Help your hormones to survive Christmas

November 6, 2017

Every year, around this time, I see the same pattern.  Things get noticeably busier – in business to tidy things up before the end of the year, in social life to catch up with everyone before the end of the year, in families to sort everything out for the kids school break (and christmas parties), and to start planning Christmas – trying to keep all sides of the family happy, deciding on the food, the presents, juggling the finances etc etc.  Does this sound familiar to you?

We put ourselves into over drive, we rev our engine to keep going and then … low and behold come Christmas break, we break.  We get a cold, we feel like we could sleep for a few days, we get more bloated and digestive discomfort (and not just from eating too much on Christmas day), hayfever is worse, and for women your period is a nightmare.   

So lets make this year different.  Why not put yourself, your wellbeing as a priority this year.  To be honest, its the best gift you could give yourself (and your loved ones).  There are so many factors that being stressed will influence.  It has a profound effect on fertility, menstrual regularity, energy, inflammation, immune health, food intolerances, mental wellbeing, and many more.  So why give yourself that line up when we can avoid it.

Here are my suggestions to put in place NOW, don’t wait until December as I assure you it will be here before you know it.

  • Write a list – a  list of things you NEED to get done, not just the things you WANT to get done.  Are there people that you can wait until the New Year to see? Are there Christmas functions you don’t need to attend? 
  • Write a list for presents.  It can be easy to go overboard or buy on impulse, have a think now about a gift and it doesn’t have to be monetary, but stick to that gift.  Don’t go around in circles and buy things for the sake of giving, as lets fact it, they end up in the landfill sooner rather than later and that is helping NO ONE.  Give a gift that you know will be appreciated from the recipient.  As I said, this can be not of monetary value but a gesture, and these are the most appreciated ones of all.
  • Keep your regular routines.  It is easy to get carried away in the world of overwhelm and then drop our exercise or eating habits, which then ultimately leads to worse health.  Despite the extra commitments, commit to your exercise, commit to making those healthy meals.  The more you fill your life with the positive influences (or positive, healthy food) the less room you will have for the less positive things (or poor food choices). This will also help to keep your energy levels up which in turn will help you to attack those extra commitments with vigour.
  • On the note of food, make sure you are consuming LOADS of vegetables or salads.  There is inevitably more alcohol/treats consumed so try to counterbalance this by providing your body with the good stuff.  The more greens we consume, the more this helps to alkalanise our system which therefore assists in detoxification, energy production, and overall cell health.
  • If you tend to be an emotional eater, try to start good habits now not buckle when it gets busy.  Prepare some healthy snacks to have on hand for when you want to eat something you know you shouldn’t, drink lots of water, find your distractions, go for a walk etc.  If you do succumb to your craving, DO NOT beat yourself up over it.  Just make better choices going forward.  Nothing will be gained from the guilty feelings, and all this will do will accentuate the ill effects of stress.
  • Keep hydrated.  When you are stressed you can forget to consume the water you need to.  You also tend to lose your essential electrolytes critical for hydration and energy.  So … keep drinking your water.
  • Make sure to get early nights at least 4/7 nights per week.  Sleep is the MOST fundamental thing towards good health and stress management.  Late nights and early mornings do not help this.  Limit your screen time, and make sure you get at least 8 hours + per night.
  • If you don’t already, start some regular breathing exercises.  By getting deep belly breaths, you alert your body that you are no longer in “fight or flight mode” and are in fact relaxed and able to reset your stress hormones more efficiently.  Breathing in for 4 and out for 6 whilst focusing on the breath expanding your belly not your chest is a great way of doing this.  Even for 5 minutes per day will make profound changes to your health.
  • Get out into nature.  Getting to the beach or a forest is such a great way to help us reset.  The increased oxygen from the trees, the energy from the tides all make a big difference to us and just the fresh air alone helps to clear your mind and allow you to tackle you day/s ahead.
  • Be kind to yourself, we place  A LOT of pressure on ourselves at this time of year, so take a load of it off and just don’t sweat the small stuff.
  • If you are reading this and already feeling overwhelmed and anxious, you could probably do with some natural assistance over the coming months to support your nervous system and adrenals.  There are many great products specific for certain types of stress so please don’t hesitate to contact me to order something to help you through.  (tarryn@health101.co.nz)

Christmas should be “the most wonderful time of the year” don’t make it hard on yourself and others around you each year due to your stress.  I have been there, the full Christmas grinch when I went through adrenal burnout, and luckily on the other end of it I now cannot wait and love all the festivities.  Embrace all the fun, the love and the hype of Christmas, but do it in your way – the way that best enhances your health and your vitality.

 

Tarryn x

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