One of the things I have been reading a ton about is reducing stress to live a happier life. I am pretty sure I am in the midst of completely shutting down. I think some might call it adrenal fatigue. (I am not sure that is really technically the right thing to call this, but let's roll with it as the science doesn't seem to have a proper name yet...) I don't know what I would call this. It is pure exhaustion. I don't want to get out of bed, but not because I don't want to face the day. I love life and I am excited to have another chance at it each and every day. I literally don't have energy to move or open my eyes, or even think. I have officially gone too far... I am guessing that there are those of you out there that understand.
Now I am not going to get into all the science. For one, I am not qualified to do so. And two, that is not the point here. I know that there are thyroid, pituitary and adrenal issues going on here. I know that many of my hormones are acting wonky! So let's just talk about some basics.
Some of my signs and symptoms that I can think of off the top of my head:
* Difficulty getting up
* Difficulty handling stress (And this one really stinks, because I was really good at this!)
* Dark circles under eyes
* Weight Gain (Yet another really sucky symptom, because I eat clean and it just isn't fair that my stress is making me fat! And it is all in the midsection. Oh what fun!)
* Tingly fingers and poor circulation
* Super extreme exhaustion after exercise. (Another that I just don't understand. I used to run 12 miles a day... which probably helped get me to this situation, but anyways... I was the queen of exercise. Now I try to get rid of this belly and I feel like I am going into a coma. What the hell is happening to me....)
*Frequent urination (This with the tiredness and weight gain had me thinking I was pregnant. But oh no...)
Lower back pain. Seriously. I think I can feel my adrenal glands hurting. What is this???
* Low Blood Pressure. I have always had this, but I feel like it is worse and that my Type A, stressful nature has just been building and building and building to a final collapse.
* Craving salts and sweets.
* Moody, irritable, constant mood swings
* Body aches
* Trouble concentrating
* Feeling really overwhelmed
* Crazy hormone issues
Now here is my question to all of you out there. How do you fix it? Yes, I understand there are tons of people out there that quit jobs, went on month long vacations, just stopped doing stuff and rested. But what about those of us that this is not an option for? I can't quit my jobs. I support our family. I can't just stop cooking or doing the laundry or cleaning. And let's be honest, I cannot afford to pay someone to do these things either. It just isn't realistic. I have tried to get the kids to help out. But again, let's be honest. They can only help with so much and sometimes fighting to get them to do it isn't worth it everyday. So what do you do?
I guess for now, here is what I am trying:
1. Continuing to stay away from processed sugar and processed foods in general. This includes items with caffeine. NO matter how tired I am.
2. Making sure to get enough healthy fats. (Coconut oil, grassfed butter, avocados, etc.)
3. Using some of my supplements: B vitamins, C vitamins and my homemade magnesium oil, vitamin D, zinc, etc.
4. Saying NO to whatever I can. It is not a long list, but some things I am just saying NO. This is a hard one too. But the extra things just are not happening right now. (Whatever happened to just saying NO anyways? Who decided we had to be superstars at everything and overbook ourselves into oblivion?)
5. Finding fun. This one is also hard. But I am trying to find more ways to have a little fun. A short walk, putting my work down to giggle with the kids for few minutes, dancing to fun music, trying new recipes, etc.
6. Getting outside more. This is a hard one as the bugs are everywhere trying to eat me, but I am trying. I have been trying to get outside even to work, but sadly this doesn't work all the time.
7. Having a thankful and grateful heart. More to come on this.
Here are some things I seriously need to work on:
1. Eating regularly. Yep, I'm that person with the extra weight that doesn't even eat. I forget in the midst of homeschooling and working 80,000 hours.
2. Getting 8 - 10 hours of sleep. Well, I got to bed around 4 am last night... So yeah.... Not sure when this one will get better. I don't know how to earn enough to pay the bills during regular hours.
3. And I need to stop all the negative self talk. That is another biggy. It is hard when you want everything to be perfect and it just isn't. It is hard when you are trying your best and still gaining weight and losing energy. But this is a big one that only I can change.
How are you doing? Have you suffered from adrenal fatigue or just pure exhaustion? What things helped you? What do you still have to work on?