Tis’ the season to be jolly and for some perhaps even mildly anxious. Christmas is upon us yet again and already you can sense the hustle and bustle of an all time favorite holiday that has become more hectic than it is holistic. Juggling work, and family with a tidal wave of social events can leave you feeling energy deprived.
December, a month which promotes an excessive amount of sugar, family tensions (because let’s face it we all have them) and some intense holiday shopping sprees. It’s the perfect recipe for creating hormone havoc. However, there’s no reason why you can’t thrive during what for many is the most challenging month of the year.
Definition and Origin: Early 20th century from Greek hormōn = To set in motion.
Set aside the cookie cutting ladies and don’t worry lovely those Christmas cards are long overdue anyway. Ditch your daily dealings for a minute and tune into some holistic inspiration. You see, our hormonal balance plays a major part in keeping our inner world calm and content. Time to pay attention to what your inner goddess is trying to get through to you before you go rocking around the Christmas tree.
Did you know that women are twice as likely to experience stress than men?
Our feelings, thoughts, and busy schedule during the holidays can have a huge effect on our hormones and overall well-being. No wonder most of us wake up come boxing day feeling exhausted and ‘wrapped up’ in a few extra pounds.
However, there are ways for you to keep your hormones happy throughout the holidays without losing your marbles.
Knowing which hormones are more at risk of being triggered during the festive season is key to keeping your balance. Here are some tips that will help you keep your hormones happy and in harmony throughout the holidays.
Cortisol – culprit or catalyst extraordinaire?
Understanding how each hormone has a purpose and how they affect each other is an important piece of our biological puzzle. For starters, there’s one hormone you should care about keeping in check:
The Stress Hormone
Cortisol is one of the most important hormones to make yourself acquainted with. Cortisol is consistently produced in our adrenals and serves as a predecessor for the hormone pregnenolone. This is an important fact to touch base on as pregnenolone acts as an essential catalyst that produces other hormones.
However, when we experience stress our cortisol production kicks into overload. Once this happens cortisol will take a toll on the pregnenolone stash making it difficult to distribute any leftovers to other hormones. This is the classic beginning to hormonal imbalance.
How to be proactive
There’s no reason why you should have to suffer from hot flashes, painful PMS or accept brain fogs during one of the most demanding times of the year. Here are some easy tips to implement to keep your hormones happy and experience some holiday cheer
- Steer clear of sugar-plum fairies
Sugary treats may very well be nice, but it doesn’t give your body any benefits in the midst of the hectic holiday season.
Stress is an inherent part of the body’s fight or flight response. When we are stressed, our body decodes this state as a matter of surviving. When our body goes into survival mode, we produce an additional spike of energy which raises our blood sugar (also known as glucose). This energy is useful when it comes to being able to flee from danger or stand your ground and fight. However, the extra spike can create real hormonal chaos if your stress levels are already about to go off the charts.
2. Cut back on coffee
Coffee encourages our adrenals to produce more cortisol. If you’re already on the verge to becoming stressed out about Christmas, this isn’t the best choice of beverage to be sipping on. Swap your daily latte out for a balancing herbal tea. Not a tea lover? Become one – no seriously give it a go experiment with different flavors. Try a soothing peppermint before bedtime, or how about a sweet licorice, which is also known to stabilize blood sugar levels. Adventure down the tea aisle next time you do your grocery shopping and be inspired.
3. Move and be merry
Exercise is a great way to manage your stress levels. Physical activity boosts your feel-good production chemicals also known as endorphins. Endorphins are the body’s natural tranquilizers and have a positive impact on sleeping patterns.Sleep is something that is of great importance to keep your hormones happy and in check. However, depending on your current Christmas capacity it’s important to find an activity that will foster some relief than send you spinning into deeper imbalance. Try to exchange intense HIIT sessions or intervals on the treadmill with pilates, yoga, a swim or an outdoor power walk.
4. Relax and rejoice
Last but not least probably one of my all time favorite tips. Relax.
Dig out those soft and cozy sweats or curl up in your favorite oversized jumper. Bring your tea and your favorite magazine to bed with you and float away to lazy land. If you’re already caught up in the hectic holiday mode, this could be your biggest challenge ever. Practice makes perfect and doing absolutely nothing but rest and relax will be something your body will be grateful for. More importantly, it will most certainly keep your hormones happy.
Whether or not you’re a fan of Christmas, the holiday season can get the better of us. Practice mindfulness and tune into how much you ask of yourself and your body during the festive season. Strive to take some time-out on your own for moments of tranquility and reconnect with your body.
Be careful to over-indulge in too many sweets or certain beverages that could trigger your cortisol levels to spike. Be kind to yourself and check in from time to time to see if you’re pouring from an empty cup or if you have enough energy to pass around without draining your abilities.
Have yourself a holistic little Christmas with happy hormones to boost you into a new year filled with vitality.