Hormones on Holiday: Losing my period to the end-of-year craziness and how I'm managing it this time
It's my favorite time of year! I love seeing the lights, watching Christmas movies, and spending extra time with family and friends. However, while I was on holiday last year, so were my hormones.
With PCOS, it is possible that the regularity of your period comes and goes. Last December, I started my cycle right at the top of the month; by late January, my cycle reset after nearly 36 days. The following month, February, my period was a no-show. My second cycle after going off the rails in December lasted 59 days and with no plans to return. After working hard for 10 months after going off birth control to get my period regular (even with a PCOS diagnosis and a promise from two doctors the pill was the only answer), I had to ask myself HOW DID THIS HAPPEN? I figured I had to up my game this holiday season by doing these 3 things:
Monitoring Alcohol and Sugar Intake
'Tis the season. Holiday happy hours, New Years' parties, and Christmas cookies will send your blood sugar all over the place! I've heard that the average person can gain up to 10 pounds between Thanksgiving (US) and January 1st. I try to limit the number of sweets and alcoholic drinks by doing the following:
limiting the days I indulge - sticking to Saturdays only for an adult beverage (or two)
not baking or taking Christmas Cookies - I'm not a baker anyway!
Enjoying the holiday - but not the day before or after (Christmas Eve/Day and NYE only!)
Starting my New Year Workout Routine Early
It's so easy to put off movement when the phrase "I'll start in January" just rolls off the tongue. I've been mindful to start looking at virtual trainers to help motivate me. I believe in "anytime anywhere" videos, but for me, accountability and motivation are the most important. I've started simply:
continue teaching yoga 2-3x/week
1 virtual gym training 1x/week
My 10-min everyday yoga routine 5x/week
I typically wake between 5a-6a, but since the winter solstice is right around the corner (Dec 21), I've been letting myself wake up naturally (even as late as 7:30 am). Though winter is just starting in the US, the longest "night' of the year is in December. When it is so dark outside upon first waking, it's difficult to wake up. It's nearly impossible for our internal clock to "catch up" to a modern world, and I let my body do its thing, especially during this time of year. The holidays are stressful as it is!
Check out my next blog post for how I got my period back after it missing for 59 days!
All the best,
Sam, Lunar Cycle Life