It is the mid month of the new year. You may be feeling some post holiday blues, wishing that the holidays never ended! Because you are now finding yourself more tired than before.
A few months ago, I shared on what is and some of the controversies of adrenal fatigue, its associated symptoms and strategies to improve from it. Perhaps some of you may find the article useful or it may serve as a reminder for you to shift your focus on caring for your adrenals -- which are highly associated with how our body manages our daily energy expenditure.
I am not sure how many of you have felt this before --- after a holiday or two, you feel more tired than ever before, wishing that you have more holidays after the holiday to "recuperate". And you find yourself dragging to work or to even to get up.
These are possibly signs that you have not really been well-rested even during the holiday. Yes, IT IS POSSIBLE TO HAVE POST HOLIDAY BURNOUT TOO, and not just from your daily working life or mum-life!
Start listening to your body, and I urge you not to use work to "mask" these tell-tale signs.
Now that work and school month has begun, and it may seem impossible to go on a holiday so soon, below are some suggested strategies that you can incorporate right now, this moment, to prevent a deeper spiral with your energy levels.
- Right Type, Adequate Amount of Physical Activity: two important keywords : TYPE and AMOUNT. If you find yourself very tired, then it is best to either opt for 30-45 minutes of walks or swims first, or a 10 minute continuous intense workout.
- Breathing: Breath is life. Without which, our human body is basically non-functional. Go for a slow or therapeutic or diaphragmatic breathing class, or get on YouTube and search for one. The goal here is to energize your body with INTENTIONAL-FOCUS breathing for at least 20minutes a day or more.
- Sleep: Sleep IS possibly the best antidote for anyone who struggle with energy levels. The trick here, is HOW TO SLEEP DEEP and WAKE UP FEELING REJUVENATED AND REFRESHED. Having a sleep routine usually is the key. Be intentional to shut off all television and mobile screens 2 hours before bed or by 9pm. Put on your favourite instrumental slow playlist or get hands on with musical instrument or coloring. Draw your curtains to block out any external lights from outside. Singapore is a city state full of lights and those lights CAN affect your circadian rhythm.
- Caffeine/Tea : This needs no introduction. Aim to cut off all caffeine sources by 12noon or better yet, not consume at all for a few weeks.
- Alcohol: This cannot be said enough, alcohol does not help with energy levels if you are feeling fatigued. Plus the tendency to over-consume is pretty high. Sip on your favorite fermented drink ( Kombucha or Kefir or Yomeishu) or a hot herbal tea instead.
- Supplements: If really needed, some supplements can help to support adrenal health during this post holiday phase. Specifically, Magnesium, Zinc ( these usually come together as ZMA) and Liver Detoxification (milk thistle, tumeric and many more) or Ashwagandha and Rhodiola Rhosea. The trick here however is the dosage in the supplements. Always consult your physician or doctor if you are unsure. If whole foods are your preferred choice, opt for avocados, bananas, dark leaf greens, figs as these are rich sources of magnesium. Fresh oysters, pumpkin seeds, crabs, cashews are abundant in zinc.
- DARK Chocolate: yes go get that one to two small pieces of dark chocolate. And nope, dark chocolate ice cream does not really count. If you find yourself tending to over eat, then skip this.
- Tending your Emotional Health -- Holidays can be overwhelming if you have been meeting too many people at one go or several goes. Take care of your emotional health truthfully can certainly help support adrenal fatigue post holidays. Set some boundaries this period of time to take care of your own needs, be sure to communicate and explain to those around you if this isn't the usual practice you take. It may also help to enlist a close and trusted friend or counselor if needed to. This tender act is usually the most neglected part, especially for women, since we have a slight inclination to take on everything.
- Be Patient -- Know that getting back into the energized lifestyle will take some time, anywhere between 4-8 weeks. Depending on how fatigued you have been previously and how committed you are to your caring-for-adrenal routine, it can also take beyond 8 weeks. Be patient with the process. Rome wasn't built in a day.
- Start keeping and Writing a journal / Pray or Meditate on life affirming verses-- Which works for you?
Take some heart to find out which of the above works for you. If you feel better writing/journaling, I will suggest doing the old-school way of pen-and-paper, than typing on the electronic keyboard as you are less tempted to be surfing the internet or be exposed to the blue-screen devices again. Effective prayers works for some whose unshakeable core values are centered on God , for there is power in prayers and the tongue has the power of life and death. (Proverbs 18:21)
Feel free to explore other methods that can help your energy levels up again, just be sure to not get too distracted and hop from one method to method without fully committing to whichever method you decide for at least 4 weeks. (Dispel the "fear of missing out" or riding on the next trend.) Over the next few weeks, I will share a little more on some research-backed methods that can help one transit better from adrenal fatigue. If you are thinking of seeing a doctor (again) for a quick shot of energy, consider again why this may be happening. (Unless it is absolutely life-threatening.) Only if you are willing and ready to dig deep and decide to make a change, no amount of shots of energy will really help. ( And you don't have to go through the change alone )