Over the Christmas holidays, you want to be relaxing with your loved ones, tucking into some Christmas pudding and enjoying one to many egg nogs. However, from navigating the Christmas shopping crowds in search of the perfect Christmas gifts to the pressure of cooking up a delicious Christmas dinner, the holiday season can be a real juggling act.
The added stress that comes with the festive period is definitely not on the top of anyone’s Christmas list. But lo and behold for many of us (whether we have been naughty or nice this year) the holiday stress will inevitably arrive. So how can the stress of Christmas affect your hormones? Let’s take a look.
Prolonged stress, such as what a lot of us experience over the Christmas break, can be a major cause of a hormonal imbalance. This is all down to elevated levels of the stress hormone cortisol that triggers your fight or flight mode.
Getting everything organised for Christmas from the dinner to the decorations can evaluate your levels of cortisol. If your levels remain persistently high it can then have a knock of effect on your endocrine systems and the regulation of many of your other hormones.
This comes with some very unwelcome symptoms, particularly for the festive holidays. A restless sleep, low mood and energy, irritability and a decreased libido are just some of the side effects you can experience as a result of a stress related hormone imbalance.
A dip in your serotonin levels
If you are feeling like a Scrooge this Christmas, it may be down to a decrease in the happiness hormone serotonin, which helps regulate your mood. Chronic stress has been found to deplete the levels of serotonin in your brain, making you feel down. A lack of serotonin can be a contributing factor to anxiety, depression, and sleep disturbances.
A lack of libido
While some of you may be waiting for a Christmas kiss under the mistletoe, stress can have a huge effect on your libido. Chronic stress can interfere with the production and regulation of sex hormones including estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. These hormones directly affect your libido and therefore it's important that they are kept in balance for a healthy sex drive. So if you feel like you’ve lost your mojo this Christmas, it may well be down to the amount of stress you are experiencing.
Your sex hormones also play a very important role in regulating your mood, energy levels and overall well being. So keeping them in check over the holidays is a must.
From awkward encounters with in-laws, to kids high on Christmas candy there is a lot to be stressed about in the lead up to Christmas and a stress related hormone imbalance can cause many a sleepless night.
Progesterone helps in aiding sleep and as this is lowered by stress you may find yourself struggling to get some shut eye. If you want to get your sleep cycle back in check then our melatonin supplements are the perfect solution. Not only do they help you fall asleep faster but they also help you get a more restful night’s sleep so you can feel refreshed this festive season.
Problems with your gut
Stress impacts your digestion and gut health which is not ideal when there are boxing day leftovers to devour. High levels of cortisol can disrupt your gut microbiome, which plays an important role in hormone production and your metabolism.
Not only this, but stress can deplete your body of vitamins such as B vitamins, magnesium, and omega-3 fatty acids. It can also suppress your thyroid’s hormone production which can lead to symptoms like fatigue, weight gain, and low mood.
How to help deal with stress this Christmas
If you are finding it hard to get into the Christmas spirit due to your stress going into overdrive don't panic. There are many ways to help improve a stress related hormone imbalance during the holidays.
Eat a balanced diet
Although calories don't count at Christmas, making sure to incorporate a bit of balance over the holidays will help keep your hormones happy. Indulging in mince pies and mulled wine is fine but be sure to fill up on some brussel sprouts too. Eating food high in vitamins, micronutrients, and omega-3 fatty acids all contribute to better hormonal health. Think a baked Christmas salmon or warming winter soup - yum!
Whether your Christmas goes off without a hitch or has a few speed bumps along the way, as long as you are around the ones you love, that's all that really matters. Practicing mindfulness and gratitude for the time spent with your loved ones will help in decreasing your stress levels.
Get some exercise
Taking time out for yourself amidst the holiday chaos to get some exercise is essential. As there is no better way to bring down the stress levels than getting them endorphins pumping. Keeping up with your exercise regime may seem impossible at Christmas but even getting out just for a brisk winter walk is an effective way to relieve some of the Christmas stress.
But even with all these measures in the place a hormonal imbalance may need a little extra help - and that’s where we come in.
Our hormonal balancing treatments, from testosterone cream to increase your libido, to progesterone cream to improve your mood, will get your hormones back on track for the festive season and into the New Year.
So if you are feeling stressed out this Christmas and are experiencing symptoms of a hormonal imbalance then start an online consultation with us now.