Ah, the holiday season – a whirlwind of festivities, joy, and the perpetual hunt for the perfect gift. As women, we often find ourselves lost in the magic of creating memorable moments for our loved ones. But let’s talk about a crucial aspect we tend to overlook in the holiday frenzy: allowing ourselves to receive. This isn’t just about emotional well-being; it’s about maintaining that delicate hormonal balance that often takes a hit during the holidays.
The Essence of Allowing: Nurturing Ourselves Amidst the Buzz
The Calming Cup of Tea and Other Lifelines
In the midst of the holiday chaos, I’ve found solace in the simplest acts of self-care. It’s not about indulgence; it’s about self-preservation, as Audre Lorde wisely put it. Picture this – a warm bath, a quiet cup of tea, or just a few stolen moments of deep breathing. These aren’t mere luxuries; they’re lifelines amidst the holiday hustle.
Embracing Vulnerability: The Power of ‘Yes’
Last week, I wrote about the importance of saying no. Well, this week, I want to remind you of the power in saying “yes”. As someone who’s been known to wear the superhero cape proudly, accepting help hasn’t always been my forte. In fact, women, in general, have a very difficult time being vulnerable enough to accept help. But as Brené Brown so brilliantly puts it, vulnerability isn’t about winning or losing; it’s about having the courage to show up. So, this holiday season, I’m saying “yes” to support. It’s not just about lightening the load; it’s about weaving a tapestry of community in the midst of tinsel and wrapping paper.
Receiving and Hormonal Harmony: Understanding the Intricate Dance
The Stress-Hormone Tango: Cortisol and the Holidays
Ah, stress during the holidays – the uninvited guest at every gathering. Cortisol, the stress hormone, has a way of disrupting the hormonal orchestra in our bodies. When we are stressed, even if it’s eustress, our adrenals can be overloaded and deplete our progesterone, increasing the risk of estrogen dominance. That is not good, any time of the year!
But fear not, there’s a counter-melody – moments of relaxation and genuine joy. Dr. Christiane Northrup aptly puts it, “Relaxation and joy create a healthy hormonal milieu.” So, as I navigate the holiday dance of increased activities, I’m making room for those moments of bliss amidst the chaos.
The Sleep Conundrum: A Gift Wrapped in Zzz’s
Sleep, the elusive gift we often sacrifice on the altar of holiday merriment. Late nights and social galas can throw our sleep patterns into disarray, playing havoc with our hormones. Dr. Matthew Walker’s words resonate – “Sleep is the single most effective thing we can do to reset our brain and body health each day.” This season, I’m unwrapping the gift of rest and letting my body revel in the rejuvenating dance of sleep.
Balancing Act: Nutrition and Hormones
Amidst the festive feasts and sweet indulgences, balancing our diet becomes an unsung hero in the hormonal tale. As Joy Bauer advises, “Nutrient-dense foods provide the building blocks for hormone production.” So, while savoring the holiday treats, I’m also making room for omega-3 fatty acids, leafy greens, and hydration – the silent supporters of hormonal equilibrium. I discuss more of the incredibly delicate balance these three superfoods play on hormonal balance in my book, Hormonal Harmony, which you can grab here.
Starting your day with a Green Smoothie of Kale, Chia seeds, ¼ of an avocado, frozen organic wild blueberries, and keto collagen is one way that I ensure these superfoods in my diet, regardless of schedule. You can try other greens if you’re not quite ready for kale, be sure to have organic. Note – Spinach is #2 on the Dirty Dozen list year after year, so be sure to choose organic to reduce your risk of toxic estrogen exposure that leads to estrogen dominance.
Mindful Practices for Hormonal Well-being: Unveiling the Magic
Gratitude: A Potion for Hormone Elevation
I highlighted the physical, mental, and emotional benefits of gratitude and how it can actually change our gene expression in last month’s blogs. Bottom line, it’s curative! In the words of Melody Beattie, “Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” Gratitude isn’t just a holiday buzzword; it’s a hormone booster. Practicing gratitude influences the release of hormones like oxytocin, the “love hormone,” and reduces cortisol levels. Take a moment each day to reflect on the positive aspects of your life, nurturing a sense of well-being and hormonal balance.
Breathing Through the Stress: An Anchor in the Storm
“Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky. Conscious breathing is my anchor,” says Thich Nhat Hanh. Amidst the holiday storm, mindful breathing becomes my anchor. Intentional breaths activate the parasympathetic nervous system, inviting relaxation and hormonal equilibrium into the chaos. In her renowned book 90 Seconds to a Life You Love, Joan Rosenberg, PhD, clearly explains that the bodily sensations that we feel with stress, you know, the pit in the stomach, will only last 90 seconds. If we know this, name them, and breathe through them, then we can indeed make it through any storm of emotions.
Conclusion: A Personal Symphony of Balance for a Harmonious Holiday Season
So, here’s to a holiday season where I dance with the rhythm of allowing and receiving. By weaving self-care into the chaos, embracing support, and honoring the hormonal dance within, I’m creating a symphony of balance that resonates far beyond the festive lights. Remember, the gift of hormonal well-being is the most precious one you can unwrap for yourself. And, remember, when you have hormonal balance, it’s a gift to all those in your circle of influence, too.
Wishing you a season filled with joy, self-love, and a harmoniously balanced holiday!