Burned out? How to get your Mojo back.
Hope that you all had a great weekend and spent tons of time outside soaking up the sun, I know I did! Today I want to dive into adrenal fatigue because It’s something that I’m currently grappling with, and I bet A LOT of y’all are too.
In this day and age, with our paralyzing FOMO and the hustle mentality reigning as king, we’re like a bunch of workaholic zombies running around unable to unplug. And yea, we can sustain that for a while. Some of us might even like bouncing from activity to activity, I know I do (...100% extroverted over here). But at what point does the 3 cold brew coffee/a day habit start to break us down instead of building us up? How long can we get by on only 6 hours of sleep every night?
Let’s break it down
You might have adrenal fatigue if ...
Exhausted after working out instead of energized
Can’t sleep- you get this second wind after 10pm
Brain fog/ poor memory
Easily stressed out, constantly overwhelmed
Bloating and poor digestion
Always hungry- feel like you’re constantly snacking
Feel lightheaded after standing up
Weak immune system
For Women- menstrual cycle is off
Dark under eye circles
Are you nodding your head? Then read on!
What is adrenal fatigue?
Our adrenal glands sit on top of our kidneys and produce/release hormones (like adrenaline) that regulate our fight or flight response (stress), blood sugar, and electrolyte balance. When we’re overstimulated, stressed out, and not taking care of our bodies, our adrenal glands don’t work properly.
Think of our adrenals as a phone charger and our organs as a phone. If our phone charger is burned out, or will only charge our phone if it’s in a VERY specific position (this hasn’t happened only to me, right?), then we can’t charge our phone properly. We then start our day, with a phone that is only halfway charged! That’s NEVER good. Same thing with our bodies. If our adrenal glands are overstimulated and burned out, the rest of our bodies systems can not work properly and we experience the symptoms above.
What causes adrenal fatigue?
Chronic stress, demanding jobs, poor diet/excess sugar intake, not getting enough sleep, overtraining our bodies-
or idk, being social maniacs who can’t say no to plans?
I’m starting to think bouts of adrenal fatigue are just a rite of passage for New Yorkers. I mean- it’s the city that never sleeps, right?
How to combat adrenal fatigue
Decrease alcohol, caffeine, sugar, wheat/gluten, dairy consumption.
*cue eye glaze* . These are all inflammatory foods that can cause inflammation and f*ck up our hormone balance.
Step AWAY from the Coffee ma’am
Caffeine stimulates the adrenal glands so that we are alert. If we’re constantly drinking coffee, it puts our bodies in this state of reactivity where we’re always in fight or flight mode. But instead of being chased out in the wild, we’re in an office tackling tasks... Drinking caffeine when suffering from adrenal fatigue is like using a whip to make a tired horse run. When healing our adrenal glands we want to try our best to not stimulate them.
This has been the hardest for me because I’m obsessed with coffee, but my body does NOT handle caffeine well. I’ve been drinking Four Sigmatic’s Mushroom coffee and Matcha which have half the caffeine of your usual cup AND adaptogenic mushrooms to help our bodies adapt to stress. Learn more here.
Keeping our blood sugar stable is ESSENTIAL to healing our adrenals.
Alcohol, sugar, and simple carbohydrates spike our blood sugar, which makes us feel like sh*t. When our cortisol levels are out of whack, we can’t balance our blood sugar properly which causes dips in blood sugar throughout the day. This in turn perpetuates the cycle of feeling lethargic and stressed, and causes us to reach for carbohydrates to give us energy. Which makes us MORE tired and stress, UGH!
- Eat protein/fat within an hour of waking to stabilize blood sugar.
- Try to slowly decrease carbohydrate intake while healing from adrenal fatigue. This helps our bodies heal faster.
- Learn more about blood sugar in my post here.
Eat plenty of healthy fat, protein, and leafy green vegetables.
Fat and protein stabilize our blood sugar and provide sustained energy. Leafy green vegetables are full of healing vitamins and minerals and add lots of belly filling fiber to keep us satiated.
Get plenty of sleep.
Try to get 8 hours of sleep and be in bed by 10pm every night, that’s when we get our most quality sleep. Our bodies need to rest so that we can heal.
Beware of INtense exercise.
When we do an intense workout, this puts added stress on our bodies. Our body can’t heal our adrenals if we’re going to Barry’s Bootcamp 5 days a week. Switch it up and add adrenal friendly barre or yoga to the mix.
Decrease stress/ Increase self care.
I have the hardest time saying no to plans. I love bopping around from activity to activity, but taking time to rest and recuperate is SO important. Journaling and practicing meditation have been CRUCIAL tools to help me deal with stress. Make sure to pencil in some time for that R & R!
Adaptogens help our bodies adapt to stress.
Adaptogens like ashwagandha and rhodiola help our bodies deal with stress. Maca and cordyceps are great to boost energy. You can find these in capsule form or powdered form to make elixirs or throw into smoothies.
Is my secret weapon. It will help your mind and body to relax at the end of a long day so that you can wind down and fall asleep.
Do you experience/have you ever experienced adrenal fatigue? What are your tips and tricks?