Why Stress During Perimenopause Is A Massive Problem

Why Stress During Perimenopause Is A Massive Problem

Why Stress During Perimenopause Is A Massive Problem

Have you noticed you’re far more prone to stress during perimenopause? It’s not just the effects of being in your 40s – there’s a close link between these two factors. And most importantly, they can lead to serious health consequences if left unchecked.

Here’s what you need to know about stress and perimenopause.

Why you experience more stress during perimenopause

There is a very real reason why stress is far more prevalent during this stage of life. It all comes back to the hormonal changes that occur with perimenopause.

The first big factor is the reduction in progesterone levels. When you have adequate progesterone, it helps to keep you feeling calm by regulating the stress response. But as your levels drop off throughout perimenopause, that stress tolerance drops through the floor.

Then we have the fluctuations that occur in your oestrogen levels. Drops in oestrogen are linked to lower levels of happy brain chemicals such as serotonin and dopamine that help you to stay focused, calm and in control. Sudden spikes can contribute to mood swings, anxiety and irritability, which all feed into your experience of stress.

All of this adds up to a reduction in stress tolerance or stress resilience. So things that didn’t use to worry you can suddenly become a big, overwhelming deal!

The two way relationship

Unfortunately, this goes both ways. Progesterone production can drop off thanks to the effects of chronic stress, oestrogen fluctuations increase, and there’s the added effects on hormones such as cortisol and thyroid hormones.

Not to mention, chronic stress also drives inflammation, which can exacerbate every single symptom you experience during perimenopause! And that leads us into the real reason that stress during perimenopause is a massive problem for your long-term wellbeing.

Long-term consequences of uncontrolled stress during perimenopause

You might not be too worried about experiencing more stress during your 40s. But if it’s left unchecked, it can have some concerning implications for your health.

From a general perspective, chronic stress and the resulting cortisol ramp up your inflammatory pathways, interfere with your blood sugar levels and sabotage your thyroid function.

The biggest concern here is chronic inflammation. This drives countless health conditions that show up later in life, including heart disease, many forms of cancer, type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s and dementia.

Another problem is the development of insulin resistance. This contributes to perimenopause symptoms, chronic inflammation, stress and other important health pillars such as sleep. It can also lead to weight gain, even when you don’t increase your calorie intake.

And finally, stress can deplete many of the vital nutrients that keep you happy and healthy for longer. This includes magnesium, B vitamins and zinc. Low levels of these nutrients can have their own specific health implications, including chronic fatigue and reduced immunity.

Can I take a supplement to help with my stress levels?

Supplements can never replace a balanced diet, exercise and stress management regime. However, they can support pathways involved with stress, inflammation, hormone balance and healthy ageing.

That’s why I’ve formulated my own innovative supplement designed to support you during this often hectic stage of life! Learn more about Energy Glow NR here.

Want to boost your stress resilience and feel in control again?

Let’s jump on a FREE Pre-Screening Call to talk about how we can help you to feel calm, collected and able to tackle whatever life throws your way!

Susie Garden | Clinical Nutritionist & Naturopath

Are you a woman feeling stressed, flat and experiencing the challenges of peri/menopause?
It’s time to reclaim your youthful energy, radiance and self-assurance (and your ideal weight).
I’m here to help with my proven method.

Book your complimentary Pre-Screening Call here, and let’s see how I might help you.

Easy Tips To Stay Cool & Calm Over The Holidays

Easy Tips To Stay Cool & Calm Over The Holidays

Do you find the holidays leave you feeling frazzled, overwhelmed and exhausted? Although there is plenty to enjoy over the festive season, it also comes with a heaped serving of stress for many of us. If you’re looking to keep your stress down, these tips can help you to feel calm and in control.

Simple Stress Reduction Tips For The Festive Season


Food is often overlooked when it comes to managing your stress levels. But if you kick off your day with a good serve of protein, fibre and nutrients, it can make a huge difference. A nutrient-dense breakfast means:

  • Balanced blood sugars (which help to boost energy & minimise stress and anxiety symptoms)

  • Fewer cravings throughout the day

  • Increased satiety & natural reduction of calorie intake over the day

So make sure that even if you have plans for later, you still start your day with a nourishing, filling meal.


Have you ever noticed that you feel calmer when you’re surrounded by greenery or relaxing at the beach? Nature has an amazing impact on your mental health. In fact, research suggests that as little as 20 minutes out in nature can significantly reduce stress hormone levels.

Incorporate time outdoors into your plans. If the weather allows, have your family lunch or dinner out on the back porch. Even a short walk around the block first thing in the morning can set you up for a calmer, less stressful day.


Physical activity is one of the most effective ways to manage stress & anxiety (both in the short and long term). But as the holidays are a stressful time, you want to make sure that you don’t overdo it!

Why? Intense physical activity could add to the body’s stress burden, making you feel even more frazzled. That’s why I recommend gentle to moderate forms of exercise as the main focus of the season.

My favourite options include:

  • Hiking

  • A walk around the block (bonus points if it’s with the family and/or the dog!)

  • Yoga

  • Pilates

  • Stretching

  • Tai Chi

  • Swimming

  • Dancing

Aim to move your body every day, even if it’s only for 10-15 minutes on your busier days.


You’re probably short on time, but this is worth prioritising if you want to feel more relaxed over the holidays. Studies have found that mindfulness meditation can significantly reduce cortisol levels.

Try to use it as a stress prevention technique. For example, if you know you get overwhelmed at the annual family dinner, do a short meditation before the event. This will help you to be more mindful and feel in control of your emotions.

The good news? You don’t have to meditate for hours every day to reap the benefits – even a 5 minute guided meditation can do the trick.


Socialising is fantastic for relieving stress, so make the most of this time! Connecting with people, particularly our friends and family, triggers the release of chemicals that regulate stress and anxiety.

There are two things to note here:

  1. This is about socialising with people that make you feel good. So no, small talk with a disliked relative is probably not the solution! Make sure you spend plenty of time with people who make you feel happy.

  2. Quality is key. Put down your phone, turn off the TV, and ditch the distractions for meaningful connection. Be truly present with your loved ones over this time.


Let’s jump on a FREE Anti-Ageing Strategy Call to talk about how we can get you feeling amazing in the New Year!

Book your time here.

Susie Garden

I help women feeling stressed, flat and older than they’d like regain their youthful energy and glow using a proven method so their natural beauty and confidence shines through.

The Vicious Cycle Of Insulin Resistance & Stress

The Vicious Cycle Of Insulin Resistance & Stress

Did you know that there’s a close link between stress and how your body responds to insulin? We know that insulin resistance is linked to weight gain, premature ageing, fatigue and more. One of the biggest underlying contributors to the development of insulin resistance is chronic stress.

How stress leads to insulin resistance

When you’re under stress, your body releases stress hormones to manage the situation.

One action that they take is to flood your bloodstream with stored sugar (glucose) so you have access to energy and can protect yourself (remember, this used to be back when stress meant a bear attack!)

Unfortunately, this leads to lower insulin sensitivity and therefore increased insulin resistance. Your cells will ignore insulin’s message to take up the sugar and utilise it.

There are also indirect ways that stress contributes to insulin resistance. For example, increased stress means that you’re more likely to experience:

  • Sweet/carb cravings

  • Increased appetite

  • Desire for comfort foods

  • Emotional eating

  • Poor sleep

  • Hormonal fluctuations

All of these can further add to a picture of insulin resistance.

How insulin resistance increases stress

Now let’s look at how the cycle continues. The big issue here is that insulin resistance causes inflammation – our biggest source of physical stress! Inflammation feeds into not only stress, but also insulin resistance itself.

Insulin resistance can also influence your sleep. Those with insulin resistance and diabetes often wake in the night when their blood sugar levels peak, leading to a broken night of sleep. Poor sleep is a form of physical stress, and the body will produce more stress hormones in response.

Then there is the psychological impact of insulin resistance and its symptoms. For example, weight gain or difficulty losing weight can be very stressful if your goal is to lose or maintain your weight. Other symptoms such as constant fatigue, brain fog and uncontrollable sweet cravings can also cause you to feel like you don’t have control of your body anymore.

So where do I start to break the cycle??

What comes first – the insulin resistance or the stress?

The truth is that it really doesn’t matter which way the cycle goes. What we want to do is make sure that we’re using methods to address both – that way, you have a better chance of stopping it.

So that means we want to:


Now obviously, we can’t avoid every form of stress forever. And small, acute doses of stress can actually be good for us! But in this modern age, we’re surrounded by physical AND psychological sources of stress that can leave us depleted.

So while you can’t get rid of stress completely, you can work on including stress management techniques. Some of my favourite ways to combat stress include:

  • Moving your body

  • Mindfulness and meditation

  • Getting out into nature

  • Spending time with loved ones and furry friends

For some more science-backed ideas around how to reduce your stress naturally, make sure you give this a read.


To get results and relief of your symptoms sooner, it’s also important to take steps to manage your insulin resistance.

One simple step you can take starting today? Eat 3 square meals every day and minimise your snacking.

Until recently, health practitioners thought that the best way to manage glucose and insulin levels is to have small frequent meals during the day. But now research has uncovered that better glucose control in diabetic patients is achieved with 3 meals a day. The reason? When we eat frequently, insulin is continually being secreted by the pancreas and doesn’t have a chance to return to a baseline level.

Stay tuned for a full article on methods to manage insulin resistance and improve insulin sensitivity.


Ideally, you’ll include steps that can address not only your insulin resistance, but also the underlying stress. Diet, exercise, stress management techniques and improving sleep are a few ways to do this.

You could also consider an evidence-based supplement. That’s why I created my innovative new product, Energy Glow NR.

Energy Glow NR helps to support healthy blood glucose & metabolism of carbohydrates, both of which play a critical role in insulin resistance. It also contains ingredients that:

  • Support a healthy stress response in the body

  • Support brain function and memory recall

  • Are traditionally used in Ayurvedic medicine to support healthy mood balance and relieve symptoms of stress

Learn more about Energy Glow NR here.

Susie Garden

I help women feeling stressed, flat and older than they’d like regain their youthful energy and glow using a proven method so their natural beauty and confidence shines through.