Your family and friends have been telling you for weeks, even months, to slow down. However, you felt invincible. Then, all of a sudden, you are mentally and physically exhausted! It is not too late to start taking care of yourself. In addition to using aromatherapy, quite a few lifestyle changes are needed.
According to Dr. James Wilson — author of Adrenal Fatigue: The 21st Century Stress Syndrome — 80% of people in the world are affected by adrenal fatigue.
What Causes Adrenal Fatigue?
When we are overstressed for long periods, our bodies begin to shut down, which compromises our immune system and lowers our metabolism. It also drains our energy and affects our ability to fall asleep and stay asleep.
Note some interesting points Dr. Wilson shares in his book: Adrenal fatigue is a condition where your body and adrenal glands can’t keep up with the tremendous amount of daily stress many people experience.
Adrenal fatigue can be caused by:
- Stressful experiences like death of loved one, divorce, or surgery
- Exposure to environmental toxins and pollution
- Prolonged stress due to financial hardship, bad relationships or work environment, and other conditions that entail feelings of helplessness
- Negative thinking and emotional trauma
- Lack of sleep
- Poor diet and lack of exercise
I’ve been following Dr. Christiane Northrup’s teachings and work for a long time. She is a visionary health pioneer and is internationally known for her empowering approach to women’s health and wellness.
She is also the author of the powerful book, Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom. Here is an excerpt from one of Dr. Northup’s blog posts on adrenal exhaustion, which includes various approaches.
Here are some typical signs that you have adrenal exhaustion:
1. You awaken feeling groggy and have difficulty dragging yourself out of bed.
2. You can’t get going without that first cup or two of caffeinated coffee or tea.
3. You not only rely on sugary snacks and caffeine to get through the day but find you actually crave sweets, particularly in the late morning or afternoon. (Perhaps you’ve even been diagnosed with hypoglycemia.)
4. Your thinking is foggy and you have memory problems. You suffer from recurrent infections, headaches, and depression. At night, though exhausted, you have trouble falling asleep as the worries of the day replay in your head, and you suffer from insomnia.
5. Ordinary stresses have an impact that is out of proportion to their importance.
6. You wonder what happened to your interest in sex.
If this description fits you, your adrenals may be running on empty, even if all of your conventional medical tests are normal. Conventional blood tests, taken at whatever time your doctor has scheduled your appointment, might indicate that your adrenals are normal.
However, a better diagnostic approach will test your levels at different times of the day, which is much more likely to reveal an out-of- whack pattern of cortisol or DHEA secretion.
Adrenal fatigue is characterized by cortisol levels that are too high at night and not high enough in the morning.
Here’s a great Holistic and Spiritual Approach + Essential Oil blend I’ve recommended to clients…
A far better option for healing adrenal fatigue over the long run is to restore adrenal health and function so your adrenals can eventually produce the hormones you need on their own. That will require making changes in the lifestyle that caused the adrenal insufficiency.
Here are some suggestions:
- Focus more on loving thoughts. Thoughts that bring you pleasure (like thinking about people you love, favorite pets, a delicious meal, or even a sweet memory) short-circuit the harm done by the body’s physiological reaction to stress.
- This learning to “think with your heart” may be challenging at first, but it’s definitely worth it. If you faithfully learn this and regularly pay attention to areas of your life that bring you joy and fulfillment, you will evoke biochemical changes in your body over time that will recharge your adrenal batteries.
- In addition, do more things that bring you pleasure and make you laugh and do fewer activities that feel like obligations.
- Spend more time with people who make you feel good and less time with people who are draining.
- Dwell more on what you like about yourself and less on what you see as your limitations. In short, have more fun! Make pleasure a priority instead of a luxury.
- Allow yourself to accept nurturing and affection. If you didn’t learn how to do this as a child, you may need to practice it.
- Every morning before you get up, spend a minute or two reveling in a memory of a time you felt loved. Do the same at night. Imagine your heart being filled with this love. Use affirmations that help you feel deserving of this nurturing and love.
- Follow a healthy, whole foods diet with minimal sugar and adequate protein. (Every meal or snack should contain some protein.) Avoid caffeine because it whips your adrenals into a frenzy.
- Take a comprehensive multivitamin/mineral supplement. Try herbal support, including: Consult your Naturopath Doctor or Nutritionist
- Get plenty of sleep: Sleep is the most effective approach to high adrenaline levels. Many women require eight to ten hours of sleep to function optimally.
- Try to go to bed by ten P.M. Getting to sleep on the earlier side of midnight is much more restorative to your adrenals than sleep that begins later in the night, even if you sleep late the next morning to get in your full amount of sleep.
- Exercise regularly. Regular light-to- moderate exercise is helpful, but not so much that you feel depleted afterward.
- Pushing yourself beyond your limits weakens your adrenals even further, so start slowly—even if it’s only walking down your street and back. Then build up slowly.
- Get more exposure to natural sunlight. This is not only good for your adrenal glands, but it boosts vitamin D, as well. Sunbathe only in the early morning or later afternoon, however, never in midday; and never get enough exposure to burn or even redden your skin. Work up to ten to fifteen minutes of exposure three to four times per week.
- Prioritize. Make a list of your most important activities and commitments, and then let everything else go. Don’t agree to a new task or commitment unless it’s something that will recharge your batteries.
Below, I am sharing a beautiful blend of essential oils for adrenal exhaustion that I’ve been using with my clients.
Using the earthy and grounding Essential blend can help you to relax, decompress, and gain a restful night’s sleep, thus beginning the process of healing. It is super grounding and very effective. Roll it onto your temples, wrists, and collarbones, as needed.
Are you new to essential oils? If you’re interested in learning more about natural solutions, the benefits of essential oils, and how to use them, you can drop me an email and I can help you explore and get started.