Article by Jane Pangbourne

I love a bit of romance but it’s really quite difficult to be romantic with someone when you feel rubbish about your own body image!

Now don’t get me wrong – I’m not the sort of person who believes we have no control over how we feel but I think we all know that we’re slaves to the chemicals and hormones that make up each of us.

I’m not a science bod but I do know that when you feel stressed or negative about anything it increases your levels of the chemical ‘cortisol’ which, (for those of us who don’t study the sciences) if the levels are too high, makes you feel low and depressed.

What we really need is loads of the lovely ‘dopamine’ which is in abundance when we’re first in love. Remember that feeling of euphoria? That’s the dopamine!

As a menopausal woman I am no stranger to being ruled by my body, but I refuse to let that stop me from accepting that I am the only me and therefore I’m the best me!

You, by the same measure, are the only you, so why not be the best version of you for the 14th February as a starting point?

Alone or with a date – Your body will thank you for it.

Here are some tips to tackle those cortisol levels:


  1. Get lots of lovely sleep
  2. Exercise but not too much (that would be silly!)
  3. Learn to relax – whatever works for you (read/write/socialise)
  4. Try to squeeze fun out of everything you do
  5. Foster positive relationships and importantly – remove negative ones
  6. If you can, get a pet – very relaxing
  7. And my very favourite! Be Your Best Self! The more authentic you are, the more of the happy stuff goes on in your head resulting in lots of lovely dopamine.


Jane Pangbourne is a Body Positive Coach who works with women who feel overwhelmed and lacking in the confidence to enjoy their lives to the full.


Poor self-perception can impact all areas of life; often resulting in hoarding clothes that don’t fit, look great or give you any joy. If you feel it’s time to embrace the real ‘You’ then Jane can help you overcome low self-esteem and learn to quickly understand what suits you (in just seconds), so you look AND feel fabulous!

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