Around Christmas, there was a lot of good food and for the new year, you finally wanted to do more for your health? Well, you’re not the only one! In January, membership gyms record sky-rocketing numbers of new members and the topic of health ranks No. 1 in the New Year’s resolutions.
Stress reduction, more time for yourself and the family, more exercise and a healthier diet, losing weight, quitting smoking and spending less time on social media – these are the most popular new year’s resolutions. Sounds very good, but what happens after the first few weeks of January?
The hibernation period and good intentions
By now, we have all arrived safely in the new year, and many are already feeling some weariness creeping up on them. Should I really go the gym after work? Prepare my healthy lunch in the evening? And what about the stress levels that cannot be simply switched off? Stress is made up of old patterns of high expectations, negative thoughts, pressure from the environment and unhealthy habits. In addition, it is still dark outside in the morning – even if the sun is getting stronger each day, we are still much less exposed to sunlight in January and February than later in the year.
Quickly, you might develop a feeling of failure. Even good intentions can cause high expectations – because changing habits takes time and energy.
The hormone system under stress
What does all of this have to do with women’s health?
Increased levels of stress, too much work and overall tension have a direct impact on the hormone balance. Adrenal glands work at full speed to provide enough stress hormones to keep us “in action” and continue to get things done. At the same time, the production of important female hormones is being curbed, because our body does not deem reproduction a priority in times of stress.
Now let’s take a quick look at the rhythm of the seasons. There is not much going on in nature in winter. Everything rests – ideally under a blanket of snow – and waits for the first warm rays of sun. This can take a long time. Before there was electric light, life was controlled very much by these natural conditions – you went to bed early and no crops were being planted nor harvested. It was time to stay home and repair, knit and tell stories. That way of life has completely disappeared in our western industrialized societies. For us, at least in the workplace, commitment and performance rule everything, regardless of natural rhythms.
The female menstrual cycle also works around this principle: there is a period of calm that corresponds to winter. This is the time of menstruation, followed by the phase of rising energy, the “inner spring” when the desire for activities increases. In the body, the estrogen increases until ovulation. This corresponds to the inner phase of summer, in which many women feel energetic. Then follows the premenstrual phase, in which the progesterone dominates in the body. This phase corresponds to autumn, when it is already darker and life’s topics revolve more around retreating from the outside and internal issues are intensified.
Break as a prerequisite for activity
From this point of view, it makes much more sense to take a lot more breaks in wintertime, rather than wanting to implement all life-enhancing ideas at once. Not just because it is so much more comfy, but because our bodies demand it. Only if we experience enough regeneration and relaxation, can our system shift into the next gear again.
The phase of regeneration includes good sleep, more small breaks in everyday life and times of idleness, doing nothing. During rest, our hormone system can stop producing more stress hormones and regenerate. This is also a prerequisite for a healthy menstrual cycle, which in turn has a major impact on our energy levels. Every woman knows it – when menstruation is around the corner, we just want to drop down on the couch. And that’s exactly what we need to do to.
What you can do: Make us of herbs that have been traditionally known to help us relax, let go and regenerate, physically and mentally. Plants such as lavender, lemon balm and passion flower help us to switch off and relax. Sleep improves and helps us to refuel. You may notice that you need more sleep in winter, that’s completely normal and you can allow it to happen. Often it helps to move the bedtime up half an hour.
The Rest Easy Tea by FEMNA Health helps you to let go and get healthy sleep.
As all cleansing and purification processes in the body function better at resting stage, this is also the ideal time to support the liver and kidneys to do their work. Herbs such as dandelion, birch and stinging nettle are ideal companions for these processes.
A detox regimen with FEMNA’s Cleansify Tea is just the thing you might need right now.! P.S. You can also stay on the sofa for this.
Spring is coming
Of course, this does not mean that you need to throw all the good intentions out of your life forever. Taking longer breaks is certainly a good idea for most people, but above all it is about consciously experiencing a period of rest in winter. In March, the sun is already up much earlier and longer and you will feel your energy rising along with it – in balance with natural rhythms!
Our hormone system also reacts to the vitamin D now being produced in the body when you get more sunlight. Vitamin D is vital for the thyroid gland, which in turn is a major influence on all other endocrine glands in the body. When you celebrate the resting period, you will notice that the desire for activity comes back at its own time, and that you will experience more ease in taking good care of yourself. Without much effort, but with real, renewed energy from within.
So take your time, spring is coming soon enough! Support your body from the inside out, so that the natural rhythm of rest and activity rebalance.