Updated: Apr 29, 2020
You are a super diva! 🤩 You are thriving on busy schedules, late nights, early mornings. You would love that double shot of coffee because you have so much to get through today! You are the person we all go to because we know you won’t say no! You feel energised but in a wired, edgy sort of way. Some nights you find it difficult to get to sleep because of all the things running through your mind, other nights you find yourself awake at 3am, tired but wired…
Our adrenal glands sit on top of our kidneys. Their job is to secrete a number of neurotransmitters and adrenocortical hormones… you may be familiar with 2 of them, adrenaline and cortisol.
When we are stressed our adrenal glands secrete high levels of adrenaline and cortisol. Stress can take on many forms – a mum under the pump with a house full of demands, job stress, relationship breakdowns, death of a loved one, illness, financial pressures and the list goes on.
Adrenaline is a neurotransmitter. It’s job is put our body on high alert during times of stress. Adrenaline tells our heart to beat more effectively, our blood pressure to increase, our lungs to breathe faster so that our cells can put more oxygen into our muscles so that we can run away from the “thing” that is stressing us. But what if that “thing” is life?
Cortisol is a steroid hormone. Cortisol is also released during times of stress. Adrenaline kicks in first, then cortisol follows with some longer lasting control measures. Most cells within our body have cortisol receptors which means that it has a wide range of functions. Cortisol can help control blood sugar levels, regulate metabolism and digestion, help reduce inflammation, assists with immune function and even helps our memory retention. It’s a good hormone to have around…. in the right levels.
Adrenaline and cortisol are not bad guys. They are naturally produced chemicals within our body that are designed to keep our body reactive to danger. Danger is suppose to come and then go.
What happens when our body perceives daily stress as danger? In the early stages, the adrenaline will give us feelings of nervous energy and stamina to keep going, it will keep us on high alert ready to respond to the next thing thrown in our direction. The cortisol will get us craving sugary things to keep our blood sugar up, slow down our digestion and metabolism as it perceives these as non-vital functions during times of danger and will even keep our immune system in check.
How may this look? You are pumped and pushing through any feelings of tiredness because of everything you need to do before you go to bed tonight, you may struggle to get to sleep or wake up early in the morning, you seem to always have brain fog on waking no matter how many hours shut eye you got that night, by mid afternoon that chocolate bar and espresso is a life saver, your nutrition may be suffering because you have other priorities right now, that weight creep is frustrating and your gut feels out of whack but you don’t want to stop because you know if you let your body unwind you are going to get sick.
How many of you can relate to this right now? I know that I have felt this way. Many, many times.
Your body is giving you lots of clues at this point that you need to slow down and reassess some lifestyle factors.
Some things you can do to help get your body back on track:
* Reassess the stress. Work out strategies to minimise or eliminate some of the stress from your day. You may need help to do this. Speak with a counsellor, your boss, a financial consultant, a friend. Without addressing this one key factor the other suggestions are going to much less effective. You can utelise essential oils throughout the day to help you manage your response to stress – deep inhalations of essential oils like Balance grounding blend or Peace reassuring blend will help you to think calmer about the tasks at hand.
* Prioritise nutrition and don’t skip meals. Consider your diet and try and get as many wholefoods, fruits and vegetables as you can in. Consider a high quality nutritional supplement like dōTERRA Life Long Vitality to fill in all the gaps that your diet may have. Your nutrition is foundational to overall health and wellbeing.
* Self care. Find time for you. Each and every day. Even if it is only 10 minutes of quiet time before the rest of the house wakes up. Do something that you love in those moments. Something that fills up your cup.
* Sleep. Restorative sleep is the aim. Consider lifestyle factors that impact sleep – electronic devices emit blue light that tells our brain to stay awake, caffeine can take up to 8 hours to leave our body, strenuous exercise right before bed can pump out endorphins that keep us awake, alcohol can cause restless sleep. Introduce a sleep routine into your life: set your alarm for the same time every morning and listening to your body’s natural cues for when it is releasing sleep hormones at night, have a warm shower followed by aromatically dressing is calming essential oils like lavender, roman chamomile, sandalwood, cedarwood or vetiver, read an old fashioned paperback and put your diffuser on with more relaxing essential oils to keep you settled throughout the night.
* Energise. On waking, spend 5 minutes in sunshine – even if it’s while eating your breakfast or enjoying your morning brew. The natural sunlight helps to reset your circadian rhythm and sleep hormones.
Sounds simple right? Nope. All of these suggestions take work. You need to be committed to changing habits and lifestyle. But THEY ARE ALL ACHIEVABLE. And the really great thing about our body is that it wants to thrive. It wants to repair itself and replenish it's energy reserves. All you have to do is let it. In Part 2 we will explore what happens when we don’t listen to the cues of our body… join me for Adrenal Fatigue - WIRED, TIRED & SICK.
If you are indentifying with some of the symptoms mentioned in this blog and would like to chat about ways to enhance your healthy naturally then I would love to chat with you. You can also learn a little more about CPtG essential oils here.