There’s a four letter word guaranteed to send a shudder of dread down the spine of most adrenal fatigue sufferers. Work.
For most people, a job is something that they might not always enjoy, but something that is necessary and a tolerable part of life. But what if you had to cope with the pressures of the workplace while having no idea how you’ll be feeling from day to day?
For many people with adrenal exhaustion, work can become a source of great stress. Worries about holding down a full time job, the fear of having to call in sick (again) or even facing the decision to leave a career you’ve worked hard for because of ill health, can be devastating both physically and financially.
If you’re exhausted but have no way to take time off work, the following tips can help to make your working day that little bit more bearable.
Take control of your morning routine
Picture the scene: You’ve arrived at work ten minutes late, the phone is ringing, you forgot your purse/wallet and you have an important meeting. Despite this, you still feel like you’re half asleep. Result? Your stress levels are rocketing through the roof and its only 9am.
How you start your morning will set the tone for the whole day. If you kick off by rushing around with adrenaline pumping, its likely things will quickly go from bad to worse. In order to avoid this scenario, you must remember to make time for yourself when you first wake up.
Getting out of bed can be the most difficult part of the day for people with adrenal fatigue. This is because the cortisol-driven awakening response is partially, or entirely, absent. This is what gives most people a boost of energy after they get out of bed. However, you can use this knowledge to your advantage.
Be super-organized the evening beforehand. Utilize the times when you have more energy to prepare a healthy lunch, figure out what you’re going to wear, and follow a night time routine which will help you get the rest you need. In the morning, set your alarm clock for 30 minutes before you need to wake up. This will give you time to eat a healthy breakfast, meditate, read, go for a walk…whatever will get you in the best frame of mind to start your day right. Its common sense, but learning to build a routine around your energy levels can really help ease the burden when you’re faced with a busy day.
One of the simplest tricks you can utilise to make your day run a little smoother is to spend some time getting organized at work. Clean out your drawers, label your stuff, stock up on supplies, file that paperwork! An organised work space means less searching for the things you need, and ultimately, a lot less stress.
There’s another bonus to having a clean-up. Have you ever wondered just how much bacteria there is on a computer keyboard, a telephone receiver, or a desk? People with adrenal exhaustion are far more susceptible to bugs and germs because they have compromised immunity. By giving your office space a mini “deep clean”, you’re protecting yourself from germs that could knock you out for the next few weeks. It takes a little time, but it’s definitely worth the effort.
Check your diary
It’s not just your workstation that can benefit from a little organisation; your diary and work schedule can too. Once again, knowing your energy levels and how to work with them, instead of against them, can mean the difference between ending the week on a high or a low.
Are you more energized on a Monday or a Friday? Do you have more ‘battery power’ in the morning, after lunch, or toward the end of the day? Keep an energy journal to track the times when you’re feeling at your best, then plan important meetings and tasks accordingly. You may not always have control of what you do and when, but recognizing the fact that you’re likely to have less energy at certain times can help you rope in any extra support you need. At least that way, you can be prepared.
Get your boss on your side
For many people, talking to their boss about their health issues is not the easiest of subjects to tackle. However, you may find he or she is able to help in ways you might not have initially expected. For example; did you know that some companies can pay for on-site therapies such as Indian head massage or Reflexology? More and more businesses are taking the issue of employee wellbeing very seriously. It’s not in their interest for you to be sick!
If your company doesn’t offer this kind of perk, talk to your boss. Many local colleges have reasonable student rates and they may be able to offer short lunch time appointments for you and your colleagues at a reduced cost. This is a win win situation all round. It gives students valuable experience, and at the same time, helps your company reduce workplace stress. If you don’t ask, you don’t get!
When it comes to managing your job, try to find what works best for you. Make the decision to become positive about the amount of control you have over how you run your day.
Could you get out and take a walk at lunchtime? Can you to talk to colleagues about flexible working hours when you simply don’t have the energy to get things done? Do you have a kitchen area where you can prepare healthy food? It isn’t easy juggling adrenal fatigue with work, but with a little thought, it can be made far less stressful.
What things have worked for you? Drop us a line and let me know!