Stress is an inevitable part of our lives and it can come from anywhere – work, relationships, money. But Covid-19 has become a new source of stress with its uncertainties and disruptiveness and can wreak more havoc on your health and hormones. Understanding how covid stress impacts your hormones and take steps to adjust to the new normal.
Covid As A New Source of Stress
While there are no actual numbers that capture the number of individuals who experienced increased stress during the Covid-19 pandemic in Singapore, many newspaper articles have highlighted new stressors such as working from home, the loss of jobs and the feeling of hopeless caused by the prolonged pandemic.
The Impact of Stress on Hormones
The increased worry and stress can cause real damage to your hormonal health. Your body reacts to additional stress by producing more stress hormones like cortisol, which can lead to emotional and physical symptoms such as anxiety, fatigue, weight gain and sleep disturbances. However, with prolonged stress, your body reacts by borrowing resources from estrogen and testosterone product to keep up with the cortisol your body needs. This can cause your hormones to go out of balance and lead to a significant impact on your sex life, period, mind, and body.
Your Period Tells You About Your Body
Your menstrual cycle is a sign of overall health. By paying attention to your period, you can take steps to manage your stress levels with some form of self-care. Big changes in hormonal levels can affect the frequency, flow and length of your period. Keep a menstrual log to track the changes in your cycle, pain and food cravings. You can do it manually in a notepad, or use any of the many period-tracking apps such as Period Tracker, Flo, or Apple Health.
Self-Care to Keep Hormones in Balance
When you are stressed, you may experience an urge to binge on food or have a lesser appetite and difficulty in eating. Binge eating can cause unnecessary weight gain and sets you up for more potential health diseases. Eat more anti-inflammatory foods such as berries, Chinese tea, green leafy vegetables, salmon and tomatoes.
Treat yourself to massages and facials, besides the therapeutic benefits from the massage and facial techniques, human touch has been known to reduce the feelings of stress. Self-care does not mean you have to spend money for every session, you can integrate simple self-care moments such as a relaxing eye massage at home in your daily facial routines. Applying body care products and using them with self-care tools such as a massage gun can help your mind and body to relax as well. Meditrina QiActiv® Essential Oil contains lavender, which can further help you relax and improve your sleep, while Meditrina Ageless Herbal Cream can support your hormone levels.
Exercise reduces the levels of cortisol in your body and stimulates happy hormones known as endorphins. Exercise and sports also provide you with a ‘time out' to get away from the stressors, a great ‘me’ time, and opportunities to make more friends. A simple 20-minute walk can clear your mind. If you prefer to sweat it out, you can do a HIIT workout. If you prefer a workout that is friendly to your joints, swimming and low impact HIITs are great options.