When I got the diagnosis that my thyroid levels were low, I looked back at my past year and thought to myself, "well no wonder." I realized I have been in a state of chronic stress for at least a year, and my body reaped the consequences. After quitting my full-time desk job without any backup plan, and then juggling part-time jobs, one of which required me to be up and teaching cycling classes at 6am (I'm not a morning person, okay), I knew I wasn't making time for self-care. Even while I was in the midst of meditation teacher training—where I was meditating twice a day for 20 minutes each time—I couldn't shake off the stress. When you add in launching a business and pursuing yoga training, it's obvious to the outsider that I was doing far too much all at once. But to me, I was in a state of grinding—work hard, play later.
Ironically, getting rhabdo was my wake-up call to stop pushing myself so hard in the gym, but I guess it didn't translate to other areas of my life. As what happens when we need to learn important lessons, I got another wake-up call. The low thyroid levels were my signal to stop pushing myself so hard in every area of my life.
I am still in the midst of going through this health transition, but I make it my goal to prioritize self-care every day. I make sure to get plenty of sleep every night (7-8 hours), spend lots of time in nature, I make sure I am getting enough nutrients through my diet and taking whatever supplements I need (my Vitamin D levels were extremely low too!), I have stopped eating gluten, I am making exercise a priority again, and I am becoming extremely mindful about what triggers my stress, what fears I have, and how to stop myself and relax when these stressors arise.
Signs You're Working Too Hard
Do you have a suspicion that you could be susceptible to hormone imbalance? If you're working too hard and pushing yourself past your limits, then you may be throwing your hormone levels out of whack. Here are the signs that you're working too hard.
- You are always exhausted
- You experience intense PMS
- You have feelings of shame, guilt, or depression
- You have cystic acne
- You have started gaining weight around the middle of the body
How To Heal
Healing is possible, and it starts by prioritizing self-care.
- Empower yourself! Believe you have what it takes to heal yourself and love your body exactly as it is in the present tense.
- Get real about rest. In addition to getting at least 7 hours of sleep every night, rest during the day too. When you feel yourself getting overwhelmed, take a break by sitting outside, dropping into a meditation or yoga flow, or taking a quick nap.
- Practice meditation. Calm your nervous system and restore it by practicing meditation for at least 8 minutes a day.
- Make a commitment to exercise. Exercise is extremely important when rebalancing your hormones. Take brisk walks, do yoga and pilates, or find a gym with group classes you love!
- Embrace the power of community. Find people to accomplish your health goals with. Ask a friend or loved one to help support you in your healing process. Work with a health coach to work on solving your biggest health concerns.
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