Ok, so we have all heard about the latest buzz word- SELF CARE. I bet many of you think, ok so that sounds lovely but when have I got time for self care? With busy lives, work, family commitments and the pressures of the modern life most women haven’t even thought about self care. Many women I meet in clinic look at me side ways when I say “what are you doing for yourself?”
I am a strong believer in education is POWER. It is amazing when a woman starts truly understanding her health and body. When you are educated you feel more empowered to take control and make smarter choices towards a healthier life. So today I want to dive a bit deeper into the amazing benefits of self care.
First I want you to have a understanding of your Nervous System.
There are two parts to your nervous system- Sympathetic and Parasympathetic.
Traditionally know as ‘fight or flight’. This is the system which kicks in under any type of stress. And when I say stress I don’t just mean the feeling of stress from being late for work, I mean all types of stress. Did you know fear of the unknown is one of the biggest stressors to our body? Or that the food we eat, low blood sugar, environmental toxins and viruses also trigger more stress for the body. Often women I see are stuck in a continual roundabout of sympathetic stress never jumping off due to the numerous activators of this system. Hundreds of years ago this system was only being activated occasionally and for short bursts. Today most of us are living in sympathetic mode constantly.
The rest and digest system. This system should kick in a short time after the sympathetic one. The only problem is there is a continual line up of stress just waiting to trigger more sympathetic responses. The parasympathetic system is there to calm us down from a stressful situation. It calms our breathing, kicks in our digestive system, reboots our immune system and improves our heart rate and blood pressure.
What if I told you – when you are doing something you feel good and relaxed doing ( aka self care) that you are more likely to switch on the parasympathetic system? Or make hormones that make you feel calm, decrease bloating, increase weight loss, improve sleep and the list goes on. When we are doing something that is caring for ourselves we are more likely to be in a parasympathetic nervous state. And what is one big bonus? Well it is simply that we are more likely to produce more Progesterone, our calming feel good hormone. Progesterone deficiency is one of the main clinical complaints I see. And what does Progesterone deficiency lead to:
So now instead of thinking self care what’s the big deal I don’t need to do that. You can think ooohhh self care I NEED more of that.
So now that you know just by adding in more self care you could be helping to combat your hormone imbalance, PMS, anxiety, insomnia and bloating you might be more inclined to actually do it.
So next time there is an opportunity to put your feet up, read a book, have a bath or just sit still in silence instead of feeling guilty and wondering what else you should be doing just STOP. Listen to your body and turn on that amazing parasympathetic nervous system and reap the benefits.
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