It is often mentioned in conversation about going into burn out. This can happen when one has been overworking or overdoing things, without much rest physically and not only physical but with mental overload as well. The body can only take so much without adequate switch off. When you are feeling absolutely shattered, seem restless, anxiously on edge, or maybe depressed; If you find yourself restless at night, struggling in the morning to wake up fully, exhausted during the day, an afternoon desperately in need of sleep and often followed by difficulty in getting back to sleep again at night – this is a warning sign in itself. This is then followed by stiff and sore muscles, aching neck, shoulders, back, legs, and arms.
All this can occur when stressed, as the blood is diverted to the brain and major organs like the heart. It is like a warning sign telling you a threat is perceived. This does not usually last for long and the body returns to normal. However, if prolonged, it can lead to further life threatening problems, which is why finding balance is always the key. If you are living with imbalance due to chronic stress, this will become your ‘resting state’ rather than a temporary response to stress. It is said by some hormone specialists that people can suffer with Adrenal fatigue, this occurs when the two small glands situated on top of the kidney area pump out extra quantities of hormones such as cortisol, adrenalin, and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) in order to compensate for a non-stop schedule and intense raised stress levels. The problem is that these hormones are designed to be released in short spurts, when in need of an extra burst of energy in order to focus in response to a perceived threat.
So if you are constantly on the move and on high stress alert, these hormones are circulating in your system and your adrenal glands are on overdrive. The supplies deplete, the body is left exhausted. When adrenal output gets to the point where the supply runs dry, and level of hormones like cortisol plummets, it is at this point one can feel really awful; with a low level of DHEA and cortisol, the brain will panic and one feels they are anxious and unable to cope, on edge and totally exhausted. So what should you do? Sleep really should be the number one priority. A chronic lack of sleep can contribute to hormone imbalance. Learning to say NO to things and people when you already have a busy schedule; People pleasers and workaholics are often susceptible to this problem. A packed schedule just puts you under a lot of pressure. Sometime it is unavoidable and a helping hand to alleviate the problem would be of great benefit. Learning to delegate or ask for help with tasks can help take the pressure off and you may find some people, who are not as busy, often feel needed and useful by helping out. Get rid of things or people that don’t give much back, cost you energy and are draining. When sleeping, try and dim the lights as much as possible or if possible, have blackout curtain/blinds. Avoid social media and turn off or set phones to do not disturb (prioritise customise call) for those of emergency. Set a new bed time routine to associate it with better rest.
Avoid caffeine after a certain time when you feel it affects you and switch to caffeine free coffee and tea after this point e.g. for evening. If you are desk bound, get up every half hour and walk round for a minute. This will kick start your metabolism and keep the cortisol level stable. Eating within the first hour of waking, regular snacks every 2-3 hours, something healthy like a piece of fruit or maybe a high protein snack like nuts and a little healthy snack before bed time, all help to stabilise blood-sugar. Don’t over exercise or workout. Training 2-3 times a week properly is better than working out excessively. Add some meditation into your fitness regime. A moderate intake of alcohol has been shown to increase cortisol levels.
A glass of wine is not going to trigger off adrenal fatigue. If you enjoy it and it helps calm you down, then have a glass. It is binge drinking that sets off a blood sugar crash. Follow a healthy eating regime that is low in refined carbs, sugar, fat and caffeine. Put that spring back in your step! Love and Sparkles Samsara x