April is Stress Awareness Month. Starting in 1992, this is a national campaign to inform people about the dangers of stress, successful coping strategies, and harmful misconceptions about stress that are prevalent in our society.
Dealing with stress can affect your sex life and relationships. When stress is applied, the body must react and change in order to cope. It does this through a release of hormones, like cortisol and epinephrine, which can cause a decrease in your libido. There are also psychological effects, being stressed about a multitude of things can impact your mood and a busy mind can distract you from wanting sex and lower your libido. Stress can also affect your lifestyle; some people deal with stress by smoking, drinking, overeating, forgetting about self-care, and exercising. These choices will influence how you feel about yourself and interfere with your sex life.
If you suspect that life stress is putting a damper on your libido, the first thing you should consider is stress management. Changing the way you perceive and digest stress can help you manage it better. There are many known strategies for dealing with stress and anxiety to ensure they won’t have an impact on your sexuality: meditation, high-intensity exercise, yoga, journaling, and aromatherapy are just a few examples.
It is also recommended that you look at the health of your relationships. If there are stress and conflicts within those relationships, it may have an impact on your libido. It is important that you are communicating with the other person in your relationship. Try to understand the challenges you face together rather than being against each other. Spoil alert! Blaming one another doesn’t get you anywhere and you won’t find a solution that way. Be conscious of how you are getting your argument/point of view across. Using “ I feel….” or “I would like…” rather than “you did this…” and “you are so…” * stay tuned for next week’s article about communication to learn more.
Pick up a hobby together. Exercising together can be a fun way of spending time together. Make time for each other during the week. Practice just being together, with no pressure to have sex. A lot of couples tend to put pressure on sexual intercourse, but sexuality and intimacy are so much more than that. Focus on sensations and experiences rather than focusing on sex. For example: hugging, mutual massages, taking a bath/shower together.
Practice self-care and self-esteem, they make a difference in your sex life. If you don’t feel good about yourself, it will transpire in your sexuality and you won’t feel like having sex and being intimate with your partner.
Our Intimacy Self-Help workbook and our Couple’s Intimacy workbook are available to purchase.
Our Guide to Self-Love workbook is available to purchase here
Be kind to one another!