Are you stressed? So am I. In this busy world, we all have to deal with it, one way or another, unless you live peacefully without a clock or a “to do” list, right?
Personally, those two are ruling my life most of the time! I can’t say I hate it, because they are just the consequences of my choices. Let’s say I’m in a love/hate relationship with stress. As a person who chose to be self-employed, it is considered quite “normal” to be dealing with a lot of it. My life has become full of adventures and so many things I want to get done, and it never really stops. It’s like a mental roller coaster. I try to fit in a little bit of yoga practice and create proper boundaries between work time & rest time in my mind, but I often find myself thinking of new ideas while meditating (so, basically, not meditating at all!).
However, lately, I felt like my body is telling me that this is a little dangerous. I’ve noticed a couple of things, both mentally and physically:
- Despite being a curvy girl all over, I’ve always had a completely flat stomach and felt very lucky about it. These past months though, I gained weight around my belly.
- I’ve had clear skin since I jumped off the teenage acne wagon. But recently, pimples made their comeback.
- I’ve never had trouble waking up in the morning, but lately I find it impossible to get out of bed as I feel like I need to sleep for the rest of the day!
- However, I suddenly feel more awake, alert and energetic after 6PM than I did all day, which makes it hard to go to sleep and relax in the evening.
With a bit of research, I figured out that those were truly the symptoms of prolonged stress exposure. And that the collection of these symptoms is called adrenal fatigue. It sounds a little scary, but it simply means that the adrenal glands in the brain (those who produce the hormones in the body) are not working properly. This generates a hormonal imbalance in the body, disrupting various functions and wrecking you physically, mentally and psychologically.
Here’s a link I recommend if you want to know more about it and want to find out if you’re experiencing adrenal fatigue symptoms yourself. It’s very likely you do, as most of us have them.
It’s time to give your adrenal glands a little break, so that you can find your balance again. What can be done to keep stress levels healthy and ensure your adrenal glands are not going mad?
My friendly naturopath, Tessa Montague from Natural Health, suggested a list of 5 herbs which are actually “adaptogens”.
Adaptogenic herbs are increasing the body’s resistance or adaptation to physical environmental, emotional or biological stressors and promote normal physiological function.
Needless to say, these are the herbs that are most effectively used in the treatment of adrenal fatigue.
1) Rhodiola rosea (rhodiola)
2) Eleutherococcus senticosus (Siberian ginseng)
3) Withania somnifera (ashwaganda; withania)
4) Schisandra chinensis (schisandra)
5) Rehmannia glutinosa (rehmannia)
I’m looking forward to hear if any of you will be trying those out. I have started taking Ashwagandha, and feel so much better already!
Credits: Illustrations by Linda Dieschbourg.