Deciding to create a healthier lifestyle is an important step to balancing your hormones. After that, it’s crucial to create simple, sustainable habits that will allow you to make those changes you’re longing for. Without them, living healthier will be more complicated than it needs to be, and you risk succumbing to the temptation to just give up.
We don’t want that to happen. Instead, it’s important to approach the change as a process; a journey to better health.
Putting them into practice
Doing certain things on a daily basis not only helps to remember what you need to do. It allows your body to adjust easier because it knows what to expect, and isn’t always enduring some kind of crazy change.
(Please note: No one is perfect at this. We all still stumble, but it gets easier as you go along and remember to give yourself grace).
#1 Wake up at the same time
The goal is to eventually get up earlier, but listen to your body also. If you have been having problems with fatigue, then the extra sleep is good for healing. You’ll probably start waking up earlier/easier when the hormones balance out. If sleeping is a struggle you have, then check out 5 Key Nutrients That Promote Sleep.
Interestingly, our adrenal glands thrive on routine (check out DIY: Adrenal Cocktails for more adrenal support). So, even if you are sleeping in, try to get up at the same time each day.
#2 Eat breakfast
Because you’ve been fasting all night long, your body has to release stored glucose to provide your body with energy. In order to do this, your body has to employ certain stress hormones. Skipping breakfast when your brain and body are starved for energy exaggerates this stress response, forcing the body to continually pump out stress hormones to fuel the brain. Chronic stress wreaks havoc on your hormones (it releases the hormone cortisol, and chronically high cortisol will disrupt other hormones).
“Breakfast like a king. Lunch like a prince. Dinner like a pauper.” We nod in agreement because many of us feel best when I eat this way. (Tip: figure out what works best for you.)
Breakfast usually contains a good helping of protein and healthy fat to sustain your energy until lunch.
#3 Take morning supplements
Ideally, all of our nutrients would come from fresh, whole foods. However, we’re often left with nutrient gaps that need to be filled with quality supplements, especially vitamin D.
- Cod liver oil for vitamins A & D, DHA/EPA/Omega 3 fatty acids (try Earthley’s)
- Herbal Multivitamin Nourish Her Naturally supports nutrition and hormone balance
- Herbal Liver Support Kate developed Liver Love Herbal Tincture for gentle liver support that promotes natural detoxing
#4 Drink up
Staying hydrated is important. Keep a quart-size jar handy at all times.
You want to drink half your weight in ounces. So if you weigh 180 lbs, then 90 ounces of water each day (150 lbs – 75 ounces of water, 200 lbs – 100 ounces of water).
#5 Recognize stress/tension and alleviate it
Stress is inevitable, but too much has adverse reactions on our health. Learning ways to reduce stress and alleviate it quickly is important in our stress making world! Check out Natural Ways to Reduce Stress & Anxiety too.
- Say No – I’m really good at taking on more than I can handle (and usually stuff I don’t even want to do). I’m learning to say no and have shed several commitments that just weren’t serving the needs of me or my family.
- Laughter – Stressed? Laugh! It’s a great way to beat stress, enjoy life and break out of whatever funk you’re in.
- Dance party – Doesn’t everyone need a good dance party sometimes? Music is so therapeutic for me and sometimes I just need to blast it and sing at the top of my lungs while I dance with the kids.
- Read a story to or play with my kids – Sometimes stress comes from kids clamoring from attention. Recognizing that I need to spend more time with them, it helps for me to take a time out and engage with them.
- Rest – Our bodies are meant to operate in a rest/go rhythm. When we push ourselves too hard, it’s hard to keep going. I try to take short (15 min.) rest breaks every 2 hours or so.
- Quiet time – One of my needs is solitude and sometimes I just need to withdraw and have some time to myself. This rejuvenates me and allows me to pray and think through whatever is stressing me out.
#6 Wind down early
Getting 8-10 hours of sleep is optimal and crucial for balancing your hormones. The ideal time to sleep is between 10 PM and 6 AM because of the way your body was naturally designed to release certain hormones. If sleep is a struggle for you, be sure to check out our 5 Key Nutrients That Promote Sleep.
Here are some tips:
- Sleepy Tea or Extract– Not always necessary, but I know when I need it. You can buy an herbal blend that’s great for sleep (I’m a huge fan of Sleepy Time Herbal Extract) Plain old chamomile tea helps, too. If you’re pregnant, make sure the herbs are pregnancy-safe.
- No computer/screen after 9 – Screens work to reset your brain, waking you up when you should be winding down. Turn off the computer or TV and put away the cell phone.
- Bed by 10 – I like being asleep by 10. I find that I have an easier time going to sleep around then and it’s easier for me to get up in the morning.
- Bath or foot soak – This is a treat that helps when I’m feeling stressed or sore. I add Epsom salts and lavender and frankincense essential oils.
Remember, that creating this routine has been a process and what works for me won’t necessarily be optimal for you. However, I know that I learn things best by seeing how someone else does it and then specializing it for my own needs. You’re taking the steps toward balanced hormones and a healthier lifestyle. Just keep them small and simple and you’ll create sustainable habits that will serve you for a long time.