5 Strategies to Overcome Stress FatigueFeb 02, 2024
She said to me, “It’s like one day I woke up and my entire body had flipped into some kind of chaos that I didn’t understand!” The hormonal imbalances in perimenopause can creep up subtly over time, and it’s easy to brush them off as “oh, I just had a busy week so I’m more tired” or “maybe I ate too much salt at dinner so I have a headache”.
But when the fatigue starts to mix with your ability to take on the stress in your life - whether that’s growing your career or business, handling a difficult teenager, or trying to find time to take your aging parents to all their appointments - life suddenly feels like you’re on a rollercoaster.
Having enough energy to deal with difficult clients, sit through all your meetings and still get your work done on time, and enjoy quality time with your loved ones is critical for a woman in your shoes.
And you don’t need those pesky hormones holding you back!
But, you may ask, “Can I even do anything about this phase?”
YES! You absolutely can, you just need to take a moment to understand that your exhaustion is driven by stress that you can control.
Here’s how we’re going to start harnessing your power to create more energy, calm, focus and confidence in your life.
I. Fuel Your Nutrient Gaps
Even if you eat healthy, exhaustion, overwhelm and a growing collection of hormonal imbalances in perimenopause mean one thing - you’ve got nutrient gaps!
These are the deeper nutritional imbalances that trigger your stress hormones - adrenaline and, most importantly, cortisol - all day long. This keeps you stuck feeling tired all the time because cortisol acts as an inflammation trigger, which blocks your cells from making energy when you need it most.
Fifteen minutes of meditation or a hot bath is nice to temporarily calm your nervous system, but those nutrient gaps keep cortisol firing deep within you.
The fastest way to fix this problem is to find out what your personal nutrient gaps are and start eating to fuel them. And, in my experience as a holistic nutritionist, it’s not iron, vitamin B12 or even magnesium that are the problems. To fully know what you need, start with a holistic nutrient gap analysis.
II. Say Goodbye to Strict Eating and Popular Exercise Routines
I get it - the moment your cravings go haywire, your energy plummets, and your favorite pair of skinny jeans get tighter, it’s natural to jump into another fad, restrictive diet or join a hard-core workout program. (Been there, done that!)
As a woman over 35, these are the worst things you can do for yourself IF you truly want to ditch the fatigue and feel sexy, radiant and motivated.
Strict diets are stressful to follow and the meal plans and recipes are missing many of the key nutrients your body needs in this wonderful phase of your life (see “nutrient gaps” above).
Exercise programs aren’t created for a woman’s hormonal changes, so unless your workout is consistently adjusting week after week to align with your cyclical changes, it’s going to create more nutrient gaps and add to your stress load.
And THAT means more stress fatigue.
Instead, get your nutrient gap assessment done and start eating to fuel your body. This usually means a few simple food tweaks or additions to give your body and brain all it needs to power through your latest project tasks and host another live training with confidence.
For exercise, focus on building lean muscle - lift moderate weights, do power yoga, walk more often, and follow simple body-weight workouts. If your body wants to rest more one week a month, allow for that with an easy walk or some simple stretches.
III. More Water OR More Salt?
Dehydration is common in women struggling with stress fatigue. If you’re not drinking 3-4 litre of fresh, filtered water daily, I recommend starting here.
But, if you are drinking enough water and you eat a clean, healthy diet that’s relatively free from processed foods, you might actually have a sodium deficiency.
Stress steals nutrients away from other hormonal systems in your body, like your reproductive system and thyroid. But it also interferes with proper hydration of your cells by creating a deficiency in aldosterone, the hormone that not only balances blood pressure but moves water molecules into your cells. Without enough H2O inside your cells, they can’t make energy.
Sodium is a critical nutrient needed for aldosterone production and functionality, and when you eat mostly whole foods, you don’t get enough in your diet.
To fix this, start by drinking a hormone and hydration elixir every morning:
Juice from ½ lime or lemon (or more)
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
½ tsp sea salt (or Himalayan rock salt)
½ tsp cream of tartar
4 ounces of water
Make sure to mix this thoroughly to dissolve all the salt.
IV. Fix Your Sleep
Of course not sleeping enough will make you tired.
But the deeper levels of stress fatigue happen when your sleep schedule is a hot mess! Hitting the snooze button, sleeping in on weekends, eating before bed, staying up to watch TV with your husband, sending out a few more emails in the evening, rushing around before bed to finish chores, and hitting the pillow after 11 PM are all wrecking your sleep.
If your sleep routine includes any of the above, your circadian rhythm is out of whack. No amount of sleep will fix that on its own - the secret is to set a strict sleep routine and stick with it, shutting down electronics and avoiding anything that gives you a rush after 7 pm, taking time to actually relax before bed, and aiming to be asleep by 10 PM.
And get up when that alarm goes off - the snooze button is one of the best ways to train your body into thinking that you don’t want any energy!
V. Rethink Your Boundaries
I get it - you want to be able to do it all! And, I fully believe you are capable of hitting every goal, ambition and desire in your heart.
But, there are times when asking for help and delegating are going to work in your favor…and no one is going to look down on you for it.
As women, our worst boundary is around caring for others. We tend to give way too much of ourselves to everyone else, leaving little to no time for ourselves. This leads to resentment, frustration, and often feelings of hopelessness.
If this resonates, it’s time to take action to help alleviate hormonal imbalances in perimenopause and kick your stress fatigue to the curb.
Don’t worry about logistics or finances at this point - just grab a piece of paper and a pen and write down every care-giving activity you do today, no matter how big or small.
For example, maybe you lend a hand to your sister once a month inside her volunteer organization. Perhaps you take your mom grocery shopping once a week. You might be the one in your household responsible for cooking dinner and making school lunches.
Once you have your list, take a few minutes to decide which of these you would love to give up. And then, start looking for potential openings to ask for help.
It’s great that you help your sister out but if this adds stress to your busy weekends, it might be time to find new ways to be with her. Set up a grocery delivery service for your mom, and delegate lunch making to each child (that’s what my mom did when I was 9).
Overcommitment drains energy and increases stress. Learn to say no when needed, prioritize self-care, and establish boundaries that safeguard your mental and physical well-being.
In unraveling the complexities between hormonal imbalances and stress fatigue, a holistic approach is the cornerstone of true balance and well-being. By addressing nutrient gaps, adopting realistic lifestyle changes, and fostering more self-appreciation, women over 35 can navigate perimenopause with vitality, grace and, yes, even lots of energy.
You want to thrive, feel sexy and confident in your own skin, and know that you’re energetically capable of doing all the things you’ve got planned. You want to know what’s going on inside your own body so that you can do the best things for you and your health.
Hormonal Imbalances in her 30s, 40s and 50s aren't just related to estrogen, progesterone and testosterone!
If you're eager to tame your wild & crazy hormonal rollercoaster, then you want a holistic hormonal healing strategy that's simple, straightforward, and successful.
To get started, grab a free copy of my 5 Factors to Increase Energy, a guide that'll walk you through the deepest healing strategies my clients follow to beat perimenopause and reclaim high energy, laser-sharp focus, sensual libido, a mood that's more joy & happiness than anything else, and a capacity to handle challenges and stress with grace and calm.