Did you know that winter makes you more aggressive? According to an Indiana University study in 2015: Short Winter Days Trigger Aggression Hormones Differently Based On Sex, this is apparently due to reduced exposure to sunlight (vitamin D) and the impact this has on your natural circadian rhythm and the production of sex hormones. The conclusion of this study reported that females exposed to longer periods of sunshine did not report heightened levels of aggression: “Collectively, the results show that melatonin is the primary regulator of aggression in females”.
The key is to make sure you don’t turn into a complete Grisly Bear by ‘owning’ your body during the change of season. Autumn gives us the opportunity to establish some really good habits to help balance our hormones before the true onset of an arctic winter. According to Chinese Medicine, it is a time of ‘discipline’. Start to get organised and start to slow down. Natures ‘hibernation’ shouldn’t be fought.
Male or female, you will experience hormonal imbalance if you don’t look after yourself. Your hormones dictate your mood, weight, inflammation, quality of sleep, energy, brain function, cravings, disease … just to name a few. This is why it is important to make sure your body is operating as efficiently as possible to keep your hormones in a state of balance. You also need to ensure daily toxins that pass through your liver are then eliminated from your bowel. If you are not fully eliminating your metabolised toxins, you will reabsorb them into your body leading to inflammation, causing chaos with your hormones.
The below tips are about helping your body to do its job. They are so interlinked and are part of a positive cycle of good habits and restoration. We hope you enjoy them.
5 simple steps to keep your hormones happy, your body detoxing and you healthy:
1. Sleep (like a bear). Sleep affects your weight controlling hormones (leptin & ghrelin) and your stress (cortisol) levels. Poor sleep leads to rapid ageing, and none of us want that!! Aim for 7-8 hours each night so your body can naturally restore itself on a cellular level. Having trouble switching off? Put the phone away and set up a bedtime routine where you have a magnesium bath or a warm shower. Make yourself a camomile tea and read a few pages of a book. Even if you have been running a multi million dollar business all day or wrangling kids, something simple in the evenings to ‘trigger’ your sleep routine is invaluable. It is about prioritisation!
2. De-stress Seek out some ‘Quietism” in your day. Practice your Box Breathing or meditation. Take a long walk, sit on a park bench and watch the world around you, soak in a warm bath. You want to make sure your body isn’t stressed out with adrenaline and cortisol. Imbalance can cause weight gain. cravings, mood swings, poor sleep, anxiety and low libido. Even if you are not a converted meditator (yet), switch off and have a laugh over a meal or enjoy the movies with friends.
3. Exercise No matter what the weather, rain, hail or shine, get outdoors and walk, walk, walk. Exercising outdoors is great for your daily dose of vitamin D, but the elements are also good for boosting your immune system. Keeping up your cardio will also boost your metabolism, oxygenate your blood and massage your internal organs. Please also don’t be fooled into thinking that your quick gym routine is enough to off-set the rest of your sedentary desk job day. According to Dr Frank Lipman, hours of immobility before & after your workout can ruin the gains of your session. Apparently the tiny micro tears that come from lifting weights can heal in the shape of your slumping posture in your chair. The answer? Just keep moving!!! Stand up, sit down, walk frequently. Set a timer to remind you to move every 20-30 minutes when seated for long periods. Incidental exercise is imperative to achieve long term weight management and improved health.
4. Eat warming foods. Think about foods that will warm your soul. Warm soups, stews, teas, porridge. Warming foods are easier to digest and you can pack soups & stews with so many veggies & fibre to nourish your body. Make sure you include lots of fresh herbs and spices. Cacao, cinnamon, ginger, garlic, turmeric and cumin are our favourites this time of year. Clean food is an heavenly fertiliser for your gut health. According to Caltech Researcher, Deborah Williams-Hedges, 90% of your happy ‘serotonin’ hormone is made in the digestive tract, so you need to look after it.
5. Stay hydrated. Make sure you always have a vessel of water or herbal tea with you. It is essential to keep your kidneys and liver hydrated so they can flush out your toxins and keep your hormones balanced. Heating indoors and wind outdoors can be very dehydrating. We also encourage you to invest in a water filter, as you are wanting to remove toxins from your body, not add them. Try and avoid reusing plastic water bottles and invest in a good quality stainless steel or glass bottle.
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