Research suggests that stress and reproductive health are heavily interlinked. Given the overarching health benefits of taking care of your body and mind, weaving some de-stress activities into your # Self Care Saturday routine is a great idea.
It's thought that neurons in our brains may influence reproductive function via the system of hormones released during stressful periods.
This involves a group of nerve cells near the base of the brain – called RFRP neurons. These neurons become active in stressful situations – perhaps by sensing the increasing levels of cortisol – and they then may suppress the reproductive system. Animal studies have shown that when the neuron activity is increased due to the stress hormone cortisol, reproductive hormones are impacted.
These techniques and activities are scientifically proven to lower stress (naturally helping to “switch off” those neurons):
Nutrient rich and varied diet
Cognitive behavioral therapy
Spending time in nature
Repetitive actions like knitting, or even chores (!)
Here's our 5 Self Care Saturday ideas to inspire you...
1. List three things you that bring you joy (10mins)
Spend a little time to note the good things in life!
Jot down 3 things that always make you feel calmer, happier, energised or more fulfilled.
Not only does this simple act of gratitude bring immediate benefits in and of itself, but it's a good way to notice what you might want to prioritize and create more space for going forward.
2. Try a guided deep relaxation exercise (10mins)
Nothing beats devoting a bit of time to empty your mind and reset your stress levels: unwinding from the week and letting your nervous system settle and recalibrate for calm.
Try our Guided Deep Relaxation - 10 Minute Bliss here.
Simply find somewhere quiet and comfortable to lie down and hit play...bliss.
3. Spa-treatment your shower (10mins)
The power of cold water cycling is well documented, and this is one spa experience that doesn't require a trip to the salon!
Here's how it works: after you’ve done your usual shower cleanse routine with warm water, switch to cold for 20 seconds, then back to warm, then back to cold - repeat a few times.
Why? Science shows this is a simple way to boost circulation (great for fertility) and give you a big boost of energy.
It's also thought that cold cycling generates a release of natural anti-depressant endorphins.
No wonder for generations Scandinavians have been raving about jumping from sauna to snow!
4. Listen to an inspiring podcast (25mins)
Take a walk or put your headphones in while doing your chores, and pick a topic to make you think or get motivated.
5. Contact 'that' person (30mins)
We've all got someone we have been meaning to reach out to or reconnect with.
Maybe it’s your old, dear friend who moved away, or a coworker you wanted to check in with outside of work, or a family member who would love to hear your voice.
Who have you been meaning to reach out to? Make your day, and theirs...
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