10 December 2022

Stress, rest & recovery



Certain times of the year can be very stressful for you. It could be a month full of birthdays, lots of parties or an important time with work schedules.

December, for example, can be incredibly stressful.

  • Christmas shopping
  • Christmas parties /drinks
  • Kids plays or productions
  • Work deadlines
  • Keeping up exercise

You can see all the important and, necessary tasks that have to be done in December.  Its not surprising that you get every cold or cough or virus that is going around.  You may also not sleep well as there is so much on your mind.

Burnout & Hormones

As a woman who may be peri / menopausal your body is even more prone to burn out and exhaustion – your hormones are not level and therefore not supporting your immune system or they are adding to your exhaustion due to increased cortisol.

Similarly – newer mums – your hormones are all over the place too – along with being up 3 or 4 times a night, hence you are sleep deprived.

Less is More

So – lets look at how you can recognise you need to stop.  The hardest & bravest thing to do is to say NO to a party or just apologise and not go to the last fitness/HIIT class of the year and GO TO BED at 8pm and get some rest!!!

That is really hard, BUT it can be the best gift you give to yourself!  A quote I totally agree with, especially for women in the menopause and new mums


(This proverb was used by the poet Robert Browning. Browning wrote ‘less is more’ in his poem ‘Andrea del Sarto (Called The Faultless Painter)’, published in 1855.)

Basically, this saying is about ‘quality over quantity

  • Doing less can have more impact than doing a lot.
  • Doing a small thing well is better than doing many things perhaps not so well.
  • Adding some simplicity to life can make it more powerful.

It is really, really hard to say no or to allow yourself to go to bed early or just stop and leave all these lists that need to be done – until tomorrow.  Your work or lists will always be there!  Accept it, your lists will only grow, so ONE night of having a bath or saying no to something and going to bed as soon as the kids are in bed, it honestly can make SUCH a difference.

Sleep, rest & recovery

Sleep deprivation can have a big impact on your body and mind.  Sleep, rest and recovery is when our body and mind mends.

I think it takes time to actually acknowledge that you really do need to have an early night or that you are sleep deprived.  We make excuses all the time & how on earth can I go to bed when this and that needs doing!!

However, as I say above, there is ALWAYS going to be ‘this and that’ to be done.  If you don’t stop and acknowledge you really need to stop, then you will get adrenal fatigue, you really will not be healthy and will end up ill.

So please, recognise you can not do everything!!

When we sleep the brain is processing information & coming up with solutions to complex problems.  According to Dr Lisa Mosconi (The XX Brain) & her research:

“A good night’s sleep is a non-negotiable ingredient for the brain’s memory consolidation & learning, poor sleep makes quick work of degrading these essential abilities”.  Look at her Dr Mosconi’s research

Stress, hormones & the body

Stress is actually a physiological process in the human body that is meant to be protective!  However, when imbalanced it can trigger anxiety & mental health issues.  The menopause can trigger more stress, anxiety & mood swings.

Therefore, at times when you may be more prone to hormonal fluctuations it really is a time when you should perhaps think more about slowing down and not putting so much pressure on yourself to get everything done.

Have a look at ‘The Complete guide to the Menopause‘ by Dr Annice Mukherjee on stress

Exercise and movement is really good for you, yes absolutely.  However, when we are depleted of energy, stressed and sleep deprived, trying to go for that fast run or workout can play  more havoc with your body.

We need to build resistance and energy and we can only do that by taking a few minutes a day to stop and re-charge or at least once a week get to bed early or just say no to an invitation.

In the long run you, your body & mind will appreciate that more than you realise.

Still not sure which fitness class is for you?

Are you a woman who has pelvic girdle pain? Do you have pelvic floor issues? Have you had a C-section, episiotomy or tears? Do you have a Diastasis Recti or weak deep abdominals? Are you peri – menopausal? Do you want to get fit in a safe environment? I can help, get in touch to find out more.


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