Tired and Wired?
You need some down time!
Published: March 11, 2013
10 adrenal-friendly ways to relax and heal.
“I don’t know what’s wrong with me,” Tanya confessed. “I just don’t feel at all like myself. I used to be able to finish a day at work and then go out to a movie or a club. But now I’m so wiped out I can barely drag myself home. I fall into bed exhausted—but then I wake up in the middle of the night and can’t get back to sleep. My periods are really irregular and I’m having lots of cramps, which is just not me. And even though I’m really, really good about sticking to my diet, somehow I’ve put on 10 pounds in the last three months, and no matter what I do, I just can’t seem to shake it.”
Tanya looked at me, her large hazel eyes suddenly brimming with tears. “I’ve been to two different doctors,” she continued. “One said there’s nothing really wrong with me and I should just decrease my stress, get some more sleep on the weekends, and maybe do some yoga. But I’ve tried all that, and it doesn’t make any difference. He wanted to put me on antidepressants—but is that really what I need?
The other guy said I should cut back on the high-fat foods and be more disciplined about exercising, but I’m down to 1,200 calories a day as it is, and sometimes I’m just too tired to exercise, I really am. I’m at the end of my rope.”
I looked at Tanya, still trying valiantly to control her tears, and I thought about the thousands of other patients who had sat in that chair, telling me similar stories. On the surface, Tanya and all the other patients seemed very different. But they were suffering from adrenal dysfunction—and no wonder. They had each been driving themselves to the point where their bodies just couldn’t take it anymore. Their adrenal system had been asked to respond once too often to a last-minute deadline, a weekly round of chauffeuring the kids, or nonstop months of work, social, and personal obligations, and they didn’t understand how important it was to take some down time every day.
Now either their adrenals were flooding their system with excessive levels of stress hormones, causing them to feel both tired and wired or else their adrenal reserves were dwindling, creating a virtually constant state of exhaustion.
For Tanya and the others, their symptoms were all saying the same thing: their adrenals were seriously out of balance.
10 Adrenal-Friendly Activities: Ways to Begin Healing
Are you feeling tired and wired and out of balance? Here are 10 Adrenal Friendly Activities to help you begin to heal:
- Take two minutes twice a day to meditate—or even one minute, once a day. Just inhale deeply, and then exhale while focusing on your breath.
- Massage your temples and then your earlobes—a minute each, two times a day.
- Try the following exercise in conscious breathing: Breathe in deeply, expanding your abdomen, on a count of 2. Exhale fully, also on a count of 2. Repeat, but this time use a count of 4 . . . then 6 . . . then 8 . . . then 10 . . . then 12. You can do this anywhere, but I especially like it when I’m driving, or when I’m riding on public transportation, since it’s a nice, calming way to use the time.
- At the end of the day, light a lavender-scented candle and place it by your bed. Lavender helps to quiet the nerves, so take five minutes to breathe in its scent and relax.
- If you have young children, consider letting them eat first, putting them to bed, and then having an “adult meal” with your partner, a friend, or alone. Light a candle at dinner, too, turn off your cell phones, and enjoy a quiet dinner.
- Consider devoting half an hour for a bath—even once a week. If you have children, make a bargain with another adult or sitter to safeguard this time.
- Buy fresh flowers and put them on your desk at work. Remember to look at them and perhaps smell them once every hour.
- Consider making time for a walk—even for 5 minutes. Try to breathe deeply and let go of work and responsibility; just let your body move.
- Keep a journal. Even if you only write a sentence or two each day, the time you take to focus on yourself could begin an important shift in focus.
- Become aware of blocks that you may have to doing these activities, and if you notice that, be gentle with yourself.
Marcelle Pick co-founded Women to Women in 1983 with a vision to change the way in which women’s healthcare is delivered. Marcelle undertakes a holistic approach that not only treats illness, but also helps women make choices in their lives to prevent disease.