The physical aspects of healing adrenal fatigue are obviously a really important part of the healing process; but please note that for your results to be long lasting you also need to heal on the emotional, mental and spiritual levels as well. For now let’s get to the physical.
Diet is always important, no matter where you are at, but it comes essential if you are in any form of adrenal fatigue, whether mild or severe. You will most likely notice that if you are adrenally fatigued, you will be even more sensitive to things like gluten, wheat, dairy, sugar, caffeine and an excess of carbs. I highly recommend that you make these adjustments (step by step if you need to), especially with eliminating gluten and wheat, and sugar and caffeine!! You will get used to it, and you will feel so much better!
As the adrenals become more fatigued, your blood sugars also have the potential to drop more quickly; within 3-4 hours of eating if you are mildly affected, to within as short a time frame of 2-3 hours after eating if you are severely affected. Eating regular protein throughout the day and with all of your snacks, will help you to keep your blood sugars more balanced.
3. LIGHT EXERCISE ONLY.
With severe adrenal fatigue, any heavy duty exercise will put further strain on your already taxed system. Lifting weights and cardio exercise at a high heart rate is not recommended. I recommend easy walks, yogic breathing techniques and gentle yoga like Dr Lam’s Adrenal Exercise Quickstart DVD
The best guide is how you feel after exercising and the following day. If you feel extremely weak and exhausted afterwards, and take one or more days to recover, the intensity is too much. However, a little exercise is better than no exercise. If you feel energised after exercising and into the next day, then it is likely that you are healing or that your adrenals are not so badly affected.
4. TAKE FREQUENT BREAKS.
Whatever you are doing during the day, allow yourself the chance to take a break whenever you need to, and sit quietly or lie down. If you are having to work and can’t do this, close your eyes for a moment and focus on your breathing for a few minutes. The most important thing is to bring yourself back to a relaxed space within your body.
5. BREATHE CONSCIOUSLY SEVERAL TIMES A DAY.
Whenever you think of it, and especially if your mind is taking you down a negative thought process; bring yourself back to your breathing.
Taking 10-20 minutes each day, and a minute or two whenever you think of it during the day, is vital in your healing process. Breathe steadily, easily, rhythmically; not forcing anything, just allowing your breath to radiate through your entire body, and to relax and calm you.
It is so important in healing adrenal fatigue to calm your nervous system, that is to allow your parasympathetic nervous system, to take over and release the hormones that allow you to feel calm and at peace.
Initially, you may feel like your mind is “too busy” to stop and focus on your breathing or to meditate. It is ok to feel this and is very normal, just bring yourself back to your breathing, each time you may have drifted off with your thoughts, over and over again. As you heal, your mind will slow down, and also as you practice doing this, you will become more used to it, and find it easier.
6. FIND THE SUPPORT OF A NATURAL PRACTITIONER.
It is so essential to find the support of a natural practitioner who understands adrenal fatigue and who can nurture and guide you on your physical healing journey. This may be a nutritionist, a naturopath, a functional medicine practitioner or another type of practitioner. The important aspect is how you feel working with them. You need to feel some connection with them and resonate with their suggestions in order for you to gain the best results. Trust what feels right for you to do.
7. LISTEN TO YOUR BODY.
I don’t believe there to be one right way in terms of the supplements, herbs or diet that a person needs to follow to heal adrenal fatigue. We are all unique individuals, and with that comes a unique approach to what works best for you.
Find someone who can present some different options for you, and choose what feels best.
At my worst, I chose to limit the amount of supplements I was taking, as my liver and kidneys were compromised, and I didn’t feel that I could absorb and process too much. I chose instead to focus on:
getting plenty of rest,
doing things that were calming on my nervous system
writing to process my emotions
getting the support of friends.
As I began to heal, I started to take more supplements and herbs that were needed depending on blood test results I had and testing with a naturopath. I had good results with Metagenics products – Adrenotone (to support my adrenals), ultraprobioplex (to help my immune system) and resistx (which helped with stabilising my blood sugars). However, these really just supported my healing, there was still lots of getting to the root of what caused the burnout.
8. DO THINGS YOU ENJOY AND DO THEM OFTEN!.
The biggest thing with adrenal fatigue is that your body is pulsating with the hormones that produce stress in the body. The great thing though, is that when you engage in activities that you love, your body relaxes and begins to produce hormones that calm your nervous system and help your healing process. Doing things that you enjoy is not some trivial fact. This is essential to your health and well being and in healing from burnout.
It probably goes without saying, that sleep is essential to your body’s healing. Sleep is the time when the body begins to repair itself. Sleep for as long as you feel you need to each night. This is especially vital if you are in severe adrenal fatigue. Engage in calming activities before bed-time as it is most likely that you are wired at night and can have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep. The calmer you can get your nervous system before sleep, the better. Read a relaxing book, meditate, have a relaxing bath or listen to music. Calm yourself down.
10. PHYSICAL HEALING COMPLEMENTS ALL ASPECTS OF YOUR HEALING.
Know that the physical healing of adrenal fatigue is one part. It is essential to look at the emotional and mental aspects, and to get in touch with that spiritual part of you. We are holistic beings, and we need to heal the whole of us, not just the physical part of us.
AND ONE LAST NOTE, GO AND GIVE SOMEONE A HUG; AND IF THERE IS NO-ONE AROUND GIVE YOURSELF A HUG!!!
DO THIS EVERY DAY!!! 🙂
Best wishes on your healing journey.