When it comes to creating habits for healthy hormones, making sure you have techniques to manage stress, although difficult, it’s important. The parts of the brain responsible for communicating with the adrenal glands (for stress) are also responsible for hormonal health. High levels of stress also can prevent or delay ovulation (and, therefore, menstruation) as stress switches the body into ‘fight or flight’ mode.
When this is activated, the body doesn’t feel safe or prioritise ovulation, or menstruation, resulting in the delaying of the period. Additionally, when the body is in a state of stress, it prioritises the production of cortisol. Cortisol production can ‘steal’ away some of the nutrients that are also needed for progesterone production, resulting in lower levels of progesterone, potentially causing things like menstrual spotting and/or PMS, heavy periods or pain.
Tips to manage your stress include:
- Ensure you have hobbies for YOU (yoga, pilates, hiking, meditation, reading book etc) scheduled into each week
- Ask for help and support: if it’s a busy time for you, make sure to reach out to your support networks.
- Get out in nature: take a walk, sit on a park bench, nap under a tree.
- Meal prep if you know a busy period is coming up to help keep on top of your nutritional needs.
- Exercise!: Exercising releases all those feel-good hormones, helping us to increase feelings of relaxation.