For me, learning how to recover from adrenal fatigue was no picnic. Not only was I consistently tired, but I was always very sad all the time and prone to emotional breakdowns. My doctor’s first reaction was that I should be given anti-depressant medication, but that was not for me. I knew there had to be another way and I started my research.
My top 9 steps to recover from Adrenal Fatigue:
- For Adrenal Gland repair, my naturopathic doctor suggested doses of Licorice. “Licorice?” Yes. Apparently Licorice is not only good for digestion but also effective in reducing stress. Since the dosage per patient is dependent on your individual situation, I would highly suggest that you seek professional advice on the appropriate use of this supplement. My naturopathic doctor? Dr. Michelle Lo, CSEP-CPT, Hon Bkin, ND. I would recommend her in an instant. You can connect with her at www.DrMichelleND.com or www.natliving.ca.
- Secondly – Adopt a practice of Mindfulness. Now I had always meditated, but I wasn’t consistent with it. During my recovery, this became a daily practice and I truly believe that it was a lifesaver for my mental well-being.
- Get Moving – One thing that I had not been consistent with was daily exercise. I had become so consumed with my daily routine that I had neglected my formally rigid six days a week exercise program. And the absence of daily exercise certainly took a toll on me. Regular exercise increases the production of endorphins, which are known to help produce positive feelings and reduce the perception of pain. Without daily exercise especially when you are subject to constant stress, your immune system becomes affected and your journey into the downward cycle is accelerated.
- Discover new things – one of the things that helped my recovery was meeting new people and discovering new things. For example – I clearly remember the shock I had when I was speaking about my experience to a complete stranger and she said to me “Do you have a martyr complex?”. That caused me to sit back and reflect on how I had viewed success in my life – the values I held and the actions I took had all led me to this point in my life. And I realized that it was not worth it. That I had so much more to offer than just my professional skills. My journey in personal development and connecting with new people expanded my vision and provided the foundation for what would become my new life.
- Start rebuilding joy – Because I had worked so hard and had been so focused on the project’s success, I had got caught up in corporate politics and forgot about what genuinely brought me joy. Once I made the decision to fully live again, I learnt to laugh once more, to see the joy in simple things, to be grateful for every simple pleasure, to dance, to smile authentically. I truly learned to live again. How? By refusing to focus on the current state but instead to re-connect with my inner self….my passion. And to connect with souls that were like minded – constantly seeking the attainment of their full potential and accepting nothing less than their best.
- Use the Power of Gratitude – This was by far one of the best techniques that I learnt in order to get my Positive Mental Attitude (PMA) back on track. Gratitude is the one emotion that allows us to feel and express thankfulness and appreciation. Science has proven that through expressing gratitude, we immediately achieve an improvement in our mental, physical and relational well-being. Being grateful also impacts your overall experience of happiness – a state that we all yearn to have consistently. So, I maintained a daily gratitude journal and started thinking of everything I was grateful for – no matter how small. And a funny thing happened…my demeanor actually improved. Things were suddenly not as bad as I had previously thought. And I started experiencing true joy once again.
- Breathe deeper – No one pays attention to their breathing, possibly because it is something that we take for granted. But the art of breathing is very important. Most of us breath shallowly – into our chest. Which actually has been proven to help accentuate feelings of anxiety. Instead try to always breathe into your diaphragm – making sure that your stomach expands as you breathe in. Doing this for 10 minutes every day will greatly enhance your state of calm and help reduce the possibility and impact of anxiety attacks.
- Eat healthier – During my journey, I discovered the benefits of Plant Based eating and instantly made the switch from being a carnivore to being a vegan. And I have to tell you that I have been all the better for it. My energy levels have improved; my sleep is now richer and I am more creative and more focused than I have been in years. Should you go plant based? You need to discover this for yourself. Everyone is different and what may have worked for me may not necessarily work for you., The proof is in the pudding though. Whatever route you choose, please stay to as natural a food source as possible and avoid processed food options and anything that has preservatives or additives as ingredients.
- Sleep Deeper – now this one was a BIG one for me. During my assessment, I found that I had actually been getting a max of 3 hours of deep sleep per night. So obviously, I was not allowing my body and brain cells to recover as they should. Fast forward to today, my sleep patterns have definitely changed… my sleep is incredibly deep and restful and I wake up “when I finish sleeping” – fully rested and ready to take on whatever the day brings. Some tips? Here are my top 3:
Make sure to turn off all electronics at least 2 hours before going to bed; Keep electronics out of the bedroom
Make sure that your bedroom is as dark as possible in order to facilitate the production of melatonin – the sleep producing hormone
Do a brain dump before going to bed. Also make sure to listen to calming meditative music which will calm your nerves and let you rest peacefully
BONUS – No caffeine after 3 pm. Caffeine is known to block the sleep-inducing chemicals in the brain and to increase adrenaline production, making it hard for you to fall asleep. One study also found that caffeine can delay the timing of your body
clock. These effects will reduce your total sleep time. Caffeine also can reduce the
amount of deep sleep that you enjoy. So best to keep your caffeine consumption to
before noon. Wish I had known that before my system failure.