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Managing Adrenal Fatigue

Posted by Sarah Baxendell on
Managing Adrenal Fatigue

Adrenal glands are the key to managing stress. Emotionally, physically, and spiritually, they purify us, making sure enough stress is removed to keep us running. When we are in danger, the adrenal glands pump, optimizing our energy to deal with obstacles. If you are someone who may experience this often, you may find yourself constantly feeling tired and unable to find the motivation to keep going. However, when we live in this ‘fight or flight’ space constantly, we experience adrenal fatigue.

What are the symptoms of adrenal fatigue?

  • Feeling tired for no reason. You could get a full 8 hours of sleep and still feel as though you've been up all night.

  • Having a hard time getting out of bed. This isn't because your bed is comfortable, it's because you simply do not have the energy or motivation to move on with your day, or frankly, the desire to do so. 

  • Constantly feeling overwhelmed and anxious. The simplest things may make you anxious or an easy and normal day-to-day task may overwhelm you, causing you to lash out or simply not want to do anything. 

  • No sexual appetite. Your sex drive may be decreased and you may have no desire to perform in any sexual activity.

  • Low immune function. You may feel under the weather much more frequently and find yourself as the friend who is "always sick."

  • Craving sweet or salty snacks. You may be driven to eat your favorite candy or chips more often than usual. 

  • Overuse of caffeine, sugar, or tobacco. You local coffee shop may be seeing you more often than mortal because you simply feel like you simply can't go through your day without caffeine. 

  • Unexplainable weight gain. Because of your constant cravings or lack of energy, among many other things, you might find yourself gaining weight and putting on a few extra pounds. 

  • Recurring brain fog, lack of creativity and focus.

Adrenal Fatigue is when the adrenal glands are running on empty and this is reflected in a persons state of mind. It is usually associated with high levels of stress. If you are finding yourself constantly overwhelmed with the never ending tasks you have on your plate and seem overly tired with no energy, you may be experiencing adrenal fatigue. During stressful experiences, our glands release high levels or cortisol. It is important to maintain lower cortisol levels. Prolonged stress is our enemy. When our glands become overworked, without maintenance, they don’t keep up demand and collapse. So, it is important to notice when you feel overworked and do what is necessary to get things back under control.

It's addictive to live off of adrenaline as our body gets used to the high and lows. You may feel on top of the world sometimes when you're experiencing too much adrenaline, you're getting things done! We get it! But, if you're feeling any of these symptoms, it's important to sit back and think about the steps you can take to help your body recover and return itself to normal. 

How Do I Recover From Adrenal Fatigue?

Adaptogens are a class of herbs that meet your body where it is and bring it back into balance. These plants work across the physical, mental and biological components of the body. They are amazing herbs that will do wonders for you if you are suffering from adrenal fatigue. 

For more about Adaptogens visit our articles Which Herbs are Adaptogens? and What Makes an Herb an Adaptogen?

How Can I Become More Aware of Adrenal Fatigue?

It is important to take time to sit back and check-in with yourself through the day:

  • When you feel a loss of energy. Is it a certain time of day or after work or hanging out with your friends and family?

  • When you don't feel motivated. Do you ever just not want to anything - or feel as though you can't?

  • When you lose tolerance with yourself or others. Do you find yourself unable to tolerate or handle, patiently, your friends or yourself?

After checking in with yourself, make sure to ask:

  • What behaviors express your deepest intentions? 

  • What conditions do you need to have your needs and expectations fulfilled? What needs to be changed? What can you do?

  • What do you want from yourself? From others? Be assertive and don't be shy. Ask yourself or someone else what you truly need that may benefit your body.

  • What is the most fulfilling thing you have done this week? What have you done that made you proud or feel happy? What else can you do to feel this way?

  • When is your greatest dilemma currently? Think of what you can do to resolve this. What steps can you take? What may be in your way?

 

Article by Sarah Baxendell

Sarah Baxendell helps women access the power of herbs and take control of their personal wellness. As Chief Creative officer at Desert Bloom Botanicals, she designs products and programs that are easy to use, accessible, and ignite your wellness journey. Sarah is a permaculture designer, clinical herbalist, and nature educator.

 

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