As the holidays come to an end and the season of new beginnings arrives, it is also a time when many women over 40 experience a drop in their mood or emotions. Unfortunately, this decrease in feelings can be caused by multiple factors, from hormones to stress. But have no fear! In this blog post, we will explore why your mood might dip after the holidays and what you can do to keep things upbeat despite all of life’s challenges, so you don’t feel like hibernating until next year! All it takes is some attention to the cause, understanding your body’s reactions, and trying out some of our suggested coping strategies for feeling better mentally. Let’s get started!
There’s often a lull in the mood for many, and there are many different reasons why this can happen. One reason this time of year is busy is that there are a lot of holidays coming up. People are busy preparing, and they have a lot of social events to attend.
There are things people do that are not as good as they could be. For example, people are not exercising as often. One reason is that it is colder outside and people would rather stay inside. Also, around the holidays, there are more relationship problems because people are more stressed. Sometimes there are families coming together, and sometimes it isn’t always as nice as we would like it to be.
After the New Year’s celebrations wrap up, people often feel a little bit lower in their moods. For women, especially if you are around 40 years old and starting to have changes with your female sex hormones, it can almost make things worse and become a big problem
The Hormones and what Affects them
For many women, as hormone levels begin to fall as they approach or transition into menopause, both estrogen and progesterone are definitely on the decline, with progesterone falling slightly faster than estrogen. Often there are a couple of things that can come up with this.
There are imbalances naturally occurring between estrogen and progesterone. And often if we are doing things that aren’t quite as favorable to our lifestyle or if there is a little bit more stress leading up to and during the holidays, this can cause even more imbalance in those female sex hormones, and it can affect our moods even more.
Needless to say, the fallout is greater for most women.
Another reason is that women often struggle in this period with just having their plates full already. You may have a full-time job or work very busy hours at home. You have multiple things going on. I know many women who tell me they’ve got several balls in the air all the time, and the holidays just add to that. As a result, there’s burnout and stress.
For women, the adrenals have to work extra hard. This is especially true in the forties and fifties when female sex hormones are changing. If the adrenals are overworked, it can cause stress and impact your mood.
Are You Low in Vitamin D?
Vitamins not only affect our physical health, but they can play a major role in maintaining good emotional well-being too. Especially during the colder winter months, when moods often dip, it’s even more important to ensure you’re getting enough of those essential vitamins.
Vitamin D is one of them. For a lot of us, it can be hard to get our daily dose of Vitamin D—especially with the cold weather and staying inside more often. Studies have shown there is an unmistakable link between mood boosts and getting enough sunlight during sunny days (even when bundled up!).
For some people, we can supplement, but it’s definitely not as good as the real thing, which is getting out and absorbing that vitamin D from the sun. The sun is often at its absolute lowest point right around Christmas and early January.
Getting Out of the Pattern
With these potential common reasons why your mood could be more out of balance in mind, please know there are things you have some control over and things you can do something about. Here are the most common strategies for getting out of this pattern, especially at this time of year.
Women looking to get their hormones in check should get up and move. Sweating it out can be a great ally—not only does cardiovascular exercise help regulate our internal systems, but movement is what helps balance those very important hormone levels.
Hormones are like a see-saw. If one goes up, the other goes down. If estrogen is high, then progesterone is low. This makes it hard to keep your balance. But if you start moving your body more, it will help get the hormone levels back in balance. Exercise might seem hard, but it’s important. Even if you can only do something inside, it’s worth it. I did some squats, lunges, and burpees inside my house, and it made me feel better. If it’s dark and rainy outside, you can still go for a jog in place or do yoga. Find something you enjoy and make time for it.
To reach the elixir of hormone harmony and a stable mood, we aim to balance your adrenals. This helps sex hormones remain in check despite changing levels with life events; it’s all part of maintaining equilibrium.
Some things you can do to normalize those adrenals seem very basic and simple, but they make such a difference. Remember to breathe. Women’s lives seem to be constantly abuzz with activity, often leaving them with no time for a break. Though they may not outwardly express it, their bodies and minds can easily succumb to the toll of stress from never-ending obligations.
So what happens when you get into this pattern, and if you normalize it? Most women in our society do in this day and age. Try to imagine this:
We breathe through the upper part of our chest and our lungs. But we never get all the way down to the base of our lungs. So our lungs go down to the bottom edge of the ribcage and even just below that. This is known as apical breathing. If you’re not filling your lungs completely, it activates your stress hormones. Imagine if you ran into a bear when you were walking in the woods. You would get scared and start to breathe quickly. You would want to run away. This is called the “fight or flight” response.
We can be doing this unconsciously throughout the day. This happens without our knowing it because we’re just busy all the time. This has ramped up over the holiday season.
If you just feel like you’re jumping back into a week or two of just starting work after being off for a few days or a week or more, you may feel even more bombarded than ever. We need to remember to breathe.
It’s important to focus on taking deep breaths all the way down into your stomach. This can help calm your nervous system and rebalance the hormones in your body. Set a timer on your phone or computer to remind you to take a few deep breaths every 20 minutes or half an hour.
See What’s Happening Inside
Sometimes these simple strategies, although proven effective, are not enough. We may need to do more and aim to understand what’s going on inside.
If your mood swings are severe and you’re feeling really down or up at different times of the month, it might be hard to get things done in your everyday life. Your relationships may suffer too. You might need more help than just some simple strategies. You may need some lab testing.
As a functional practitioner, I make sure we start to understand the root cause of where your mood imbalances could be coming from. This involves doing proper lab testing.
This is a hormone test I often recommend for women, especially if they’re noticing mood changes or mood swings at particular points in their cycle.
Organic Acid Test
Some women may not notice this up and down at certain points in their cycle. They may just notice the mood swings being more consistent on and off throughout the month, regardless of where they are. An organic acid test is a good way to figure out what is causing these mood swings. This test looks at different areas of the body that could be out of balance, including some of your neurotransmitters, your chemical messengers, connecting between the brain and the rest of your body to help you stay regulated and calm.
Focus on YOU
I encourage you to try grounding yourself and feeling like you’re in your body using the strategies listed above. You may always be too busy doing everything else in life for everyone else and not enough for yourself. I know I often find myself very guilty of this as well, and I have to remember to make sure I take time to center on myself and not just everything else that’s going on in life.
I’m here to help you make sure that, even beyond all that, we’re understanding the physiology and what’s going on behind it inside your body so we can help you gain a solution both now and in the long term.
Long-term mood imbalances can really take a toll on our well-being, and the same goes for short-term swings. If monthly emotional rollercoasters are something you’re familiar with, you know how hard it can be to regain control over your health, but I’m here to tell you that it is possible!
We draw from personal experience when we say this; it’s an issue many of us have faced in different forms throughout life. The good news? There are plenty of strategies at your disposal with dedication and guidance that will help bring much-needed stability into your day-to-day routine while simultaneously improving your outlook overall – just ask those who’ve been down this path before!
The holiday season is finally over. For some, that’s a cause for celebration. But for others, it can be a time of great stress and anxiety. If you find yourself in the latter category, don’t despair. You’re not alone, and there are things you can do to get out of your funk. First, it’s important to understand what’s happening inside your body on a hormonal level and how that affects your mood and emotions. Then, take steps to proactively address any deficiencies like vitamin D or serotonin. Finally, remember to focus on taking care of yourself first and foremost. By following these simple tips, you can get out of your post-holiday slump and start feeling like yourself again in no time. Schedule a discovery call today so we can help you get started on feeling better after the holidays!
Are mood fluctuations spoiling your days? Don’t let them control you! Take the reins of your mental wellbeing and contact us for a discovery call. We’ll help explore what’s going on beneath, so you can have more balance in life – no matter the season. During this call, we can discuss your symptoms in more detail and come up with a plan tailored specifically for you.
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DISCLAIMER: The information in this email is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. All content is for general informational purposes only and does not replace a consultation with your own doctor/health professional