5 weekend rituals to refresh your mind and boost happy hormones - Hindustan Times

5 weekend rituals to refresh your mind and boost happy hormones

Jul 30, 2022 07:00 PM IST

A routine change, a workout, spending time with loved ones can all contribute in boosting those happy hormones. A nutritionist tells more.

While we all have daily routines that help with our productivity and chores, we rarely have a weekend ritual to rest, rejuvenate and augment positive thoughts. The mentally and physically exhausting week could leave us fatigued and it's not easy to find out what may be causing this. You might be eating well, exercising enough, drinking enough water but still feel low in energy due to hormonal imbalance. (Also read: Want to boost happy hormones? Try these amazing nutrition hacks)

Stress could play havoc with your hormones and lead to several endocrine disorders.(Pixabay)
Stress could play havoc with your hormones and lead to several endocrine disorders.(Pixabay)

Stress could play havoc with your hormones and lead to several endocrine disorders. Thus, it's important to incorporate activities that promote the production of happy hormones like dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin and endorphins in your weekend routine.

Nutritionist Ishti Saluja explains what these happy hormones do to our body:

Dopamine: The feel-good hormone is associated with the brain’s reward system and is connected with learning and memory.

Serotonin: Probably one of the most important ones in the pack – serotonin regulates your mood, sleep, appetite (along with other hormones) and digestion.

Oxytocin: ‘Love hormone’ promotes trust, empathy, and bonding within relationships. It’s an extremely important hormone when it comes to childbirth and breastfeeding for a stronger bond with the baby.

Endorphins: This is the body’s natural pain reliever that is secreted in times of stress. The production goes up when you exercise, meditate, eat clean or generally stay happy.

Saluja also shares strategies to naturally balance happy hormones:

Sleep in: Late work nights contribute to overall lack of sleep which negatively impacts the body’s immunity, mood and concentration levels. Sleeping in extra or fitting in a mid-day nap on weekends helps the body release dopamine and reduce cortisol (stress hormone). Having a routine during the week can help with getting enough sleep – avoiding caffeine after 3PM, going to bed at the same time every night or creating a restful sleeping environment after dinner.

Get in a workout: Exercise is not just for weight loss or to build muscle – it plays a huge role in balancing your hormones as well. It boosts the production of endorphins, dopamine and serotonin, giving you mental energy, a better mood and an overall ‘feel good’ response to go on with your day.

Two-week overview: Look back on the week you have had and list out 5 things you have cherished about it. It could be anything small or big – like enjoying a coffee on a busy day or managing to finish a big work project. Now look ahead at coming week and plan out each day so that you have a general idea of what to expect. This keeps anxiety at bay if you struggle with that. Both these mental exercises help you stay mindful of daily life and stay present in all moments which contributes to keeping our hormones balanced.

Spend time with loved ones: Notice how rejuvenated you feel when you spend time with those you love? This is because when the body feels safe and less anxious, it releases dopamine and endorphins. A laughing riot might also trigger the release of oxytocin, overall making you calmer and mentally relaxed.

Eat a meal rich in probiotics: Since 90% of serotonin is produced by bacteria in your gut, it is crucial to feed that good gut bacteria. Transmitting information back and forth between the gastrointestinal tract and central nervous system is dependent on this structure. Probiotics and prebiotics you could add to your diet: Yoghurt, kombucha, chia seeds, sourdough bread, green beans, garlic, ginger, bananas, berries!

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