Is stress ruining your libido? How stress is burning you out and actionable ways to avoid it.

Stress isn’t sexy. Excessive stress is a major wet blanket to any sex drive. We share several tips to prevent and combat sexual burnout and help boost your libido.

What is sexual burnout?

Sexual burnout is a syndrome of low libido due to excessive and chronic stress. Stress can be mental or physical. It includes pressures around work, exercise, family life and housework. Symptoms include low sex drive, vaginal dryness, inability or low ability to orgasm, erectile dysfunction and general disinterest in sexual activity. 

How does stress impact sexual health? 

Physical and emotional stress raises cortisol levels. Heightened cortisol impacts other hormones – including the ones that manage sex drive. For example, in males, stress increases cortisol hormone levels, lowering testosterone levels. Consequently, lower testosterone negatively impacts libido. Hence, it is crucial to lower your cortisol levels by reducing stress. 

Why is our sexual health important?

Research has suggested that having a healthy sex life can relieve stress and improve self-esteem and anxious thoughts. Whether alone or with someone else, sexual activity is a powerful, healthy outlet for tension and negativity. Sexual activity releases endorphins, which counteract stress hormones like cortisol. Accordingly, this lowers heart rate and reduces flight or fight pathways. 

How to combat and prevent sexual burnout

Stressing less is easier said than done, but these tips can help you prevent burnout. Prevention is always better than a cure – if possible, watch for signs of excessive stress and take action before it takes hold.

  • Schedule in ’empty’ time

Each day, book 5-10 minutes with no goals or expectations. This break allows you to sit with yourself, breathe and be present. Guided meditative apps like Headspace are great if you need help settling the mind. 

  • Pare back or time high-intensity exercise

High-intensity exercise like HIIT, Crossfit and running naturally increase your body’s production of cortisol. Replace it with steady-state activities like yoga, pilates or walking to get the benefits of exercise without the nasty uplift in cortisol.

  • Dabble with adaptogens

Adaptogens are plants and mushrooms which aid our body in responding to stress, anxiety and fatigue. Examples of adaptogens include ashwagandha, ginseng and Rhodiola. Pro You Protein Blends contain organic ashwagandha; it’s a convenient way of adding an adaptogenic aid to your daily routine. 

  • Clean up your sleep hygiene

Build a sleep routine for more high-quality sleep. Go to bed at the same time each night, replace your late-night scroll with reading a book and don’t turn on any lights during the night. Restorative sleep happens before midnight, so get plenty of zzzs before then. 

  • Enjoy non-sexual forms of touch and comforting

You don’t have to dive right into bed. Cuddling, hugging and touching a partner decreases cortisol levels and stimulates oxytocin production. Oxytocin is called a ‘love’ hormone that creates calmness and relaxation. 

In the end, life can take its toll, and we won’t always have a blazing hot sex drive – that’s okay. If you’re worried, it is best to speak to a professional. They will be able to rule out possible deficiencies and any other potential health issues. 

This information is for educational purposes only and is in no way medical advice. If you are concerned about your health, please talk to your local GP or health professional.