You’re leaving for work in the wee morning hours so you can pick up the boss’ coffee and dry-cleaning, then staying til 8pm to get your work done. Or, you’re picking up the kids from school, rushing home to make dinner, doing the laundry, getting the kids to bed, then staying up late to finish more work.
You can’t seem to bring yourself to say no to your boss, no to your partner, or is it that maybe you haven’t been able to work up the gumption to say no to yourself? To reflect on how you can ask for help? How you can learn to say yes better? Haven’t you had enough of this lone-ranger, do-it-yourself mentality? Maybe you’re having trouble admitting that you’re too guilty to say no? But, is your body telling you it’s time?
I’ve definitely been here before, have you? Are you there now?
Many of my patients begin their stories with one of these scenarios. The story of feeling overworked and underslept, the feeling of doing it all by themselves. The story goes on–it’s generally accompanied with varying degrees of chronic fatigue, malaise, perhaps an unreliable immune system… usually a mention of poor digestion, anxiety, emotional imbalances, hair or libido loss and then of course, those sleepless nights. Eeek!
And for what? Because as women we think we need to do it all alone? That we must say yes to everything?
N E W S F L A S H, if this describes your lifestyle & what you are experiencing, you are not even close to being alone–it’s called adrenal fatigue.
Pervasive among young American women, it’s a result of burning the candle at both ends, and it could be your personal dividing line between a survival mentality or one of self-preservation.
Still often dismissed by conventional health practitioners, adrenal fatigue is a major culprit from which many modern health concerns stem. But, it is no joke. Keep on acting like a hero, burning that candle and well, Darwinian theory comes into play.
So what can be done? We can’t say no all of the time. I mean, the show must go on, right?
How To Say No To Adrenal Fatigue & Work Toward Preventing It
Identify your scenario by troubleshooting through an actionable checklist:
A | I’m too shy to say no!
B | I’m a traditional family and working gal and I just can’t say “no” to tradition!
- Is it guilt?
- Fearful to admit you need help?
- Saying yes to everything instead of saying no because it will reveal lack of control in another area of your life?
Reframe and speak your true needs.
A | If saying no “feels” uncomfortable, how can you say yes in a way that benefits everyone involved?
B | Yes, I’d be happy to co-raise your children if:
- we hire a nanny and a housecleaner.
- your mother helps us 3 days a week.
C | Yes boss, I’d love to pick up your dry cleaning if:
- every other week Jane shares the load.
- we manage our in-office time more efficiently by integrating our individual work-loads into team projects.
How Reframing Helps Combat and Prevent Adrenal Fatigue
When we’re frustrated about something yet do nothing or very little about it at the expense of emotional health, our physical well-being suffers. How so? Frustration, fears, ongoing and pent-up guilt and hidden-away emotions have been shown to disrupt communication between our parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems. (Think meditative/calm nervous system communicating with fight or flight nervous system.)
Want to test out the power of the mind-body connection?
Keep a reframing journal by recording your personal scenario, actionables executed and reflections on emotional and physical well-being.
Consider measuring progress by asking yourself:
- Did negative emotions transition to positive, or were you able to identify something you’re working toward changing?
- Did physical ailments improve? Acid reflux reduced? Morning headaches disappeared? No need for 3pm coffee?
Tip I: Try this for three months & reflect. Keep this in mind the first month as you’re just getting started, the second month when you hit your stride, and through the third month when your newly established emotional and physical patterns are in effect.
Tip II: To really get yourself believing you’re not alone, ask your partner, other family members and co-workers to give this a go with you.
Stock Up on the Right Adaptogenics to Prevent & Address Adrenal Fatigue
Simply put, adaptogenics are powerful medicinal plant compounds that help our endocrine and immune systems communicate more optimally by helping our internal and external environments adapt better together. Some nights your entire team will have to work late and some mornings you’ll be super-tired when it’s your turn to kid-carpool, but you can help your mind and body adapt better with the right adaptogenics. My favorites are:
Ashwagandha: Both soothing and energizing, this multi-faceted adaptogen helps improve sleep, promote feelings of balance and promote libido in both men and women.
Astragalus: Used for centuries by Chinese medical practitioners, astragalus is a tonifying herb that can alleviate fatigue by improving immunity and by regulating blood sugar, blood pressure and blood flow.
Rhodiola: Rhodiola reduces mental and emotional stress by fighting fatigue while improving cognitive abilities. It can also help improve your workouts–athletes who use it report noticing an increase in strength and energy.
Your Eating Environment Affects Your Digestion
You may already be consuming healthy meals, but quantity could be an issue. Review if you are eating enough or too much. Another important aspect to consider is timing of meals–avoid rushing so you’ll improve nutrient absorption and smooth digestion. You can prevent ongoing cortisol shifts and spikes in blood sugar (that can perpetuate adrenal fatigue) by creating a relaxing environment that you enjoy with your family or coworkers.
Have you experienced adrenal fatigue as a result of trying to do it all alone? What helped you most?
Christine has dedicated her career to helping others understand the science of happiness and its powerful effects on everyday human health by harnessing the power of the epigenetic landscape. She is available for both private and professional consultations. Please contact her here.