“It’s about knowing when you hit a cycle of negativity and you start feeling the slip it’s knowing that you can pull yourself back out of it.” – Sarah Cawood
An introduction to our podcast guest, Sarah Cawood, TV presenter, Scentsy Queen and Podcaster
For those of you who grew up in the nineties, Sarah Cawood is somebody you will definitely remember. She was best named for presenting Live and Kicking, but her CV is very impressive. She was a presenter for Nickelodeon. She then moved on to co-present the Girly Show in 1997, before featuring on Channel Five’s karaoke quiz show Night Fever. She was also presenting on MTV and on my personal favorite Top of the Pops. Sarah was also a panelist on Blankety Blank and Loose Women. She presented the National Lottery and was a reporter for Richard and Judy over on Channel Four. She has acted as well and has made numerous appearances on Celebrity programmes and specials.
Sarah is now a podcaster, living in Leigh-on-Sea with her long-term partner and her two children. She is also an Independent Scentsy Consultant. Sarah has the most incredible contagious energy. She is so fun and just a pleasure to talk to, especially about topics such as menopause, which is something I really want to raise awareness of in The Mortgage Mum.
Listen in above for the full hour long episode. We talk about practising gratitude and mental health, friendships, Davina McCall, and we talk extensively about her podcast interview with Michelle Heaton, about how she went through menopause when her son was six months old.
Alternatively read on for a summary of Sarah’s interview with Sarah Cawood…
Sarah, talk to us about your podcast, Irregular Bitches...
My friend Louise and I are the ‘Irregular Bitches’. I met her through my best friend from school and we were just chatting in our kitchen and we were talking. I mentioned about doing a podcast, asked if she would be interested and she really pushed it forward. We’ve taken our time to get going to do it ourselves and going forward we are focusing less heavy menopause content, and more ‘mid life’ as that involves needed conversations too (i.e. perimenopause etc).
An example in the episode with Michelle Heaton, your hormones can go into shock when something happens quickly. In Michelle’s case she had a double mastectomy and reconstruction and she had her ovaries and womb removed and you’re not always emotionally or physically prepared for it.
We're talking about menopause a lot internally at The Mortgage Mum. We want to talk about it more about the struggles of menopause, especially for working women. I really want to support the team the best way I can.
Diet is important. I teach at a performing arts school once a week and I see these young performers drinking coffee and diet coke by the bucket load. It makes no difference to them now, but those things are having a massive impact on my life now.
I think a lot of people find ‘woo’ (me included) in a period of struggle, whether that’s menopause, or in my case, it was postnatal depression. I’d try anything to feel better, Reiki, wearing crystals in my bra etc. We all have different stories and menopause is an unraveling of self. So if you haven’t dealt with your stuff, it will unravel yourself and bring it all up…
And that’s exactly what’s been happening the last few weeks specifically, since my periods stopped completely. There’s a lot of spiritual spring cleaning going on over here!! And there’s a lot of re-evaluating and texting people out of the blue and saying, “I’m sorry”. I feel like I’m entering a completely new phase of my life and it’s going to look really different. And there’s probably going to be some quite different people in it. And I am a nostalgia junkie. So I don’t like saying goodbye to things that have been in my life for a long time.
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I know you from television in the Nineties, was it a conscious decision to step out of that world?
No – I was dropped. Just like that. Commissioning editors didn’t really want me on their shows anymore. I didn’t break any unspoken rules. I didn’t stop being good at my job. I just drifted out of fashion where some people managed to stay in fashion.
I’m honestly the happiest I’ve ever been professionally flogging wax! Unless it was for a lot of money I would never go back. I was ‘out of fashion’ and it was devastating. It’s horrible.
There is no shame in not being famous anymore. Being famous is just another job. It’s just as important as brokering mortgages. I’m a great believer in equality and a respect for everybody, but we defy people and it’s a really unhealthy culture. Still to this day, I’m still processing that, that, I call it the tidal wave. You get your face on a screen. That’s in everyone’s living room. It was what I’d been waiting for my whole life. And then it all goes away. People warned me and I didn’t believe them.
You seem genuinely happier now?
I’m genuinely happy. Since I started with Scentsy. I also met Claire, who was my gratitude coach and she’s such a positive energy. And so then I moved into this network marketing industry that is all about seeing the positive, finding a way, being kind and wishing good things for yourself and everyone else.
Also, I had a bowel obstruction 6 years ago and nearly died. It got stuck on my C-section scar, and after that I had an epiphany. I didn’t really want to waste any time feeling miserable because you just don’t know what’s around the corner. I’d once become so desperate.
And there's something so disempowering about being desperate. Isn't there?
It’s horrible. I’d rather be at home with my little network marketing gig and talking to people like you and doing a few podcasts here, and being available to do the school run. I also don’t think you can measure success and happiness in pounds either. What we once wanted is not the thing that’s gonna make us happy.
So it’s funny really because it kind of all circles around doesn’t it, all of these lessons, but going back to the menopause, I watched my mother go through that and she didn’t get told it was menopause. So she went to the doctor, she’d never had anxiety or panic attacks, but all of a sudden she didn’t want to leave the house. She couldn’t fly. She had a panic attack on the train and it just spiraled and spiraled out of control. And I’ve watched that thinking she was having a breakdown. She could have had so many years of less suffering if someone had told her it might have been the menopause and that anxiety was a side affect. It needs to be talked about more.
What are the things that you have learned which have been transformative?
I would say exercising, and I know I need to do more strength work. That’s how you want to get your endorphins going for the happy stuff. Not drinking as much, obviously and also mindfulness – it really does help – and having supportive people around you. I also take a really good multivitamin because I don’t eat that well. Just be kind to yourself and not run yourself ragged. Find your happy state and manage our own measures of control.
Also being honest about our mental health and asking for support where needed (i.e. extension of deadlines), otherwise we put so much pressure on ourselves. And to just be completely transparent with ourselves and others.