3 Ways Hormone Imbalance Taught Me the Value of Self-Care

Alicia Searl

Contributing Writer
Updated Feb 29, 2024
3 Ways Hormone Imbalance Taught Me the Value of Self-Care

Amid challenging seasons, our God understands and meets us in the confusion and pain. He is also whispering for us to come to Him, all we need to do is answer!

After the birth of our third daughter, I noticed I was feeling “off.” Quite honestly, it was the only way to describe it. I openly shared this with my doctor at my six-week post-partum checkup, explaining a list of discombobulated symptoms, only to be told it was the aftereffects of pregnancy hormones leveling out and that I would be fine in a few weeks. So, I sort of shrugged it off thinking I was just tired due to wrangling and homeschooling a six- and eight-year-old all while sporting around my newborn in a baby wrap. 

But, those weeks came and went, but so did the months, and I still felt overwhelmingly tired (like first-trimester tired or worse). My body ached all the time (down to my joints), I had headaches frequently, my heart would race at times, causing me to get clammy hands and become dizzy, and I would occasionally have numbness in my arms that sent waves of tingles down to my fingers. 

I went to numerous doctors at this point because I was starting to get worried. All of them told me the same news—my bloodwork was fine, and there were no indications of any red flags. Yet, things only spiraled more out of control. A year and a half later, I felt the exact same, along with an added dose of depression and anxiety. I was beginning to think this was all in my head and I was going crazy!

Then, I had my first panic attack! It was brutally ugly. I locked myself in the closet so my daughters wouldn’t hear the painful, and out-of-control breaths that screamed for someone, anyone, to care or understand. Yet, in the moment…That is exactly where God met me! 

Oh, dear friend, if you are battling something that just seems “off,” you can’t pinpoint what is happening, and it is causing undo stress, will you pause and pray with me?

Faithful Father, I lift up Your dear daughter who is reading this right now. You know what ails her. All the hurt, pain, and health issues she currently faces. I ask that You help her reclaim Your peace and draw near, giving her calming comfort. I ask that You give way for her to find the sources of help she needs. Grant her wisdom and a pathway forward to healing. I ask this in Your name. Amen.

It took quite a few more tests, scans, and ultrasounds to determine that I had gone into premature menopause, causing a slew of symptoms as my hormones rapidly declined at an earlier age than expected. While I tried various treatments and therapies, unfortunately, they had adverse reactions, or my body didn’t accept them as intended.

Frustration grew, but I did learn a very valuable lesson. God is not only good, but He is faithful. Amid challenging seasons, our God understands and meets us in the confusion and pain. He is also whispering for us to come to Him, all we need to do is answer!

God allowed this hormone imbalance to show me three ways to value self-care, and I would like to share them with you:

1. Ditch the Misguided View of Self Care

Self-care seems to get a bad rap. Maybe because we view it as selfish or we have a misguided view of what it actually means to care for ourselves as moms (wives, daughters, and all the other roles we bravely carry). I, for one, had a very unclear view (especially as a new mom) of what it meant to take care of myself. 

Where we may think of self-care as bubble baths and soaking our cares away, it is so much more than that, as it is taking care of our physical, mental, emotional, and most importantly spiritual health so we can be better moms.

If you have a mistaken view of what it means to care for yourself, I invite you to let God’s view of you as His beloved daughter flood your heart today. Allow Him to cover You with His grace as you seek to find space to care for your overwhelmed and weary soul.

2. Understand Why Self-Care Is Important for Moms

God knew we would get weary and tired along this journey, which is why multiple Scriptures tell us to come to Him and find rest (Matthew 11:28, Psalm 46:1, Exodus 33:14). The truth of the matter is that we were never meant to “do it all” or “be it all” for everyone, but we are commanded to love and serve one another (John 15:12-13, Romans 12:10). Yet, we honestly can't do that well if we are running on fumes. 

Self-care isn’t something that should prompt us to feel guilty, nor should it come with a mix of emotions with lots of strings attached. Rather, self-care should be a necessity that helps us serve and love our families in the way in which God designed and called us to! 

Sweet sister, if you are running on mere fumes, exhausted, and battling health issues, I invite you to lay it all at Jesus’ feet and find rest.

3. Address Physical, Mental, and Emotional Needs

Okay, so maybe you are thinking, this sounds good and all, but you don’t know how crazy my day is! There is no time for rest. There is no space to seek self-care. Maybe you feel overwhelmed by all the chores around the house and can barely get all the kids to bed before you collapse on the couch in a messy heap.

I get it! I have been there; I am there now! Motherhood is a beautiful journey filled with seasons of pure joy but an endless amount of utter exhaustion as well. However, while I am not battling the physical demands at this given moment, being pulled on by little ones and going on few hours of sleep, the emotional drain that comes with raising teens is no joke, either. 

Oh, sweet momma, take heart. Each season may bring forth tugs to our hearts as well as a multitude of demands, but when we take the time to care for ourselves, without the guilt, something beautiful emerges: a mother who is allowed to give and pour love into her family because she isn’t running on empty. Instead, she is fueled by God who is giving her the strength to persevere (2 Peter 1:5-8).

Need some simple reminders to physically, mentally, and emotionally recharge? Check out some self-care tips below:

When you are physically weary:

-Drink plenty of water.

-Get moving! Go for a walk or run around with your kiddos at the park.

-Take a nap and/or establish a nighttime routine for yourself.

When you are mentally weary:

-Read a book.

-Take a break from social media.

-Catch up with a friend for lunch and exchange encouraging words!

When you are emotionally weary:

-Get outside and soak up some Vitamin D.

-Write your thoughts in a journal. Look back at it later and see how far you’ve come.

-Set boundaries around relationships that may be draining you. Spend time with those who will build you up and encourage you as a mom.

While finding the source of my multiple symptoms gave me a little closure, I still needed to choose to get better. That was another brutal and treacherous road, filled with lots of twists, turns, and a few detours. However, one of the only ways I found a bit of healing was when I took time to care for myself, seeking the Healer, and soaking in His peace.

Photo Credit: ©Getty Images/Milko

Alicia SearlAlicia Searl is a devotional author, blogger, and speaker that is passionate about pouring out her heart and pointing ladies of all ages back to Jesus. She has an education background and master’s in literacy.  Her favorite people call her Mom, which is why much of her time is spent cheering them on at a softball game or dance class. She is married to her heartthrob (a tall, spiky-haired blond) who can whip up a mean latte. She sips that goodness while writing her heart on a page while her puppy licks her feet. Visit her website at aliciasearl.com and connect with her on Instagram and Facebook.