Mental health has been at the forefront since the pandemic affected the world and limited people to the four walls of their homes. On a general note, women are more prone to incurring depression, stress, and anxiety than men. However, studies have also proved that increasing mental health issues, especially among women put them at a risk of an unhealthy reproductive condition. Gender has always been a critical aspect of mental health and mental illnesses. In fact, in most cases, gender is the determining factor of socio-economic conditions that people live in, which inevitably affect the mental health of individuals.
How Stress Invokes Unhealthy Habits?
Stress pushes people to unhealthy habits like binge-eating, sleeping too much or too little at times, skipping regular exercise, drinking and smoking. Caffeine is the element in coffee that helps people stay awake longer and provides a temporary boost to the adrenaline, but later could cause fatigue. Therefore, doctors often advise to not be heavily dependent on caffeine for a regular energy boost.
Sleeping is and should be considered as one of the essential activities in one's day. The mind is most relaxed when it's at rest while sleeping. However, an erratic work schedule, late nights, and early morning calls for work can cause a lack of sleep and affect fertility. When a person feels bouts of psychological stress, the body triggers an automatic fight or flight response by activating the adrenaline-hypothalamus-pituitary axis and releasing stress hormones like cortisol.
Whatever the cause of the increased or continuous stress, the release of stress hormones in the body can inevitably impact reproductive health, a study on reproductive health mentioned. Even though research on fertility and stress is still underway, ample evidence substantiates how stressful lives impact hormone levels and menstruation cycles. Functioning in a stressful environment could shut down the response of the hypothalamus-pituitary-gonadal gland axis, which could lead to a disrupted connection between the brain and the ovaries. Thus, it causes disruption in ovulation cycles and results in missed or delayed periods.
Countering Stress In Our Daily Life
Overcoming stress is not an easy task to do. However, engaging in exercises, cleaning and cooking can be an excellent stress buster, only if performed out of the will and not compulsion. Lately, people have increasingly resorted to massage therapy, wellness practices and aroma infused therapy. Massage therapy, for instance, lowers the heart rate, relaxes the tense mind, and releases feel-good hormones in the body. Similarly, aromatherapy stimulates the smell receptors in the nose. It sends messages via the nervous system to the limbic system, sending messages to the part of the brain that invokes emotion.
Pandemic stress, mental health issues, wellness, and a work-life imbalance have disturbed a happy and healthy life equilibrium. Therefore, new options are coming up that would improve a person's diet and virtual workout sessions that help several people to come together and help each other get fitter and lead healthier lives.