Is Stress Stealing Your Sexy?... 5 Steps to Addressing MIA Libido
When was the last time you felt like a Glamazon? You know…that glamorous, powerfully assertive part of yourself. Do you remember that feeling in your body that was a force of desire...making you feel deliciously powerful? Remember those times where you felt like a female phenomenon….wild…almost primal? The breeze in your hair, the feel of your skirt brushing against your leg, the softness of your own skin. Remember? I am concerned that you might have forgotten what the sexually, and sensually, vibrant part of your self feels like. I am concerned that you have settled for a diminished potency in your hormonal power and prowess. I am concerned that stress is the main state of being characterizing your days; rather than your relaxed, beautiful, sparkling, pleasure-filled self. Where did it go? Where did YOU go? I believe this sensually activated part of you is the real, life-giving part of yourself that helps align you to your inner-power and soul-purpose on this earth. I believe it gets forgotten and subdued in the midst of working, managing life, taking care of your home, worrying about finances, taking care of sick kids, driving everyone around town, feeding your family, cleaning, fretting about relationships, body concerns, and so much freaking more. Do you know why I believe all of this? Because it has happened to me and I know first hand what it is like... To help support you, I want to first share what is going on inside of you. First, it is helpful to understand that it comes down to your hormones and the impact of stress on stealing nutrients intended for your other sensual functions and feelings. Your body is going to prioritize your survival (your daily stress response) over other functions (reproduction, libido, etc). Here is the basic overview of this phenomenon: Stress – whether acute, or low-grade and long-term, activates your flight-or-fight stress response. Activating the body into this response involves your adrenal glands and the production of cortisol – your main stress hormone. So, how does the body keep producing enough cortisol to respond to the ongoing stress of your daily life demands? Your body is going to steal nutrients and direct it into the cortisol pathway for more and more cortisol production. There is a beautiful precursor hormone (the substance from which other hormones are produced) called pregnenolone. The body will direct this precursor into various pathways to produce a variety of other hormones…including your sex hormones. But…if your body needs more and more cortisol, it will shuttle all the pregnenolone into the cortisol pathway. This is also called the adrenal-steal. The adrenals are stealing the nutrients that make you feel sexy, alive, and robust…to help you survive each day. Want to calm this adrenal-steal and feel fiery again? Or, maybe you would be happy to simply feel more relaxed? To begin with you need to literally chill and shift out of that stress chemistry so your own personal adrenal-steal calms down. Here are 5 small ways to begin:
1. Get in bed by 10pm and sleep for a minimum of 8 hours. You need to get in bed prior to 10 o’clock to support your body’s circadian rhythm. Your body is trying to secrete melatonin to get you all sleepy, but if you are up and about, your cortisol will stay elevated and your melatonin will be suppressed. Staying in bed for 8 hours (even if you aren’t fully asleep that whole time) will help and it will still be restful for your body.
2. Eat a robust breakfast within 30 minutes of waking every day– include protein and fat in this meal. Your breakfast is key to establishing solid blood sugar levels for the rest of your day. If you skip breakfast, wait too long to eat, or if your breakfast is too carb-heavy then this will pull on your adrenals and shift you into a stress chemistry – again.
3. Do a stress reduction activity for 5 minutes in the middle of the day. Simply doing 5 minutes of something like laying on the ground and doing deep breathing, or closing your eyes and reclining in a nearby chair will do wonders to shift your body out of a its stress chemistry for at least a few minutes. This will then have a beneficial ripple effect into the next few hours of your day.
4. At 9pm make your home a calming, dim environment (no screen included). This connects to getting in bed by 10. Looking at your phone, computer, tv, etc literally diminishes melatonin production which correlates to ongoing cortisol excretion. Stopping the use of screens at 9pm and dimming your home with mellow lighting will cue your body (your hormones) to secrete more relaxing hormones and shift out its stress response.
5. Eat at least 1 meal a day as slow as you can. If you are eating quickly or while you are multi-tasking then you will literally not be able to digest your food fully. This means that your digestive system is burdened and food that is not properly digested will become an assault on your body. This leads to an inflammatory response. Guess who comes in to the rescue? Cortisol to help cool the inflammation! The adrenals are stealing more nutrients here as well. If you chew slowly, eat slowly, and are leisurely around your meals, then physiologically you will be able to digest your food more optimally and reduce any inflammatory response that might occur because of undigested food. Can you relate to any of this? What do you think of these 5 simple steps? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. Interested in getting direct nutritional and wellness support to reduce the stress chemistry in your life? I’d love to talk to you. Contact me here….