Has your perimenopausal anxiety been worse during lockdown?

Has your perimenopausal anxiety been worse during lockdown?

During these interesting times, it wouldn’t be surprising if your anxiety has gone through the roof!!  

There are very real reasons for our anxieties at the moment, but some have also been hyped up by the media.  

If you are in the middle of perimenopause, your anxiety has been likely worse than usual, and that was bad enough! 

Let’s have a little deeper look at why we are so prone to anxiety during perimenopause.  

Anxiety is actually one of the most common symptoms during perimenopause.  It’s usually is the type of anxiety that is disproportionate to the situation. You seem to worry about everything and anything!  

This anxiety can easily lead us to experiencing panic attacks, which can be quite scary. 

Everything seems overwhelming.  You can’t even make a decision without breaking into a sweat of worry and panic.  

So, what is going on within us that is causing all this?

Fluctuations in our hormones, have a major part to play in this.  Especially progesterone levels.

Progesterone is a calming hormone.  When its levels start to decrease in perimenopause, we can feel worried and anxious about any little thing.  

Perimenopause is the time when our past unresolved emotional traumas come to the fore.  It is natural that we start feeling anxious much more easily. It is our body’s way of telling us we need to resolve something.  

In more normal times, this is likely the main reason why we get so anxious during perimenopuase.  Have a deeper look into what is making you anxious and panicky.  Those seemingly little things are usually a standing in front of a bigger thing that keeps calling you to be resolved.  

At this moment in time, however, I can see that our cortisol and adrenaline levels are the ones causing most of this mayhem.  

Cortisol and adrenaline are our survival hormone. It takes precedence over all the others. They are produced when we are in perceived danger, it’s our flight or fight hormone.  

We have all been feeling in some sort of danger these last few weeks – from the virus, from losing our freedom, from our inability to see friends and family, from being in financial hardship, from the probability of losing our livelihoods…  the list can go on…

If these two hormone is overflowing due to stress, they will create imbalance in all the others. Including progesterone, our calming hormone.  

It’s no wonder we are all feeling super anxious.  We’ve got anxiety coming at us from the external stresses and fear being thrown at us every day for the past 2 months.  And we are also getting it from the  hormonal imbalances that result from it.

So what can you do to feel more calm?

Some simple things you can easily do right now include avoiding alcohol and caffeine, and taking time to exercise and to rest as well.  

Nutritionally some vitamin B6 and magnesium could help, as they calm your nervous system. 

If you feel your anxiety is too much, out of proportion or persistent, or you are having a difficult time dealing with it, then do try to get help.  

EFT, meditation, mindfulness and counselling may be very helpful in this instance.  

Homeopathy and flower essences are also amazing in these situations.  

Please don’t let yourself get mired in your anxiety. I am here to help. 

I’m offering free 15 minute chats to all my clients, to talk about how you are doing, and help you feel calmer and more at peace.

Please get in touch if you want to know how I can help you. Email me at homeopathy@stephaniethullen.com.  

Dealing with Stress and Anxiety in our new “Normal”

Dealing with Stress and Anxiety in our new “Normal”

How has the last week been for you lovelies?  

If it was anything like mine, I feel for you! 

All of a sudden we are thrust into a new “normal”! Some of us have been forced to start working at home, others to homeschool their children. Sometimes both things at the same time! (Yes, that is me!).  

On top of that, we have to babysit our husbands as well! Haha!

Not only that, we are now, in many places, forced to stay at home unless absolutely necessary!  

We humans beings are not happy to change our ways too often. We thrive on routines and habits. It takes time to change something we are so used to doing.  

And this is the situation most of us are experiencing at the moment.

Abrupt changes can be very stressful in the best of times. Add to this the fear and anxiety about a virus we know little about, plus the media bombarding us with an overlaod of information and panic and hysteria… well it’s recipe for disaster.  

I’m going to share here what I’ve been trying to do to keep my anxiety under control as much as possible. I hope it can help you too.  

  • Avoid the news and social media as much as possible.  It is hard not too feel anxious when we are constantly hearing about the virus, lockdowns, sold out supermarkets and flattening the curve. Yes, keep yourself updated once or twice a day, but I recommend not more than that. Turning off the news and keeping away from social media has helped me so much. 
  • Go outside and get some sunshine (if you have it!), fresh air, and movement. Not only does this help with physical immunity and health, it is also paramount to mental health. All human beings need to be outside part of the time!
  • Try to keep your normal routine going.  Go to sleep and get up at the same time.  Get dressed in different clothes.  If you are newly working from home try to keep similar hours. Routines ground us and help us with uncertainty.
  • If you now have kids at home, try not to stress too much about homeschooling or whether they’ll be behind or not. Kids will be just as anxious about this as us, even if not fully aware about the situation, and they will pick up on our own anxieties. Be with them, support them, listen to them, play games, and try to keep a routine as well to anchor the whole family. 
  • Try to exercise as much as you can.  If you can, go for a walk or a run outside.  If you are stuck in side, there are now a myriad of online fitness/yoga/dance and other classes all over the internet. We need to keep our bodies strong and fit to help our immune system and our mental health.  
  • Keep in touch with friends and family, through chats or video calls. Humans need connection. We are all in this together, and it’s always nice to hear from someone just checking up on you. Help your kids to remain in touch with their friends as well — it must be difficult for them not to be able to play and chat with friends anymore!  
  • Don’t feel pressured to (or guilty that you didn’t) do everything that you thought you would do now that you are stuck at home. You know what I’m talking about:  decluttering and deep cleaning your house; doing all the yoga classes online; meditating everyday; reading all the books on your bedside table. Relax, take your time, and do only what you need and want to do.
  • If you feel overwhelmed, reach out. To your family, to your friends. Even to your homeopath! We are here to help!  

I’m still working from home with clients, so if you need an appointment just get in touch! Email me at homeopathy@stephaniethullen.com.

I’m also now working with an amazing international group of homeopaths on a new venture to offer homeopathic help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can check this out here: www.homeopathy247.com.  

I’m sure there are so many other ways to deal with stress and anxiety during these difficult time.  I’d love to hear what has worked for you too! Leave your ideas and experience in the comments if you wish! 

Putting things in perspective!

Putting things in perspective!

Behind the hype of the corona virus media storm.

I promised you on my newsletter I would write a bit more about the Corona Virus, aka Covid-19, on my blog, so here it is!

Now, my aim with this is to put things in perspective and avoid assumptions and hysteria. Neither of these things will help you.

The media seems to be hyping everything up.  They only tell you about the spreading infection and the deaths increasing every day.  

What this type of reporting usually does is send people into fear mode, which is the last thing you want if you want to boost your immune system.

Fear is a major immune system suppressor. 

I’m all for the media telling us the facts, but without the hype.  They are telling us hardly anything about the age and health conditions of the people who are suffering severely or dying from the virus.  

You really need to dig deep to find out that most of them are either elderly, or already have a health condition which weakens their immune system.  

The media is also not telling us much about the people who are recovering, and the people who suffered only mildly from the virus.    

The other day I saw a meme on Facebook, which had the following statistics:

On the same day that 108 people in China died of the virus, more than 26,000 died of cancer, more than 24,000 died of heart disease, more that 4,000 of diabetes and more than 1,000 were murdered!  

I’m not sure the source of these statistics but they sound pretty plausible to me.  If you have time to dig these numbers (eg. How many people die or xyz per day), I’d love to know!   But in a quick search, I found that in the US alone 1,660 people die of cancer each day!  The worldwide murder number is pretty accurate after a quick search too!

Of course, we don’t know much yet about the virus, and I understand the caution we need to take around it.  However, that does not mean that we need to be frightened to death about it.

Allopathic medicine is based on the germ theory, which see microorganisms as attacking us.  In homeopathy we see things quite differently.  It all starts with the terrain – the body and the immune system.  

If your immune system is functioning well, you eat and hydrate well to keep your body strong and healthy, then you’ll be able to handle things better than someone who doesn’t look after themselves, is overly  stressed, or has a suppressed immune system.

So start here.  

Follow the advice being given by health authorities is with regards to basic hygiene:  wash your hands, cover your mouth when sneezing or coughing, bin all used tissues as soon as possible, avoid contact with people who are unwell, keep your house clean, etc…  

It was hygiene and sanitation which has been the major factor in our improved ability to prevent and deal with many diseases.

I already gave some tips in my newsletter about boosting your immunity with Vitamin C, D, iodine.  You could also add zinc and selenium in there.   

You could add antiviral foods to your diet, like garlic, fermented foods, apple cider vinegar, coconut oil, and many others.  

Here’s another blog by a holistic paediatrician which I ran across recently and has excellent information and advice:  

Homeopathy has a great track record with regards to treating influenza in the past, and since we don’t treat particular disease but rather individual people and their own unique expression of symptoms, there are many remedies that could be used.  

I was going to write here a bit more about some homeopathic remedies to have on hand, but the media seems to be on a witch hunt at the moment with homeopaths, so I will write a separate newsletter just with this info.  Make sure you are subscribed if you want to know more!  Click here to subscribe

Most importantly, don’t stress too much about this.  As I said earlier, fear and stress are immunosuppressive.  Try to get adequate sleep and rest, get enough fresh air and exercise.  Be happy and grateful everyday.  

As usual, this doesn’t replace advice from your doctor or medical practitioner or health authorities. 

And keep doing your own research.

In the meantime I leave you with the Corona virus Cumbia!  (Only in Mexico 🇲🇽 !)  If you understand Spanish, you can hear all about the common sense preventative measures while you dance!


How to Manage Premenstrual Syndrome/Tension

How to Manage Premenstrual Syndrome/Tension

Every month you dread your period. 

Maybe it’s not the bleed itself, more what comes with it.  The mood swings, the pain, the bloating, the sore boobs…. the weepiness, the food cravings, the spots on your face…. the rage, the headaches, the insomnia…

You are totally fed up, and sometimes it’s so bad you want to just curl up on the sofa with a hot water bottle all day.  

Can you believe PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome) / PMT (Premenstrual Tension) is something that around 80% of women suffer from, all the way from mild to severe symptoms?!

How can this be? 

Is this the fault of our hormones?  Did God/Mother Nature/Source get this wrong? 

In the physical sense, our hormonal balance is certainly one of the factors – either excess or deficiency of estrogen, plus a deficiency of progesterone.

In addition to our lovely hormones being out of balance when we are suffering PMS, these factors also have a big role to play:

  • Inflammation
  • Stress
  • Trauma
  • High consumption of dairy, caffeine, sugar, alcohol.  
  • Deficiency of certain minerals (magnesium, selenium) and vitamins (B complex, C, E)
  • Lack of exercise
  • Excess weight
  • Histamine intolerance

But if your PMS is chronic – you get it pretty much every month, year after year – or severe, then you need to look deeper.  

Our female hormones communicate with us and guide us in our day to day life. 

Premenstrually, they are telling us we need to rest, to look inward, nurture ourselves.  

Our modern culture, however, is telling us the opposite.  It’s telling us we need to keep active all the time, be productive members of society.  We can and should do anything, anytime.  

It is when we resist our cycles and rhythms, that we run into trouble.   PMS is our body signalling us that we are not in tune with ourselves. 

It’s screaming for us to look after ourselves and rest.  It’s telling us that maybe we haven’t been kind to ourselves lately – too much stress, not enough nutrient dense foods, not enough exercise.  

So what can you do to relieve PMS?  

Getting rid of your hormonal fluctuations – which are normal by the way! – with a hormonal contraceptive will not solve the problem.  It’s only patching it up, temporarily.  In fact, it will most likely cause more problems (and that is a conversation for another time!).  

The main problem or problems will still be there unless you address them.

Reducing stress is probably the most important thing and it goes hand in hand with inflammation.  Stress affects the behaviours and communication of all our hormones, including estrogen and progesterone.  

Avoiding foods that cause inflammation, like dairy, wheat, sugar, alcohol and vegetable oils, could also be important

You can start to look at your nutrition and exercise habits, and see where you need to change things up.  

Do you need to reduce or avoid sugar, caffeine, alcohol, dairy?  

Or maybe consume foods that contain magnesium, selenium, vitamin B6, B12, C and E.  

Maybe you need to see if your meals are properly balanced, with enough protein and fat to balance your blood sugar and avoid sugar cravings.  

Or if you think you have a histamine sensitivity or intolerance, then look at avoiding foods that could cause a histamine reaction – e.g. dairy, alcohol – or that contain histamine – e.g. cheese, red wine, fermented foods, smoked meats, nuts, beans and pulses.  

Do you need to exercise more to reduce stress and inflammation and balance blood sugar.

Or maybe you just need to try to get more and better sleep.  IF you do the above, your sleep will very likely improve anyway! 

You don’t have to keep struggling month after month! 

You can heal yourself.  Homeopathy can help you deal with your PMS/PMT symptoms. It can also help you get to the deeper root cause, safely and effectively, so you don’t have to suffer any more!

Please get in touch if you need help.  I’m here for you!  

Hormonal Imbalance in Women

Hormonal Imbalance in Women

There seems to be a growing silent epidemic of hormonal problems among women – this includes thyroid problems, breast and ovarian cancers, precocious puberty, PCOS, and severe menopausal and menstrual symptoms, among many.

​Why is this happening?

What are Hormones?

Hormones are the chemical messengers that control all the functions in our body, from our circadian rhythm, metabolism, growth, stress responses, blood sugar balance and energy, as well our sexual function and reproduction.

Hormones include cortisol, adrenaline, melatonin, oestrogen, progesterone, testosterone, and insulin, among many, many others.

All these hormones are interconnected and work together, and if one or more go out of balance, the whole system could become imbalanced.

What are the symptoms of hormonal imbalance in women?

In terms of hormonal imbalance specifically related to women, the symptoms and conditions can include:

  • Poor sleep and insomnia
  • Weight gain or loss
  • Mood swings, anxiety and depression
  • Infertility
  • Irregular and painful periods
  • Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD)
  • Fatigue and exhaustion
  • Digestive issues
  • Low libido
  • Breast tenderness or pain
  • Acne and other skin issues
  • Brain fog and memory lapses
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Joint pain
  • Fibroids
  • Endometriosis
  • Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)

Why is this happening?

There are times in our life when we as women will naturally get imbalance with our reproductive hormones, such as puberty, pregnancy, whilst breastfeeding, as well as perimenopause and menopause. This is normal.

However, sometimes this imbalance can be more extreme and/or prolonged than it should be and it starts to negatively affect our everyday lives. It seems that more and more women are suffering with severe PMS, menopausal symptoms, infertility, and it’s even affecting girls; it is now common that menarche (a girl’s first period) occurs as young as 8 or 9 years old, whereas it wasn’t like this even 30 years ago, where the norm was more like 12-13 years old or even older.

Since the functions of all hormones are interrelated, it is not surprising that with our increasingly stressful and hectic lives, as well as our chronic exposure to toxicity from our environment and food, that our hormones don’t work the way they are supposed to!

Let’s just take chronic stress, probably the biggest factor. When we are constantly stressed out we secrete too much cortisol, the stress hormone that is produced in our adrenal glands.

Too much cortisol can in turn lead to increases in oestrogen; excess oestrogen is the main culprit for all sorts of hormonal symptoms, many of them listed above; it is even one of the factors in developing breast cancer (though it doesn’t necessarily mean you will!).

Another big factor is the toxic substances in our environment. Some of these chemicals are what are called xenoestrogens or endocrine disruptors. These chemicals mimic oestrogen and can cause imbalance in our hormonal system.

Xenoestrogens are present in non-organic foods, skincare products, plastics, paint, cleaning products, car fumes, water supply, birth control, and disposable menstrual products. They are basically everywhere! It’s no wonder our hormonal systems are all out of whack!

What can you do about it? 

Aiming to eat more organic foods, avoiding conventional household and skincare products and replacing them with more natural options, managing our stress better – all these things will help.

Take baby steps and be kind to yourself; it can be overwhelming to change everything at once, and even then it is still difficult to avoid everything and be perfectly calm and mindful all the time.

Each of us is unique; we have different lifestyles and challenges, so our hormonal imbalances will affect us in different ways. Some of us will get the mood swings and weight gain and low libido, whilst other may get the breast tenderness and headaches.

This is why I love homeopathy for hormonal imbalance – every single prescription is tailored to your unique symptoms and situation.

If your hormonal symptoms are affecting your everyday life more than you’d like, then feel free to get in touch to see if homeopathy can help. I offer a free 30-minute call where we can chat about how homeopathy can help you and see if we can work together.

How to survive Christmas Holiday Stress!

How to survive Christmas Holiday Stress!

I love Christmas, it’s one of my favourite times of the year, especially when I spend it with my extended Mexican family. However much I love it, it is nevertheless not always totally stress free.

There’s presents to buy, travel to plan, relatives to deal with that you normally don’t deal with, meals to plan and prepare, events to attend… The list could be endless….

Christmas time seems to be one of those periods of the year where stress is the highest amongst people.

And each of us is unique in what we perceive as stressful and how we express it physically, mentally and emotionally.

For example, being around family all the time is not stressful for me, but it is for my husband. He may get headaches and body tension, and be more irritable and bossy than normal.

On the other hand, traveling is what stresses me out the most, especially if it involves an airport, whereas it doesn’t really bother him. Our holiday this year requires air travel, and I’m already anxious when I think about it, with butterflies in my stomach, interrupted sleep, and body tension.

Other expressions of stress include, anger and frustration, anxiety, depression, nausea, neck and shoulder tension and pain, migraines, insomnia, fatigue.

Thankfully I have all my homeopathic remedies, essences and homeobotanicals to help me and my family cope during the holidays! And these can help you as well!

Here are some of the key remedies to have on hand if you are stressing about Christmas:

Flower essences

Essences:

I love essences, they are so gentle and powerful at the same time. And very easy to take. You can have them in drops or sprays and can take them as often as you need. They can even be put in with essential oils in a diffuser to permeate a whole space.

Here are my favourite Alaskan Essences combinations for Christmas, which I am happy to make up for you; just drop me a line, no consultation necessary! They make great Christmas gifts as well!! Essences are £8 (30ml dropper)/£10 (50ml spray) for a single essence, and £10/£12 for a bespoke combination.

Travel Ease: this one is great for travel stress, jet lag and for easing the toxic effects of air travel (radiation and pollutants).

Beyond Words: This combo is to help in all aspects of communication, from expressing yourself verbally and non-verbally, listening, accurately conveying your thoughts and ideas, and strengthening your self-confidence.

Guardian: If you are extra sensitive to other people’s energies or just feel you need to have stronger boundaries and feel more protected, this essence is for you!

Lighten Up: A great essence for the darkest time of the year! Very useful if you are affected by SAD, or if just need a lift of energy and mood.

Soul Support: Similar to the Bach Rescue Remedy, this essence is for any stressful situation; it helps you deal with accidents, fear of flying, motion sickness, arguments. Great one to have close at hand in your bag!

Homeopathic remedies​​Homeopathy:

Most of these are in your homeopathic remedy first aid kit. If you don’t have a homeopathy kit, I highly recommend you get one. It is an inexpensive way to have a collection of the most commonly needed remedies on hand. If you are in the UK, you can get one at Ainsworths or Helios (for a 36 remedy kit you will need to contact them by phone or email). If you are in the USA, Homeopathy Kits is a great place to get Helios remedy kits. If you have any questions about which one is best for you, please do drop me a quick message.

Argentum Nitricum (Arg Nit): This remedy is great if you get very anxious things are going to go wrong, keep asking what if’s, are very restless, can’t sleep and may get diarrhea from all that urgent anxiety!

Arsenicum Album: This also great for those of us anxious about our families, our health, and are very particular about how things should be. Similar to Arg Nit, you are very restless and can’t sleep, but have a bit of a temper. Also great if you get food poisoning from your Christmas dinner!

Cocculus: When you can’t sleep, have headaches from the top of your head to the back of your neck, nausea and dizziness, then this remedy may be for you. Also great for jet lag and motion sickness so keep it in your travel bag!

Coffea: Another great remedy for sleeplessness, especially if you are wired up and overexcited (think kids on Christmas eve!), overly sensitive and overly reactive.

Gelsemium: If you get shaky and trembly with anxiety, and feel sick from it and incapable of doing anything, then you may need this remedy. Also great if you are tired and completely exhausted but can’t fall asleep.

Ignatia: If you are disappointed because things didn’t go your way and have a hard time accepting it, Ignatia could be the remedy for you, especially if you brood, sigh, laugh and cry (changing moods), are overly sensitive, feel like there’s a lump in your throat and can’t sleep, and maybe even feel a bit depressed. If you have a headache it feels like a nail driven into your head.

Lycopodium: People who need Lycopodium get anticipatory anxiety but they may be very over-confident and bossy to hide it. They don’t want to be noticed much and are very self-conscious. They may get gassy and bloated from anxiety and be very rude and irritable.

Natrum Muriaticum: Another great remedy for disappointment, especially if you don’t want to talk about it, wants to be left alone to brood. You don’t want sympathy and don’t cry in front of others. And love salty food! Great for headaches where it seems little hammers are beating on your head.

Nux Vomica: Probably the best remedy for Christmas overindulgence – when you ate too much, drank too much! Especially if you get grumpy, irritable and impatient and are oversensitive to noise and light. Great for hangover headaches, and if you seem to always wake up around 3-4am. (I recommend taking it before you go to bed after a night of overindulgence! Really helps the next morning – I speak from experience!)

Sepia: If you feel totally exhausted, drained and over-burdened, feel indifferent about your family (including your children!) and irritated by them, and want to be left alone, then this may be for you. You usually feel better when dancing and exercising, and love chocolate and sour things.

Staphisagria: This remedy is for someone who can’t say NO, is always nice and tries to please everyone but feel resentful about it. They never seem angry, but are hiding it and suffering in silence. However, you may not want to be in the room with them if they do express their anger as they may shout and throw things! Good remedy if you get headaches or urinary tract infections and have pent up anger.

Do get in touch if you need extra support at this time of year; I offer a free 30-minute consultation for prospective new patients to see if i am the best person to work with you!