The Best Hormone-Balancing Habits
People often think that hormones only come out to play during the three P’s: puberty, periods, and pregnancy – but that’s far from the truth!
Hormones are the chemical messengers of your endocrine system. They are delivered to tissues and organs throughout the body, helping regulate everything from metabolism to mood to body temperature and much more.
So what happens when your hormones are off balance? All sorts of things from reproductive health disorders to difficulty with cognition and concentration, to lethargy and fatigue. There are a lot of habits and factors that can affect the health of your hormones.
Luckily there are a lot of easy things you can do to help balance your hormones. Let’s take a look at some of the top hormone-balancing habits!
Addressing Any Underlying Disorders
Unfortunately there are some hormone imbalances that are out of our control, especially if they are coming from an underlying disorder. Some disorders that can affect your hormone health include:
Even if you don’t have any disorders that may be affecting your hormonal health, you may still benefit from these tips if you experience any of the following:
- Difficulty concentrating
- Menstrual pain or uncomfortable periods
- Feeling sluggish, unmotivated, or fatigued
- Low mood or irritability
- Low sex drive
Watching Environmental Toxins
We have flooded our planet with environmental toxins that also have a direct impact on our health. A lot of these are difficult to avoid. This is influenced by where you live, and what products, food, and other resources you have access to.
Environmental toxins have been linked to all sorts of issues including cancers, nervous system dysregulation, and hormonal imbalances. So how do you help limit your exposure to them?
- Buy products that are paraben-free, phthalate-free, and BPA-free when you can
- Opt for clean beauty products and toiletries
- Check your local water supply for contaminants, and see if you can find a better source
- Watch the cleaning supplies in your home, opt for clean ones or make them yourself
Eating A Hormone Happy Diet
Yo-yo diets or not getting enough nutrients can wreak havoc on your hormones. Eating a balanced diet that helps regulate your blood sugar is vital for happy hormones.
- Opt for organic or grow your own food if you can, pesticides are another sneaky source of environmental toxins
- Eat a veggie starter before your meals, the fiber helps prevent blood sugar spikes
- Protein is essential for the creation of many hormones, it’s recommended to eat 20-30 grams per meal
- Eat healthy fats like olive oil and avocado that your body can immediately use for energy
- Minimize your intake of processed foods and added sugar
It’s also important to make sure that you’re eating enough. A lot of people (especially women) don’t eat enough throughout the day, which can throw their hormones off.
Watch Your Screen Time
Screens are a regular part of our lives. They are used when we work, socialize, and even during our downtime. Unfortunately, they may also be impairing your hormone health.
The Bluelight that comes from screens can disrupt melatonin production, increase cortisol levels and desynchronize our internal clocks. That can contribute to issues with sleep, increased inflammation, and all sorts of other issues that can come from that.
You can help to minimize the effects of screen time on your hormone health by:
- Putting a blue light filter on your computer and wearing blue-blocking glasses while you have screen time
- Avoid screen time for at least a half-hour before bed
- Pick up a hobby that doesn’t involve looking at a screen, like reading a book, drawing, or playing a game with loved ones
Move Your Body
Physical activity doesn’t have to be complicated. It can even be something like dancing around your living room, going for a walk, or having sex! Make it enjoyable, and you’re more likely to do it.
Exercise helps to reduce insulin levels and increase your body’s sensitivity to insulin. Physical activity also helps to maintain levels of other hormones like testosterone and human growth hormone (HGH).
Some other great forms of physical activity include
- Weight lifting
- Yoga and pilates
Bonus points if you’re able to get some fresh air while you move your body!
Catch Those ZZZs
We talked about how screens can affect your sleep, but how does sleep affect your hormones?
Sleep disruptions can disrupt the regulation of all sorts of hormones including insulin, cortisol, and leptin. Sleep disorders like insomnia can wreak havoc on your hormone health.
Some things are out of our control especially if you have young children or a job that disrupts your sleep schedule, but you can take little steps like creating a bedtime routine, making a comfortable nest for you to sleep in, and taking a supplement like magnesium before bed.
Stress is one of the biggest culprits when it comes to disruptions in hormone health. Regular stress can trigger hormonal imbalances that may be underlying and bring them to the surface.
You can help manage stress levels by:
- Practicing mindful habits like meditation and breathwork
- Going to therapy to talk it out and learn stress management tools
- Taking time to rest
- Practicing a creative hobby
- Getting outside
- Spending time with loved ones
Enjoying Your Life
All of these tips tend to overlap. The better you sleep, the easier it is to exercise. The more regular physical activity you get, the easier it will be to sleep, and so on. These tips are meant to be easy to incorporate into your life, but make a huge impact on your overall well-being.
Having balanced hormones help you to feel better in your body, and enjoy your life more. And guess what? For the most part, the more you enjoy your life, the more balanced your hormones will be!
Natasha (she/her) is a full-spectrum doula and health+wellness copywriter. Her work focuses on deconstructing the shame, stigma, and barriers people carry around birth, sex, health, and beyond, to help people navigate through their lives with more education and empowerment. You can connect with Natasha on IG @natasha.s.weiss.