Not only are they hailed for their multi-tasking abilities, but women are also tasked with many responsibilities which, quite often, end up making them feel exhausted and stressed. Stress can be detrimental to one’s health. It mostly manifests as fatigue, irritability, emotional meltdown, loss of or excessive appetite, hair fall, skin breakouts, etc. Among other things it also leads to premature aging.
Arouba Kabir, a mental health counsellor, wellness coach, and the founder of Enso Wellness, tells indianexpress.com that premature aging doesn’t necessarily mean getting wrinkles and dark spots as is usually advertised. “It is accompanied by issues more grave like weakening of bodies and mind, and severe diseases later in life like arthritis, osteoporosis, ectopic pregnancies, infertility, hormonal dysregulation, diabetes and various other lifestyle disorders.”
Kabir further explains that when estrogen is lowered in the body, because of cortisol (stress hormone) production, all hormonal imbalance symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, sleep problems and mood swings get worse. “High cortisol levels from stress also reduce serotonin levels, so a woman may be even more moody, depressed, and have trouble sleeping. So stress, which is endemic in our society, if not managed, can cause many other important hormones to go out of balance.”
She suggests some simple lifestyle changes that can help conquer stress and prevent premature aging:
* Understand the need and importance of prioritising your mental health. Doing so helps you keep your mind on track and fight stress hormones. Hormones like oxytocin also delay cellular aging and keep the metabolism in check.
* Including regular exercises in your routine increases the oxygen flow to the brain, which rejuvenates the systems and keeps diseases away. Physical activities don’t necessarily mean going to the gym, it can be an effort as small as just stepping out and taking a 15-minute walk, or indulging in mindful practices like yoga and meditation.
* Identifying your stressor is also a vital step in maintaining a stress-free life. Doing so helps you describe and respect your boundaries, and decline the possibility of an exaggerated response to any subsequent exposure.
* Talking and sharing your feelings with loved ones also help alleviate signs of stress, isolation, depression and make you feel better about situations and yourself.
* Having optimal sleep, be it in terms of duration or the quality, is necessary for giving proper rest to the mind and maintaining a balanced state where your body can heal from the day’s activities.
* Eating a nutritious and balanced meal along with proper hydration maintains the vitality of your cells and keeps the internal functioning of the body in check. Try and include antioxidants in your diet with natural vitamins and minerals, which delay cellular aging and keep the brain functioning well.