Don’t stress: Keys to a healthy sex drive

Photo credit: Bobbie Rae Jones

Photo credit: Bobbie Rae Jones

As students we have many responsibilities that can create stress. Stress can cause some frustrating issues, like affecting a person’s sex drive.

Lately all my different responsibilities have been making me crazy and making me miss my down time. This rise of different activities can affect how well I take care of myself, including a decrease in exercising, sleeping and yes, even sex. When I realized this was happening, I understood it could become problematic in my relationship if I let it persist too long.

When I become stressed it can become a vicious cycle. Time is cruel when there doesn’t appear to be enough. Things that could alleviate my stress and put me in a better place may lack priority. This can also cause problems in my relationship too, because I become reclusive and this can cause distance between my partner and I.

Some stressors that affect sex drive are:

  1. Not having enough sleep can cause “lower levels of testosterone – the sex drive hormone,” as mentioned in the article “16 Things That Can Shrink Your (or His) Sex Drive.”
  2. A lack of exercise and low self-esteem can sometimes cause a low sex drive. Not fitting into my clothes can get the ball rolling on negative self-talk which causes my self-esteem to drop.
  3. Relationships take work and can cause lots of stress. The feeling of distance or the lack of emotional intimacy can cause anxiety. Sometimes having a to-do list that seems to meld with a partner’s list can make a normal day become overwhelming.
  4. The feeling of having no time for sex can lead to a low sex drive through a lack of intimacy, as said in Everyday Health.

So what do I do when the stress is getting to me and I need to pump up my sex drive?

  1. A warm bath or shower is always nice. The warm water helps to relax the muscles and reduces anxiety.
  2. Reaching for a hot drink like coffee can also help to sooth stress and get me in a cuddly mood. There is also a “sex coffee” that sounds tasty.
  3. I need exercise in order to destress. It boosts endorphins and gets the blood moving.
  4. A good massage can do wonders with not only relieving stress but also helping create intimacy without sex necessarily being involved.
  5. Talking can help relieve stress and boost libido too. Chatting with a partner about problems that are unresolved or fears related to the relationship can bring clarity. And possibly even rejuvenate the relationship, causing the spark down below to reignite too.

Some things I have tried to relieve stress and jump-start my desire have done the opposite. My trial and errors have included: alcohol, which in moderation can be fine, but when had in abundance has the opposite effect, and ignoring a problem in my relationship or playing the blame game.

Stress can be a helpful tool and having a low sex drive on occasion is normal. It’s when it becomes almost destructive to my lifestyle, my mental and physical health that it becomes a problem that needs to change.

Much of the stress can also come from overthinking; so stepping away and doing something outside of my to-do list can help me come up with a plan of attack for what seems to be a long list.

Joann Chevaillier can be reached at [email protected] or @jmc_8284 on Twitter.