I have a personal axe to grind with adrenal fatigue.
I spent two overwhelmingly stressful years of my life learning how to deal with it.
Despite the awful memories I have of that period, when I read through the articles on my blog it strikes me how much I’ve learned because of it.
Having come through that time, and with the benefit of hindsight (isn’t that a wonderful thing!) I see that not everything that happened to me during those two years was all bad. In fact, some of the lessons I learned have had a positive impact on the way I live my life today.
I’d like to share some of those insights with you, and let you in on the number one secret I learned from my adrenal fatigue.
Lesson Number 1: Listen to your body
Prajnaparadha … Isn’t that a lovely word?
We don’t have anything like it in the English language. It’s an ayurvedic term which roughly translated means “crimes against wisdom”. Simply put; stop doing the things that you know are hurting your body!
Wilfully ignoring your intuition about which habits are harmful to your health is one of the major causes of adrenal exhaustion. If you live life in the fast lane, eat junk food and burn the candle at both ends, no amount of therapy, herbs, or visits to the gym will cure you of your adrenal fatigue.
Knowing and doing however are two very different things. I soon realised this when I was juggling a demanding job whilst simultaneously bringing up my first child. It’s easy to be in denial when you have a busy life to lead. Your body can put up with a lot before it starts to push back.
One of the kindest things you can do for yourself (whether or not you have adrenal fatigue) is to listen when your body tells you it needs a little TLC. Need a day off? So be it! Need to sleep? Go to bed! The world isn’t going to end if you need to grab a nap or take a little time for yourself.
By ignoring your body’s needs you’re only causing more harm in the long run.
That leads me nicely onto lesson number 2…..
Quit the guilt
Despite what you may have seen in the media, superheroes don’t exist.
Those moms at the school gate with the perfectly behaved children? You bet they have battles over bedtimes and what they’re having for supper. The girl in the office with the manicured nails and the perfect hair? She still has to clean her refrigerator and take out the trash. Perfection is an illusion that we’d all like to believe exists. But guess what? Nobody’s perfect, not even you.
It took me a little while to get my head around this.
Not even a superhero can be a perfectly preened domestic godess, mother, wife AND entrepreneur all at the same time. If I’d asked for help when I needed it, I wouldn’t have been worn out to the point where I totally crashed and burned.
When it comes to asking for help we all have a tendency to go on the guilt trip. For many people with adrenal exhaustion, guilt is the number one reason they don’t ask for the help they need. Accept that perfection doesn’t exist and give yourself a break! Self-love isn’t self-ish. Take care of yourself, and you’ll have more energy for the things that really matter.
Eat real food
When I had adrenal exhaustion, I didn’t really eat as well as I should. It was only when I finally paid a visit to an integrative doctor who recognized my symptoms that I sat up and took notice of how I was neglecting to nourish my body.
One of the most important lessons I learned from living with this condition is how to shop for, and prepare really healthy food. In fact, one of my main pleasures in life is cooking for my family and creating dishes that are not only a joy to eat, but give my body the fuel it needs to function at optimum wellness.
Yes, it’s hard to be enthusiastic about cooking when your energy levels are flat on the floor. Here’s where I refer back to point number two.
Got kids? Rope them in and get them to help. You’ll be teaching them valuable skills and setting up healthy habits for life. Online grocery shopping makes it easier than ever to get those healthy ingredients delivered right to your door. With a little ingenuity (and dare I say it…help….) cooking doesn’t have to be another energy-sapping chore.
So there you have it. I’ve learned a lot. But what’s the number one lesson I’ve learned from all of this over the years?
Go easy on yourself. Give yourself a little bit of love.
Doing the opposite may very well be what got you here in the first place.