March 7, 2016
Stress: a five letter word, fraught with emotion and overwhelm, and totally trending. It’s practically become unrelateble to be anything but stressed, and phone calls with friends inevitably linger on the latest anxiety-ridden story in each other’s lives. It’s a medal of honor: “oh you think you’re stressed? wait until you hear my week’s plans…” Frankly, it’s a vicious circle of one-up-manship in which everyone loses. This perpetual state of stress has come a knockin’ on our adrenals, the glands that control cortisol levels and DHEA, the hormone that works to produce estrogen and progesterone.
The nasty pattern of little sleep + mega coffee + processed food + environmental toxins is a recipe for burnout: enter, adrenal fatigue. Even more frustrating is the medical community that often dubs adrenal fatigue as a “hoax” because there is not medication to alleviate the symptoms. The communication between the brain and the adrenals, aka the control center of your stress, hormone, and sex hormones, are off-kilter and in turn, there is resistance in the HPA axis.
Slowing down, breathing deep and staying positive are not just nice reminders with no backbone in their efficacy; on the contrary, these are urgent nudges that will help propel you out of the endless funk of fatigue, weight gain, edginess, 3 PM slump, inflammation, and overall feeling uncomfortable in your body.
Three stages of Adrenal Fatigue: Adrenal fatigue can usually be categorized into 3 stages. The first is the taxing phase, when you are living under a lot of stress, coupled with caffeine to boost you up and your energy is ramped up. This is a high cortisol state, but your body feels resilient and that it can still absorb the stress. If you live life at this level of high-stress and high-cortisol continuously with no slowing down in sight, this when you move to stage two, which is when many of the ill health symptoms begin to peek through. For example, you may experience weight gain and restless nights. Without addressing the underlying issues, the body moves on to stage three, or the “crash.” During this stage, there is a feeling of chronic fatigue and low serotonin levels.
No fear! We would never leave without arming you with a handful of ways to heal your mind, body and spirit and recover your energy.
Play with your workout routine. HIIT everyday or long bouts of cardio may not be best for a bod that’s run down. Use exercise as a moment to nourish your system, with juicy movement like yoga and pilates. There’s plenty of toning and endorphin-boosting moves in these modes of sweating too. Breathe. It’s as simple as that, but taking a moment to free-write, listen to calming music, take a stroll and breathe really full, belly breaths can toss out the negative energy that may be pent up deep.