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5 Things You Can Do Everyday To Help Your Hormones

Hormones, hormones hormones! We all know they matter and impact us, but what actually ARE they? Hormones are chemical messengers that transmit messages from one gland in your body to another.

For example, the pituitary gland in the brain releases hormones which carry messages around the body via the bloodstream to places like your thyroid, ovaries, adrenals, and pancreas, (etc). And in return, your thyroid, ovaries, adrenals, and pancreas release various hormones. Likewise, if they DON’T get the message, they DON’T release anything. There are over 50 (and counting) hormones in the human body!

It’s not only about their communication, but also how hormones BEHAVE once they’ve been released. For example, once released into the bloodstream, hormone release is ‘pulsed’ rather than one continuous flow. And if their communication and/or their pulse gets messed up or blocked in some way, things start to go awry and crappy symptoms start to manifest.

It’s really important to build a solid foundation for good/optimal whole-body health in order to have good/optimal hormone health.

What needs to be done to have good ‘general’ health is also what needs to be done to support your ‘hormone’ health – the two things are not separate from each other.

Here Are 5 Things You Can Do Everyday To Help Your Hormones

1) Work On Getting Better Sleep

Whilst sleep can start to play up as we move through our 40s, the more we can do to support it the better. Sleep is the bodies time to repair and restore, including the brain’s detoxification process. Good sleep supports blood glucose and insulin regulation, thyroid output, muscle mass, cortisol balance and much more. Your 40s is not a time to be scrimping on sleep!

What you can do:

Support a rise in cortisol just after waking each morning by:

  • Avoiding your phone until later and first get into some full spectrum daylight for 5-10 minutes or switch on a full spectrum (10,000 LUX) light box (and get outside as soon as you can)
  • Hold off on caffeine until 60-90 minutes after waking
  • Do some quick breath work or meditation

Support a lowering of cortisol near to bedtime by:

  • Keeping the lights dim in the home from early evening
  • Wearing blue-light blocking glasses while you watch TV
  • Staying off all deviced in the hour before you go to bed
  • Sleep in a fully darkened room (wear an eye mask if neeed)

2) Manage Your Stress And Support Your Nervous System

Chronic stress wreaks havoc on your hormones for a number of reasons, such as disrupting the communication between your brain and ovaries, thyroid, adrenals etc.

Whilst we can work to remove or avoid SOME stressful situations, events and people, stress is a natural part of life and it’s our response to it and our resiliency that is most important. And this we CAN control.

What you can do:

Implement short daily practices such as:

  • Simple breath work such as 4:6 breathing – even just 3-5 minutes a day
  • Any type of meditation, even 5-10 minutes a day can help
  • Vagus nerve stimulation (activates ‘rest and digest’ state) such as humming, singing out loud or gargling with water!
  • Calming actions like walking in nature, journaling, saying things you’re grateful for, art, knitting, hugging people and pets

3) Cultivate Play And Community

Stress management for obvious stressors is one thing, but factors that also impact our nervous system (sets response system) include sense or purpose, ability to play, and sense of community.

There are two sides or ‘branches’ of your nervous system; the fight/flight/freeze/fawn side, which is known as your sympathetic drive or state. And the rest/digest/repair/heal side, which is known as your parasympathetic drive/state. The problem today is that many of us are stuck in the fight or flight state (sympathetic state) and unable to easily switch into the rest and digest state (parasympathetic). Studies show that it’s easier for the body to switch out of fight or flight when surrounded by a community they love, experiencing joy, or being playful!

As we get older and our work, family responsibilities and other obligations can dominate our lives and we can completely forget how to play and experience joy. Making headspace and time for play, fun, joy and community each day, even just in some small way or a few minutes, is key.

What you can do:

  • Can you spend more time with your favourite friends or family members who you always laugh out loud with?
  • If you have small children, how can you get more involved in their play and make it your play too?
  • What really, truly brings you joy? How can you start to do more of that?
  • Is there a local community, volunteer organisation, or sports team you can get involved with?

4) Minimise Unfriendly Chemicals

Not all chemicals are bad per se, but some have been shown to disrupt the endocrine (hormone communication) system and cause havoc on the production, communication, and action of hormones. This is the LAST thing you need during perimenopause!

These endocrine-disrupting chemicals can bind to your hormone receptors (the entry door on a cell) and activate them when you don’t want them activated. Minimising the amount of these chemicals your body gets is a crucial way to keep this all under control, now more than ever.

Endocrine-disrupting chemicals are predominantly found in things such as plastics, pesticides, commercial body and hair care, perfumes, and household cleaning products and detergents.

What you can do:

  • Use glass, ceramic or stainless steel for cooking, heating, storing and drinking
  • Gradually switch over to using cleaner skincare brands, such as Tropic, Green People, Aesop, Neals Yard, Antipodes, Sukin and Ren
  • Gradually switch over to using cleaner household cleaning and detergent brands such as Bio-D, Method and Attitude.
  • Stop using artificial fragrances such as plug-ins, car fresheners, air fresheners, candles, and perfumes (you can still use a nice perfume but how about keeping it minimal rather than daily?)
  • Be mindful of the pesticides on your foods by buying organic produce where possible. You can refer to the PAN..
  • Consider using organic, all cotton feminine products instead of regular scented and bleached ones.

5) Nourish Your Body (Properly)

“Good nutrition” can conjure up a multitude of different meanings. With so many mixed messages out there, many of which coming from unqualified influencers with no genuine or expert knowledge of what “good nutrition” actually means.

If you’re confused and overwhelmed by it all, you’re not alone!

Some of the most common issues I see for women when it comes to nutrition include:

  • Not getting enough protein, with EVERY meal
  • Still drinking moderate amounts of alcohol (and perhaps more than before)
  • Relying on refined (nutrient-void) carbohydrates and processed foods
  • Under-eating, e.g. low calorie, low fat, generally not enough food at mealtimes, whether on purpose or unknowingly.
  • Skipping meals
  • Intermittent fasting in a way that isn’t right for THEIR body at THIS time
  • Using sugar and caffeine for energy boosts
  • Not being well hydrated (with water and electrolytes)

What you can do:

As a first and most important step, start by checking in with how much protein you are eating across the day, particularly with breakfast. You want to be aiming for 30-40 grams of pure protein at all three meals each day. If you’re falling short, consider ways to start increasing it. Start by nailing a protein (and fat)-rich breakfast each morning and once truly nailed, work on lunch and dinner.

Once you start to better balance your blood sugar by increasing your protein like this, you’ll start to experience improvements in energy, mood, cravings, sleep, and hormone balance. From here you can start to build upon this by addressing other areas of your nutrition and lifestyle.

Want to learn how to Thrive Through Perimenopause? The Thrive Through Perimenopause Course could be the perfect fit. TTP is a lifetime access programme for women who want to nourish their body and their hormones and THRIVE in their 40s, and beyond! Choose the live or the self-paced, self-study option.

Hi, I'm Francesca

I’m a Registered Nutritional Therapist who helps womens in their 40s find vibrant health and vitality, and thrive through perimenopause and beyond.

With nearly 10 years of experience working with hundreds of people, I empower and support women to support their bodies and hormones for a smooth and happy ride in their 4os.

Through our work together, clients have improved their energy, their periods and cycles, their mood, sleep, brain fog and digestion, and learned how to better manage their weight.

I am here to help you get back to YOU so you can have a fantastic time in your 40s.

My signature nutrition and lifestyle coaching approach to supporting women with their health and wellbeing is refreshing, down-to-earth and realistic.

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