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  • Writer's pictureJo Leccacorvi

How to look after your hormones during the festive period

There are many things that I like about Christmas, and also many things that I don’t! The top three things I don’t like about Christmas are:

 

1.       The stress in the lead up to the big day

2.       Healthy eating advice that involves dietary restriction

3.       Feeling guilty about eating a Yuletide log or having an extra glass of prosecco




 

With Christmas adverts starting in early November and the shops stocking Christmas food before Halloween has arrived, it can feel like the build up to Christmas gets earlier and earlier every year. There’s presents to buy, Christmas cards to send, check if the Christmas jumpers fit, feel pressured to buy matching family pjs, get the decorations down from the loft, deal with the sixty-one million messages from your child’s school about the Christmas activity week and have a panic about how much money you’re spending. This can lead to overwhelm which can trigger your body’s stress response and play havoc with your hormones and worsen your perimenopause symptoms. Throw in dietary restriction and feelings of guilt into the stress mixture, it can add to the load, your stress response and you end up feeling really shitty.

 

Of course, just eating high sugar foods and non-stop boozing throughout the month of December is not going to be great for your health or your hormones but restricting your diet around this time of year is going to lead to hunger and have you reaching for the Quality Street quicker than the sponsored Santa Dash at your child’s school. It's all about balance and when it comes to healthy hormones there is more to it than just cutting out the sweet stuff.

 

So, if you want to have a fun and guilt free Christmas without the yo-yo of your hormones have a read of my tips:

 

Give your nervous system a hug

Stress can influence your perimenopausal symptoms. When you experience on-going stress your body releases cortisol and this can disrupt your sex hormone production, and this can worsen your symptoms.

 

So, remember to rest if you need to, delegate jobs that need to doing, don’t be afraid to say no, turn off the alarm, and enjoy a well-deserved lie in.

 

Eat your veg

Yes, I’m telling you to eat your vegetables again! I love the vegetables that are in season at this time of year, red cabbage, Brussel sprouts, carrots, parsnips, kale, cauliflower, savoy cabbage, leeks, and potatoes. Cruciferous veggies, so that’s cabbage, sprouts, cauliflower, and kale help your body detoxify your sex hormones and your stress hormones. In simple terms, detoxifying means it helps your liver to process the hormones and carry out their job.

 

So, feel your plate with veg at every opportunity. Make a coleslaw with carrots, red and savoy cabbage. Dipped carrot sticks in your fave dip and roast the cauliflower in the oven with your favourite seasoning. Google different ways to cook sprouts, you really don’t need to boil them to death!

 

Get some fresh air

Another way to soothe your nervous system and therefore your hormones is to get outside. Getting a 15-minute daily dose of natural light can help calm your stress response and also help you to sleep at night.

 

Exposure to natural daylight encourages the body to produce the feel-good hormone serotonin. Serotonin can reduce the production of cortisol. As the day goes on and day turns into night, darkness triggers your body to release the sleep hormone melatonin, which is made from serotonin. So, get out there and go for a walk.

 

Breathe

Did you know that you can use your breathe to help calm your nervous system and reduce your stress response. When you breathe in a mindful way, it helps to trigger the parasympathetic nervous system or rest and digest, it slows down your heart rate, reduces cortisol levels and encourages oxygen to all parts of your body.

 

There are many different breathing techniques but my favourite one is breathing in for the count of four through your nose and breathing out via your mouth for the count of eight. If you find eight too long your can, try breathing out for the count of six. The key thing is for your out breathe to be longer than your in breath. So, if you find yourself feeling overwhelmed remember to take a pause and practice your breathing.

 

As you can see, when it comes to supporting your hormones and your perimenopause symptoms, it is so much more than just cutting out sugar. If you would like to have a chat with me about your perimenopause symptoms, why don’t you book in for a free chat with me? Click here to book.

 

Wishing you all a lovely and restful break.

 

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