Bouncing back, naturally

Image by silviarita from Pixabay

I walked into my office and noticed one of the small diamonds from my engagement ring was missing.  I burst into tears.  This has happened before due to the design of the ring and they have been replaced, but the last time the jeweller said he may not be able to do it again as the clasps had weakened.  Then I took a call from a colleague telling me that there would potentially be a delay to part of the project I’m working on, which should have been sorted before I went on holiday.  I cried again (after the call). 

I don’t know whether I was feeling overly stressful due to project demands ahead of going on holiday, lack of sleep over the last two nights, or hormonal fluctuations because I’m a woman of a certain age.  Either way, my mood plummeted and everything that day seemed to be a disaster.

It could all have been down to a hormonal imbalance giving me a rollercoaster ride of emotions experienced by women either during their usual monthly cycle, or because they are experiencing perimenopause, or menopause.  It could have all been stress related.

In Top Sante magazine Dr Martin Kinsella offers six ways to support naturally rebalancing hormone levels:

  1. Look at diet – reduce consumption of processed and sugary foods.  Aim for five fruit and veg portions a day, batch cook healthier meals to reduce chances of reaching for junk food, reduce or cut out yeast.
  2. Get more sleep – sleep affects leptin and ghrelin which control hunger pangs.  Without enough sleep your brain produces ghrelin stimulating appetite.  Lack of sleep also affect stress levels so you wake up more irritated.  Reduce screen time before bed, make sure the room is dark to help circadian rhythm sleep cycles.  Avoid sugar and caffeine before bed.
  3. Avoid overexercising – if you exercise too much it can cause low levels of progesterone, the soothing hormone.  When you raise your heart rate a stress response is triggered.  The best type of exercise for maintaining healthy hormone levels is HIIT and resistance training.   How much exercise is too much depends on the individual but signs you’re doing too much are feeling overly tired, unable to perform at the same level as before, trouble sleeping.
  4. Reduce stress levels – stress causes release of cortisol, too much can result in imbalance.  Take up hobbies such as yoga, meditation, walking or artistic pastimes.
  5. Cut back on the alcohol – alcohol interferes with natural hormone balance by affecting blood sugar levels.  Most people experience a mood dip the day after drinking too much.  Recommended adult drink units should add up to no more than 14 units per week, that’s about six medium glasses of wine or six pints of beer.  Swap for non-alcoholic versions.
  6. Make sure you’re eating enough – concentrations of thyroid and sex hormones suffer if you don’t eat enough nourishing food.  An ideal daily calorie intake varies according to age, activity levels and gender but recommended no more than 2,000 calories for women.

As far as diet goes, I don’t actually eat that much processed food, we cook from fresh.  Sugary foods are a bit of a vice and I do have a lot of leftover chocolate treats to consume.  I batch cook my breakfasts and lunches every week, and I don’t eat that much bread, only about 2 slices a week, the only obvious thing with yeast in, apart from beer, and I don’t drink too much of that either.

I usually sleep for Britain.  The last couple of nights though I’ve either had difficulty getting to sleep or kept waking up, possible stressing about my work project. Light levels in our bedroom are quite dark since the changed the streetlights outside and I don’t usually play on my phone or tablet before bed.

Over exercising is not a problem for me, quite the opposite.  I lead a mostly sedentary life.  Apart from going for a lunchtime walk most days, I do little exercise.

I guess I’ve been quite stressed over the last couple of weeks.  I’m having two weeks off work and my project is coming to a crucial point.  I needed to make sure things were in place for whilst I was away and major expense items under control.  It was quite tight around timelines.

I have had a bit more to drink than usual over the last couple of days as we celebrated our Silver Wedding Anniversary but not gone bonkers.  Maybe that contributed to the lack of sleep and it was all connected.

I generally eat well.  We cook from fresh using Slimming World recipes.  I’ve got sweet treats to finish up after Valentines and birthday gifts, but other than that we don’t eat too much bad stuff. When I’ve tracked my calorie intake, I averaged about 1,700 calories per day during February.  Not that I’ve lost any weight at all, in fact I’ve actually put on.

I am hoping my two weeks holiday will help me refresh and recharge ready to return and finish my project with rejuvenated enthusiasm.  Maybe it was just a bad day.


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