Ever think life can’t get this busy and then realise it just has?
In recent times it notched up another level where many of us took on a new role alongside our many other roles and became full time carer and/or teacher and all that goes with day-care and schooling, whilst carrying on with our own jobs and trying to be super present in an online meeting whilst the background is … well carnage!
At the same time, we had to delve into the depths of memory to try and recall some strange maths formula or getting the colouring pens out and our creative hats on. All whilst trying to put healthy meals on the table that felt more like a conveyor belt of meals and dishes all day long! Well done to every woman here whatever your circumstance and experience.
As we have started to come to our “new normal lives” it appears the next level hasn’t subsided at all and the modern woman’s busy life of juggling work, parenting and trying to maintain a happy home with great relationships with partners, friends, and family is at a permanent level of “stretch” which is putting pressure on our health & wellbeing.
The impact of “next level” high stress life
This ongoing high-stress and race paced lifestyle puts our adrenal glands that operate our chemical messengers in the form of a range of hormones under enormous pressure and out of whack.
The stress hormones Cortisol and Adrenaline, play a massive role in everyday life by allowing us to handle stress – physically, mentally, and emotionally. You know in yourself when adrenaline has been released as you notice your heart race and you feel jittery making it difficult to feel calm and centered in your thoughts or feelings. Adrenaline creates the fight or flight response that we all recognize and is designed to keep us safe and out of danger. The danger of today comes in a very different form of ourselves chasing our own tail, however the provoked response has the same impact on the body.
Adrenaline is also the stress hormone that you can feel after a sudden burst of panic (your phone is not in your pocket oh no… where is it? We all know this feeling).
Cortisol is a survival hormone produced by the adrenal glands. Funnily enough it is our daytime hormone as it helps to keep us awake and alert. It also helps to regulate several different bodily functions such as blood pressure, blood sugar levels, our nervous system, the inflammation levels in our bodies and how much energy we have.
Cortisol operates as a powerful anti-inflammatory (our bodies are amazing) sending help when and where we need it. But be aware that if we call on Cortisol production too frequently due to lifestyle choices, we may be compromising our immune system and an effective anti-inflammatory response when we most need it.
Watch out on consuming too much caffeine as caffeine is known to activate the stress hormone response sending messages to the adrenal glands to make more adrenaline and cortisol!
Interesting fact: Insulin can be affected by both stress and sex hormones. This can disrupt the body’s response to glucose and how your body regulates your blood sugar levels. Melatonin or the sleepy time hormone can also be affected by stress and sex hormones. Melatonin and Cortisol are literally like night and day and when one is off balance, the other will be too.
Signs our Hormones are imbalanced
When our hormones, any of them, are out of balance it can cause a raft of issues for our bodies. Some of the common signs are:
- Nervous and jittery
- No energy
- Emotional like on a rollercoaster
Some quick tips for Reducing the load on your Adrenals and rebalancing hormones:
- Take a moment to look at your daily/weekly list of to-do’s and instead of saying yes and adding something else in as per the norm. Just this once look to remove something from the list or defer it, there must be something that can either have a longer deadline or someone else can own. If you manage to achieve this – make sure you let it go in your head too.
- Recognise that something isn’t quite right and accept that this is OK. Now stop what you are doing wherever that might be and take a moment to recentre yourself. Take 10 deep breathes, in for a count of 5 and out for a count of 6. Whatever the actual numbers just try to slow your breath and allow the out breath to be slower than the in breath. Try and bring this in as a routine into your day to take slow and deep breaths to calm yourself.
- Have some family fun whether it’s a board game or walking the dog round the block it’s a great time to connect and enjoy some time together. Laughter really is the best medicine!
- Keep the caffeine dose to one a day or even better swap the high dose caffeine for a decaffeinated drink or green tea and treat your body to water throughout the day.
- Boost your wellness with fresh fruit and vegetables where you can afford to.
- Try to find a few minutes each day (preferable 20) to go for a walk or be outside in nature -even if it’s only 10 minutes twice a week.
If what’s happening on the inside is out of balance our mental, emotional and physical wellbeing could be suffering and may need some additional support. If you’re feeling a little bit off balance and not quite yourself then it could be time to check out what NuWoman could do for you. Click here to find our more.