Guest Post by Pam Hird
Life can be stressful! Trying to juggle family; kids and work can be even more stressful! Are you burnt out? Excess stress is the key ingredient to adrenal fatigue, which can lead to total burn out. Your adrenal glands are known as the ‘gland of stress’. It is their job to help your body deal with stress from every possible source, ranging from a stressful job, relationship problems, study, injury, and illness. Your adrenals also secrete hormones and are responsible for many functions in the body, these include:
- Energy production – conversions of fats and proteins into energy
- Normal blood sugar regulation
- Cardiovascular and gastrointestinal function
- Fat storage
Fast-paced and a high-stress lifestyle, along with poor nutrition and lack of quality sleep, are a perfect recipe for burnout.
What are the symptoms of burn out?
- Tired in the morning, even though you have had plenty of sleep!
- You need coffee or other stimulates to help you get going in the morning
- Sweet and salty cravings
- Light headiness and/or dizzy spells
- You want to nap in the afternoon
- You are more awake after 6 pm
- You wake up in the early hours of the morning and struggle to get back to sleep
- Low mood or depression
- Brain fog
- Low libido
- Low-stress tolerance and easily irritated
- Muscle cramping, eye twitching or restless legs
- Weakened immune system
Can I test for burnout?
Yes, you can! The best way to test for burnout is via a saliva test or blood test, which will check your Cortisol levels.
I’m burnt out, what can I do?
- Get adequate sleep – go to bed before 10 pm
- Regular low to moderate impact exercise – walking, pilates, yoga.
- Practice meditation – there are many apps available to help with guided meditation or youtube has
- If you are a smoker, make a plan to cease smoking.
- Set boundaries in work, relationships, and family
- Self-care – schedule time for yourself to relax or do something you enjoy
- Set some achievable goals to help reduce stress
- Reframe your thoughts to make them seem less negative
- Eat a fresh, whole food diet, high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatories
- 6-8 servings of vegetables per day and make your plate colourful, as different colours provide different nutrients
- Eat good quality protein from meat, fish, eggs, and legumes. Adequate protein provides essential amino acids for neurotransmitter production that helps regulate mood and memory. Protein is also needed for tissue repair
- Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and sugar as they rob the body of energy
- Avoid known food allergens
- Include foods high in B vitamins such as whole grains, nuts, and seeds
- Include foods high in Vitamin C in your diets such as citrus fruits, strawberries, and broccoli
- Include foods high in magnesium such as leafy greens, nuts, and seeds
- Switch the table salt for Himalayan or sea salt
- Eat small regular meals to help regulate blood sugar and avoid overeating
- Increase your intake of essential fatty acids such as oily fish, nuts, and seeds
- Avoid deep fried, processed and packaged foods
- Drink a minimum of 2L of water a day
- Magnesium – to help, regulate the stress response, decrease muscle tension and support energy production
- B Vitamins – to help support the nervous system and energy production
- Vitamin C – to help support the adrenal glands and immune system
- Licorice & Rehmannia – to help support the adrenal glands
- Withania, Siberian Ginseng & Rhodiola – to help the body adapt to stress
Please note: before taking any of the above supplements its important to talk to your practitioner as they can interact with prescribed medications. Also talk to your practitioner about testing nutrient status and therapeutic doses of the nutrients mentioned.
Disclaimer: The contents of this blog post are for informational purposes only and it does not replace medical advice, opinion, diagnosis, or treatment. The information provided through this blog post should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease. If you have or suspect you may have a medical or psychological problem, you should consult your appropriate health care provider. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read in this blog post.
Guest Post by Pam Hird
Hello! My name is Pam. I’m a Naturopath, Nutritionist and Personal Trainer. I enjoy working with men and women to help them create a happier and healthier life. It doesn’t have to be complicated. I can give realistic ways to help them reduce stress, sleep and eat well.
My experience with not only helping hundreds of high achievers with their health and wellbeing but also my personal journey through high-performance sporting and career roles where I shifted from burnout, depression and anxiety to balance and bouncing forward!