by Amy Medling, founder of PCOS Diva
Updated December 2021
Women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) are more susceptible to stress and its effects. When the body feels stress, cortisol (the stress hormone) production increases. This increase is associated with weight gain, abdominal obesity, and increased hunger.
Stress can also lead to nutrient deficiency and nutrient excretion, so we become low in nutrients like magnesium, vitamin C, B vitamins, and zinc.
In addition, chronic low-level stress may cause cells to become unresponsive to insulin which leads to insulin resistance, the root of many of our PCOS symptoms. Stress can also lead to a decrease in thyroid hormone which can then decrease metabolic activity throughout the body. Since there really isn’t a way to completely insulate ourselves from stress, we must learn how to manage it and “destress” ourselves.
I’ve compiled a list of 25 ways that work for me to reduce stress (in no particular order). Take a look at the options below when you are faced with a stressor and see what might work best in the moment for you.
25 Quick Ways to Destress
- Pause and have a cup of tea – The calming effect of green tea can be explained by the action of L-theanine a non-protein amino acid that is naturally occurring in tea.
- Take your daily supplements – Remember stress zaps our nutrients. Start with a solid multi-vitamin and add high-quality fish oil (DHA), and Vitamin D. Download this free guide to PCOS supplements.
- Take herbs for daily stress – A supplement like my Diva DeStress help your body manage or adapt to stress in a healthier way.
- Get up 20 minutes earlier – Use this time to center yourself for the day through meditation or journaling.
- Don’t rely on memory – Do a brain dump and get everything that you are keeping organized in your head down on paper.
- Don’t procrastinate.
- Take a genuine lunch break – Take time to sit and relax while you are eating lunch.
- Slow down on the weekends – A weekend well spent, brings a week of content.
- Take a bath – I have a great bath salts recipe to help you unwind.
- Organize – Clean up an area of your house.
- Turn off your phone for a few hours.
- Relax your high standards – This is something that I often have to do. Perfectionism makes you miserable. Here are a few steps you can take to get started.
- Reduce or eliminate caffeine
- Journal worries and anxieties. Writing can really help get it out. Here’s a good starting point.
- Try essential oils – Essential oils can help with many PCOS symptoms but are best known for relieving stress.
- Say no – Say “no” to say “yes” to you and draw healthy boundaries
- Walk in nature – Read how to do a walking meditation here.
- Sleep! Take a nap and/or go to bed early – Sleep not only relieves stress but also boosts your immune system and so much more.
- Take CBD oil – For more info on how it helps with anxiety read this post.
- Do something you really enjoy – I love to read. Follow your bliss!
- Take a news break
- Gaze out the window at nature
- Move it! – Go to the gym, take a walk, garden, do some yoga. Do anything that feels good and moves your body. Even 10 minutes will help.
- Watch a funny movie or Youtube video
- Listen to music that is 432 hertz – This tuning is said to have a healing effect on our body, mind, and emotions.
Essential oils are a popular alternative for women with PCOS. Why? Oils are a perfect compliment to the holistic treatments, diet, and lifestyle changes you are already making. They are gentle, safe, and fun!
Amy Medling, the best-selling author of Healing PCOS and certified health coach, specializes in working with women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), who are frustrated and have lost all hope when the only solution their doctors offer is to lose weight, take a pill, and live with their symptoms. In response, Amy founded PCOS Diva and developed a proven protocol of supplements, diet, and lifestyle programs that offer women tools to help them gain control of their PCOS and regain their fertility, femininity, health, and happiness.