Living in lockdown can play havoc with your hormones, but there are ways to manage it. Yoga, exercise and a healthy diet could help you feel better.
Sadly Covid-19 infection rates are rising once again and we face harsher restrictions in the wake of a second wave.
Stress levels have also soared which impacts our hormones. A poll of 5,677 women by gynaecologist Dr Anita Mitra found that 65 per cent had noticed a change in their periods or experienced stronger-than-usual hormonal symptoms since the pandemic.
“If you think about the impact that lockdown, and Covid-19, has had on so many of us – financial uncertainty, social isolation, separation from loved ones, psychological pressures, loss of routine – the changes in our menstrual cycle isn’t a huge surprise. Stress is the root of so many hormonal imbalances,” Cheryl MacDonald, Yoga Elder and Founder of YogaBellies, told Cover Media.
Here are Cheryl’s top tips to prevent the stress of lockdown impacting your hormones:
A key component while practising yoga is to focus on your breathing which can help reduce anxiety, clear the mind of negative thoughts and lift you out of those low moods. also helps to reduce fatigue and improve energy levels, as it helps secrete the happy hormones - endorphins, serotonin, and dopamine. The best asanas to prevent hormone imbalance are Dancer’s Pose, Camel Pose, and Bow Pose.
Being stuck inside all day can cause you to reach for chocolate, treats, and alcohol, and these play havoc with hormones. Replace them with healthy protein, such as eggs, fish, beans, nuts and seeds. Avoid sugar and refined carbs and eat healthy fats such as olive oils, avocado, , seeds, coconut oil, and like salmon and mackerel. Green tea is also great for hormones as it contains theanine, a compound that reduces the release of cortisol, the hormone that causes stress.
It’s so easy when you’re busy with work to stay cooped up inside all day, particularly as it gets colder outside. But try to go outside, look up fun and interesting places nearby where you can go on a brisk walk or run. Get that heartbeat up and enjoy the great outdoors.
Create boundaries so that you can focus on yourself when you need to. If you’ve got children to care for, explain to your partner that you need a bit of time to yourself and exchange it for some of their own ‘me time’. It could make all the difference.
Don’t be afraid to speak up and share your feelings. If your partner isn’t the chatty type, speak to friends who might be feeling the same.