Six easy ways to de-stress

It’s easy for us to feel stressed if our hormones go out of balance or if they are exhausted by life events. Did you know that women’s hormones are more easily depleted than mens? Our hormone levels change minute by minute and day by day and of course in line with our monthly cycle.  The endocrine system, (which is a series of glands that produce and secrete some of our hormones) have a great deal of demand placed on them.

Periods, pregnancy, birth, life traumas and deadlines (whether they be work deadlines or just the daily struggle of trying to get the kids to school on time!) all take their toll. Plus as we age our hormonal organ reserves decline. We need to be looking for ways to protect and repair our hormones so that we can more easily bounce back from and cope with life’s stresses.  So below are 6 easy ways to start to feel more relaxed.

  1. You might not like this one…! No screen time after 9pm, by this I mean phones, computers and tablets turned off.  The blue light from screens affects our melatonin production, melatonin is the hormone that helps us know when its time for sleep.  It usually naturally rises at night but if we are on our phones until very late the light from them affects production levels and our ability to switch off, go to sleep and stay asleep.  Over time our bodies will produce less melatonin if we are constantly on our phones at night leaving us tired but wired and in a vicious circle of not being able to sleep. A good nights sleep is essential to having healthy hormones! Not only is excess screen time affecting our hormone production but the knock on affect of lack of sleep affects our mood and ability to function the next day.  Constantly reacting to notifications on our phones also puts us into fight or flight mode and affects our cortisol production making us feel over stimulated.
  2. Get outside in the fresh air and sunlight as much as possible, even if its for a gentle walk.  Walking in nature has been shown to reduce cortisol levels (the stress hormone), boost the immune system and is good for your heart. Exposing ourselves to daylight in the morning also helps our melatonin levels which in turn aids restful sleep.
  3. Incorporate Magnesium into your diet. This is a great all round mineral for calming your nervous system, it also helps to regulate your periods, calm PMS symptoms, boosts your mood, helps with anxiety and even helps build strong bones. Not only this but it also aids a restful nights sleep and helps calm your adrenals (the adrenaline and cortisol producing glands).  I am happy to recommend some great brands of magnesium supplement or you can simply take Epsom Salt baths a couple of times a week which are rich in magnesium.  I like to simply add Maca to my daily smoothies which also naturally contains magnesium.
  4. B Vitamins are also great for us ladies as again they help with PMS or Peri-menopause symptoms (especially B6), calm your nervous system, reduce stress and improve anxiety.  B vitamins are required for the synthesis of calming neurotransmitters such as seratonin.  Our vitamin and mineral levels are easily depleted and if you are not getting enough from your diet then I would recommend supplementing with quality brands.
  5. Carve out 5 minutes (ideally more) of ‘you time’ every day through calming practices such as Yoga, Meditation, Pilates or some simple stretches where you focus on slowing down the breath.  Focusing on calm breathing techniques really does help us to feel less anxious!  Practicing meditation daily for just 8 weeks has been proven to shrink the brains fight or flight centre (the amygdala) on MRI scans.  This region of the brain is associated with fear and emotion so just 5 minutes a day of calm, quiet breathing can really help reduce stress levels.
  6. Plan your day the night before. This is simple yet effective, sometimes our stresses centre around juggling so many things on a daily basis.  A simple trick is to get a notebook and write down your tasks for the next day the night before, this will also help you get to sleep as you don’t have a list of things to do running around in your head.  I have found blocking out time where I do certain tasks also helps stops me multi-tasking and then getting stressed that I’m not completing things I intended to do.

So there is it 6 easy ways to de-stress, I hope that there are at least couple of things on the list that you can easily incorporate your daily life to help you feel a lot calmer.

I have devised a Healthy Hormones Package to help you if you can relate to any of this blog. What better time of year to put your self-care first; I love working with women to help them feel calm, centred and balanced again.  I only have capacity for 5 lovely ladies to sign up to my healthy hormones package before Christmas! I’d love it if you would like to start your journey to good health with me.  You can find out more about the package and its benefits here or email me at helen@helenjefferies.co.uk or call 07387 553140,