glass of wine on a gin and tonic sometimes together. So plenty of water in between drinks. And then the next day it is literally you know, loads of fluids, loads of carbs, particularly complex carbohydrates, so they’re not you know, it’s not just white bread. So if you have a bit of brown rice or a bit of with your curry instead of the white rice and things like that, eating well getting like the fresh air steeping in a little bit, you know you can use your painkillers if you need to, if you if you’re feeling really rough. That’s it. You know, like if I came up with a kind of over a cure in Ireland, I probably be a millionaire wouldn’t I? Oh
my God, I wish more billionaire Laura. But actually
like that the reality is that being hungover is actually it is, you know, you’re poisoning your body by over drinking, you know, your, your liver isn’t able to metabolize it well, that’s where you feel crap. It’s like releasing toxins into your brain, your brain is swelling. It’s not amazing for us. And it is interesting in our society, how normalized we are to be in drunk and been texting and and alcohol is a drug. So we were all about like, oh, goodness, don’t you know, smoke weed or don’t take cocaine or you know, there’ll be shooting of heroin and that’s fine. There are you know, there are levels of drug abuse. But alcohol is just as dangerous and actually alcohol kills more people and ruins more families in Ireland than any of those other drugs combined.
I hear Yeah. I’d nearly rather like I hope my son doesn’t listen to this but like I can only write me smoke cannabis and drink alcohol because to me that’s a plant but we won’t get into illegal drugs in this podcast. Right? Well, he’s
come on You know what, actually, it’s interesting you say that No, I mean, I’m very open to talking about like cannabis and cannabis use. But the only thing about cannabis is that that we need to be aware of is that a lot of it and cannabis now is grown in labs, they have manipulated the, the chemicals in it to make it higher and THC content than than CBD and others and the THC is what is the psychoactive And it’s What can send you over the edge, particularly if you have underlying health care mental health issues, we really shouldn’t be encouraging any kind of harm others of us under the age of 25, because our prefrontal cortex hasn’t fully developed them. And it can cause kids to go into a spiral of mental health issues if they smoke too early. And I agree with you at the plant I agree with you, it’s probably been demonized in the wrong way. And as a result has been driven underground. And that if we legalize it, there’ll be the potential there for tax on us. And then the potential there for like, you know, the drug barons to not be like ruling it and all this other kind of stuff. But that’s a podcast in and of itself. And but I can’t remember what you were saying there about,
about alcohol we were talking about.
We can’t We can’t brush over the fact that coming up to Christmas. A lot of events can happen inside of a household due to alcohol abuse and misuse and, you know, domestic domestic violence rates go through the roof, called Childline go through the roof. And I think that we just kind of need to be cognizant of that fact that people first of all know where they can go if they are experiencing issues with alcohol. And then also if they are living with someone that has issues that they just you know, they have the kind of the support in place, if they need to go somewhere else over the Christmas period because the house has become you know, intolerable to live in, etc. I just think like, we it can’t be issues, particularly you know, Christmas Eve Christmas Day and beyond when people are just drinking and drinking and drinking and it can cause awful issues. And
I will actually link a couple of websites maybe in the show notes. So I know like obviously you said Childline to us obviously women’s aid as well. I assume like for us
there’s women’s aid and then there’s also there’s also an Alcoholics Anonymous but there’s there’s an Alcoholics Anonymous for for families of alcoholics. So definitely it was cold. And but you could find it and link it in the show notes but it’s for poor wear. Someone who is living with someone that has alcohol issues can phone for support as well. Okay,
that might be a good resource. Cool, we’ll we’ll talk about that. We’ll try and link that in the show notes as well because we want people to enjoy Christmas and I think the message is, you know, if you’re in if you’re in an environment that’s unsafe, like get the hell out and get get support, so hopefully we can link something for you there guys. Okay, so what else I wanted to ask you so we were talking about hangovers, we were talking about Oh, yeah. Is it the whole thing about electrolytes and your light for hangover prevention? So yeah,
sorry, you can you can add some your light to water and drink that to that will help replenish the electrolytes that you’re missing or drink like a sugary drink. I think I have something on my page where you can make your own your light solution. If you can’t get out the cameras. It’s just like adding some salt and some sugar to to water or fruit juice that can help too. And it’s just replenishing those electrolytes. But really, you know, I think with hangovers, it’s it’s the day after the day after that you feel better, isn’t it? Well, you’ve had that proper night’s sleep and it’s kind of like gone from your system. Yeah, it’s just important that people know that.
Yeah, exactly. Exactly. And prefer, I suppose abstinence is obviously the best thing anyway. Okay, I have another question for you. Somebody sent me in Scrum. Every time I think of Laura, I think of vaginas. So tell us a bit about why do people associate you with their vaginas?
Well, I think it’s because I talk about them an awful lot because working in the pharmacy. And then also when I went out and started doing my corporate talks about women’s health, I realized that there was like an absolute absence of information on women’s bodies and vaginas and Volvo’s like they don’t even use the correct term. It’s actually a Volvo is on the outside and then all the bits like the labia the clitoris, the the labor we have an aura the Majora all of those are on the outside the vagina the inside but you will use this term vagina for all of that like we never mix up William bowls do eat but we will often call a vagina that’s what the entire part of the woman’s genitalia. So you know what really prompted it was when I was seeing women coming in and they’ve been suffering for years with vaginal issues, you know sort of wipe sore to pee hadn’t had sex in years couldn’t even sit properly on the seat because their vagina was SO and SO atrophied. And so and there was such issues with I suppose the lack of emotion that they had due to be in postmenopausal but they didn’t know they just thought it was something that they had to put up with the constant UTIs the leaking and they were just like, Oh, well that’s just my body but it’s not just your About a you need to know how to go and get help but how can we go and ask for help when we are deeply ashamed about the female anatomy when we haven’t been taught the right terminology we brought in an Ireland where it wasn’t okay to use the word vagina where you know sex was taboo to talk about so I when I went to my corporate talks the more and more I talked about it you know, the more you could hear a pin drop in the room so initially I’d say so you know, the five main things for health are checking yourself sleep exercise diet and orgasms you know, everyone they loved it because I’m just you know, talking about it in a really natural way talking about sex I mean talking about sex being pleasurable we did you were I grew up in a in in an era where we were taught that sex is pleasurable or told that it was were we taught that sex was done to us or taught that sex was something that we could enjoy and partake in you know, those are really simple things and if we change that message, women are just going to embrace their bodies and and know that they can go and get help so hence the birth of my Viva love all the tour so I’m going on tour and with a beautiful group of women we have a women’s health physio we have Kyla cobbler the comedian we have an intimacy and sex coach and we have a lady that’s out that owns a shop called Sex shopper and and we’re just going around educating the women of the country in a humorous and really enjoyable way. And so that they can embrace their their authentic selves your authentic self, so your authentic vulnerable self you’ll know all about it. And and we’ll have fun with it. It’s not just a kind of like, you know, I don’t want it to be a sit down lecture type thing. It’s going to be racy and enjoyable and we’ll have dancing balls out and everything of course you need for a special costume made for Lucy.
Oh my God So guys, if anyone go follow on Instagram, because I know a lot of my listeners are there on LinkedIn, but I know you’re starting to be a bit more active over there as well. But Laura is is it your sister that dresses up as a Volvo when you go out around the place? It’s like this giant costume that’s actually a Valda Yeah,
the Go races and but you know what we were getting? We were actually getting comments. People thought that it was a hot dog.
No, I am actually getting I’ve actually got a brand new costume. I’m like geared made that actually looks like a proper revolver. And we’ve looked at removable hair as well just
in case oh my god, I can’t do I can’t wait to see this costume
is just so important. I live in a house full of boys. And you know, I have always raised the boys to know and understand that women have periods and bleeding is okay and where babies come from. And as a result, they literally don’t bat an eyelid and I’m sure they prefer if their mother didn’t run around in a Wonder Woman outfit with her sister as a vulva. And for schizo but and they will be man that will be fully aware of of the the female body and the fact that it’s not this wondrous thing. It’s just like your vulva is like your arm. If there’s something wrong with it, you should go to the doctor and get looked at. Yeah,
I love it. And then I think it’s important to topic for us just just to finish up on is this whole area of like sexuality and talking about genitalia. So like I have a science background I biologists so to me when you say vagina, I’m like, yeah, it’s vagina, it’s penis, it’s whatever. Whereas people who who don’t have a science background, or like who don’t see, like, I just see it as a biological thing. Like see it like just as an arm. What I’ve had, like, say, friends of mine who like for instance, my kids were small. I remember Googling, like, my eldest is 16 now and my youngest is nearly eight. I remember Googling, like, when should I tell them that it’s called a vagina? And I remember like, because of two gardens. I remember one of my friends saying to me, we were having this conversation recently. She was like, you know, why call it you know, her pee pee or her dismay? Was it just tell her it’s a vagina? Because if you tell her young enough that it’s called a vagina. This is a penis and there’s no you know, shame or laughs after you say it. You just say it in a factual way. Well, then they don’t want a difference. What do you think?
Oh, there’s an absolutely like, I mean, it’s really important that they know and even just from a child protective point of view, yes. A little girl knows exactly what her vulva is called. And someone touches her or makes her an improper reference to us. She can go and unashamedly talk about that to someone as opposed to it being this thing, scary little thing that she’ll be talking about and then equally so. If she’s older and gets an STI or you know was having sex or people are not not using protection, she can go and get an STI check or go and get treated for STI and not have any shame around. She can after her babies, she can maybe experience a prolapse or leaking and she’ll go and get it looked at and won’t feel ashamed that she that she has that We have women in Ireland that are literally wearing pads that are so thick, because they weed themselves if they walk five meters because they didn’t get looked after early enough post childbirth. So there’s so many issues to this and so many things that women have been dealing with, like high kind of woman enjoy sex, if her ation levels have dropped to such a level that she is experiencing vaginal dryness and atrophy and vulnerable issues and her libido is shot anyway, you know, and that can feed into marital issues too, if people aren’t interested in having sex, but if you talk about it, and you get looked at and seen to it can make such a difference to your life to your self confidence your self worth. So that’s what I’m all about. It’s about being just straight up, now vulgar, straight up about what the body is, what it does and what to do when we when we’re not getting looked after or the appropriate care. And actually, I might end on this there is a book called Invisible Woman by Caroline Perez. Have you read that? No. Well, I It is unbelievable. Don’t read it if you’re looking to have a laugh or to be happy because it will actually enrage you. Because the amount the world has been built around man. So from the medical profession down to streets, like it’s not built for a woman pushing buggies to work as it is built for people driving cars to work. And, you know, street planners, town planners have not made it easy for women to navigate a buggy. And you know, even the childcare situation in Ireland is crazy. But even down to medical, Medical Society, like we were only talking about menopause really now, like in the last couple of years, like, you know, think of the generations of women that have missed out on on the help they could have got we all know, well I know, people that have been put into psychiatric care because of the menopause was so difficult for them that they and what they experienced, you know, mentally the issues that there was no treatment for them or perceived no treatment for them. And but I’ll end on this the the Greek word for uterus is hysteria. That’s where the word hysteria comes from. So a hysterectomy was taking the the womb, it taking this area out of the woman, like there’s an that has perpetuated down over the generations. And I think what’s wonderful today is that there are many, many female doctors out there, who have also gone through menopause, and they’re now going, Oh, Jesus, this isn’t right, because male doctors can be wonderful. But sometimes if you haven’t gone through the thing yourself, you can’t really understand what’s going on. And there would have been situations where a woman would have got presented and they would have in low mood and fatigued and presenting with symptoms of depression. And given an antidepressant when an actual fact, all they needed was probably a little bit of estrogen. So it’s just so very important that women advocate for themselves that they they they don’t just accept no for an answer, that they get second opinions and that they seek information and knowledge about their bodies, and that they we and that starts talking about our bodies in a really matter of fact, way, doesn’t it?
Yeah, absolutely. And like, I think the work you’re doing in this space, like the more women like you and the more people who do stuff like this, the more awareness they’re raising with awareness kind of comes change for sure. So just before we finish up, like if people I know a lot of my listeners will be perimenopause, or in the menopause, and if they haven’t, you know, gone to the doctor yet, or like, what would you suggest the first steps should be if somebody thinks that they’re at that phase of life.
So if someone thinks they’re at that phase of life, and they’re happy with life, and they’re getting on ground, then just continue on as you are. Just make sure you’re, you’re getting time to yourself, you’re resting properly getting your sleep, your diets good, on most part, we all over indulge and enjoy getting you a bit of exercise, if your quality of life has been impacted by the symptoms that you’re experiencing, go and get help. And, you know, sometimes we can have the best doctors in the world that have brought us right through from babyhood to like you know, middle age, right. And, but just when it comes to menopause, they’re just not quite there in terms of their knowledge, their expertise or their opinions. So sometimes you might need to go to another doctor and that’s not that’s not cheating. That’s just looking after yourself. So oftentimes, we will find good doctors through word of mouth. Now there are menopause clinics popping up all over the country, which is wonderful. And but often just asking a girlfriend who she goes to and if she raised them is often the you know, you’ll find you’ll find a routine that way.
Yeah, no, absolutely. I did the exact same. I’ve been on here to a tee for a while and the only reason I am is because a friend of mine recommended Look, you’re if you go to your own GP and you don’t have hot flushes are not going to prescribe you anything which is what my GP had said I had tons of different symptoms that were happening. I just weren’t wasn’t having the hot flushes and then I watched a video with is Carol Tawny, Dr. Tony, who’s the menopause specialist in whatever one that big hospitals is. And she was explaining all the other symptoms and I was like, Oh my God, that’s me. Tick, tick, tick, tick, tick. And as soon as they went on HRT like within a quarter The weeks like I was feeling so much better. And that only happened to talk into my friends about it. Well,
you know, absolutely. And and I think that’s really unfortunate is here and see lots of women go on to doctors and you know, they might be 47. And the doctor says, oh, no, you’re too young for menopause, you know, I’m not gonna give you HRT. And yeah, that thing of like the hot flashes. But menopause isn’t done on a blood test. It’s done on symptoms alone. So if you’re experienced, if you symptoms and they’re affecting your quality of life, you absolutely should go and get seen too. And that’s why again, why I started my range like I have a man on Perry bland, it’s got lines a Marshall minerals got magnesium and chromium and your vitamins and for your bones, as well as many other little things, the beautiful little bland, and it’s actually it’s my standout product, it sells so so well, here because women are taking it, and they’re telling their friends. And that word of mouth, you cannot pay for that kind of marketing is the word of mouth is the girlfriends that are talking around coffee, but something that’s helped them, you know, when No, it’s not a replacement for HRT, I would never suggest that. But sometimes it’s it can be just all that people need. If they if they want that little bit of extra support, or they can take it alongside HRT, it’s up to them. But yeah, it’s it’s good that there are more products out there and more information, but it’s just important that you get your information from the right people as well. Because yeah,
absolutely. And guys, we will link I will link Laura’s website in the show notes anyway, so you can go and check out all of our products. So Laura, listen, it’s been so nice to have you on the show. Finally, ask every single guest that comes on the show. What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
Oh my goodness, you didn’t warn me with this
last piece of advice, I did have the names in your instructions.
What is the best piece of advice, believe in yourself? That would be my mother from like a very young age, believe in yourself. Because if you believe in yourself, you have that little bit of kind of self worth. You know, I think that that can take you a long way in life. So absolutely. That’s what I’d say to people. You know, you can do anything that you want that you set your mind to really. And if you believe in yourself, that will happen.
Amazing. I mean, my mother would have said that to me too. Isn’t that very interesting that we’re both here today believing in ourselves? I love it. Laura, thank you so much. So where can people find you if they want to check out your Instagram or where will they find you? opulus
pharmacist on Instagram and on Facebook and on Tik Tok and then fabby wellness.com is my website. Amazing.
Okay, Laura, you’ve been an absolutely amazing guests. Happy Christmas everyone. We will talk to you again soon. Happy Christmas.