Lifestyle Changes I'm Making For Hormone Balance
My hormones have been a roller coaster throughout my life, and every time I’ve dug deeper stress is the culprit. Stress was the result of extreme life changes, perfectionism, overworking, and under eating. I would like to say that my lifestyle is always beautiful and balanced, but I constantly have to fight for rest, relationships, and self-care to be a part of my week. My husband challenged me to focus on taking care of myself during this season to get my hormones back on track. I love using this blog as a diary to share with you my honest learning curves and hope my journey can help those of you with similar struggles. These are the first five changes I’m implementing this fall to lower cortisol and increase serotonin for happy, healthy hormone balance.
Afternoon de-stress routine.
I adopted a morning routine in my teen years and only I recently decided to add a second routine to my day. My afternoon de-stress routine starts around 3:30 with a walk outside or a yoga flow. From there, I have a cup of tea and a small snack while I write a list of what I want to get done the following day. By this time it’s about 4:30 and I start cooking dinner. I find that earlier dinners help me go to bed on time and give my body time to digest.
Regular sleep schedule.
You’ve heard it from every health guru, ‘Sleep 8 hours a night!’ I’m here to tell you quality is more important than quantity when it comes to your sleep cycle. For me 7 hours is sufficient, but I wake up best at 5 or 6 am, so I need to go to bed at 10 pm for a full night’s rest. Quality sleep is so important for hormone homeostasis, as the body heals and repairs overnight. The other important piece to the puzzle is winding down. I have to start slowing my day down and de-stressing around 4pm or I will stay up working late into the night. Find your rhythm, honey, and don’t let anyone tell you you’re doing it wrong if it works for you.
Low intensity exercise.
HIIT has taken over the fitness industry, but if you’re trying to balance hormones a more gentle approach might be better for your body. Try incorporating controlled movements to your workouts such as pilates, yoga or a long walk in nature. Connecting the body and the mind through these types of exercise overflows into other areas of life. When you want to switch into fight or flight mode, you learn to slow down and handle challenges with mindfulness. Remember how that deep breath helped you get through the resistance in your yoga flow? The same applies to an overwhelming week of work.
Turn cooking into a self-care ritual.
Food is not meant to be emotional support, nor a nuisance that gets in the way of your busy schedule. Instead, it is a source of nourishment. Self-care goes so much further than bubble baths and face masks. Feeding your body whole, colorful dishes, gives you energy, mental clarity, and yep - balances your hormones. My favorite ways to make cooking enjoyable are going to a local market for fresh ingredients, turning on jazz with a glass of kombucha while I throw together a nourishing meal, and experimenting in the kitchen with what’s on hand. Foods I’m focusing on to support my body this season are beets, sweet potato, maca, leafy greens, avocado, coconut, and nut butters.
Add habits to your day that remind you to breathe, shake it off, and let go.
Simple ways that I love to let go of stress throughout the day are drinking a cup of tea, meditating for five minutes, or pouring my thoughts onto a blank page. Literally stop working on what is stressing you out and do 20 jumping jacks - it might help you shake off the negative energy and move forward with a collected mindset! Whatever it takes to remind yourself that the situation you’re in is not going to make or break you. You have time, you have resources, and you don’t have to do it alone.