How are you feeling? Covid19 has taken over most of our lives and we are feeling a little trapped, as our vacations are canceled, our jobs are adjusting or disappearing and our hobbies (unless you're a gamer) are a little more lonely or currently not possible. If this is leaving you feeling worn out, depressed or stressed, then you might be battling the Covid19Blues and it might help to make sure you're keeping your hormones in balance so things don't get really crazy.
Hormones: Hey, what’s up?
Me: Just reading a book, trying not to think about Covid19
Hormones: LET’S GET ANGRY.
Me: Wait, no-
Hormones: AND CRY.
Me: But why?! I’m trying to take this quarantine thing one day at a time… and I like this book!
Hormones: FOR ABSOLUTELY NO REASON!
Que evil laugh from your hormones.
Why is this happening? Well, bad things happen and the Covid19 is one of them, though during this quarantine we are probably consuming more alcohol and sugar than usual. We are treating ourselves to things at the grocery store that we normally don't buy and rationalizing that we deserve it because hey, we're stuck in the house all day and treats will make us feel better. Well, yes, they will make you feel better and yes, you deserve a treat but it's going to quickly irritate your hormonal balance. It’s not fair at all but it can increase your mood swings, hot flashes, depression and insomnia. Which isn't good when you're already cooped up at home.
How do we endure this quarantine without being miserable? It isn’t easy. There is no point in lying about it. A small part of the population is enjoying the extra family time but 90% of us are so stressed we can't see straight. This is the perfect time to really start working on meditation and focusing on FLOW.
Mihalyi Csikszentmihalyi is one of the pioneers on the research of flow. His initial studies involved creative individuals, but his concepts actually apply to all aspects of life.
- Take a break from technology, such as cell phones, computers, and TVs. (It's good to stay informed but within reason. As long as you're currently following the quarantine orders, then take sometime away from technology, you're not going to miss anything but bad news).
- Find something that brings you pleasure and concentrate on it. (Puzzles, yoga, drawing, writing, doodling, singing)
- Enjoy the journey of your project, work, or conversation, rather than thinking about the destination or final product.
- Refrain from attaching yourself to negative thoughts.
- Stay in a situation or with a project until you feel in your heart that it’s finished.
It's not an every second solution but being able to do this and get into a peaceful state of mind even for an hour a day will lower your stress and help you stay healthy.
Other things that will help, and keep your hormones agreeable with your new sense-of-calm will be staying away from caffeinated and alcoholic beverages and to try to only eat a few bites of those tasty treats your bought at the store instead of eating the whole box. Caffeine and alcohol tend to raise cortisol levels and that makes it a lot harder for your body to deal with stress and it can cause low progesterone. And that box of cookies you finished… well all that added sugar will affect your insulin hormones and that will cause irritability because it impacts your estrogen levels.
It’s a difficult balance. However, the side effects are far from worth it. Your body is a temple and if you’ve ever heard the phrase “garbage in garbage out” then you know where I’m going with this.
My suggestion for this quarantine is to keep a food journal. Clearly separate the things you ate that were good for you and the things you ate or drank that maybe could be affecting your hormones. Write notes about the positive things from the day or what you enjoyed doing. That way you can better track your symptoms and better evaluate what you can get away with day to day with food and activities. I’ve also found that I feel better if I’m incorporating my daily S’moo scoop! We don’t know what tomorrow will bring but we need to be at the top of our game and as healthy as possible to get through this.
Here is a helpful immune boosting smoothie to add to your list!