In my last blog Battling Adrenal Fatigue part 1, I spoke about what adrenal fatigue is and the signs and symptoms associated with it in order to give you an idea of what to recognize and pay attention to. I know that left many of you think “well what now?” so even though I highly recommend seeking out a medical practitioner, there are some things you can take into your own hands to help reduce the stress on your body to either prevent adrenal fatigue from occurring, or to recover a little quicker if you are already battling with the disorder.
I know we are all skeptics at heart, and believe me when I say I am definitely the worst for it. I really was not convinced that simple lifestyle changes could help make a big difference but after becoming more open minded to the matter, I found that by adopting the following lifestyle changes as much as possible, have, over time made me feel a lot better. Now I realize that lifestyle is probably the most important factor in your road to recovery.
Lifestyle changes you can make
Be in bed before 10 pm every night
Try to get in bed before 10 pm every night and sleep for 8 hours or more where possible. Getting to bed at that time regardless of how many hours you sleep is extremely important for your cortisol levels.
Sleep in until 9 am whenever possible
It has been shown that sleeping between the hours of 7 am and 9 am has the most healing properties.
Look for things that make you laugh laugh laugh
Laughter really is the best medicine. So hang our your funny friends, watch more comedies.
Acknowledge one thing every day that you are grateful for and reinforce positive vibes
Nourish your body
Nourish your body and eat the foods it needs to help it heal. Even though I love to flexible diet and enjoy the foods I love, it's important with a condition like this to ensure you are getting enough of the right nutrients first.
Analyze the foods you eat
Learn which foods make you feel good and not so good ( keep a food diary). You may be prone to food sensitivities or intolerances so pay attention to what makes you feel energized and good and what makes you feel lethargic and bloated
Don’t be afraid to salt your food with sea salt
Most people with adrenal fatigue have lower blood pressure as well as sodium loss within the cells. So get out the salt shaker and use it. Himalayan sea salt is also great, however, avoid processed table salt (pictured).
Eat protein, fats and carbs
Combine protein, carbs, and fats in every meal – this will help keep your blood sugar stable throughout the day and minimize and energy crashes.
Eat whole foods
Eat as many whole foods as possible with colorful vegetables to help get a variety of different nutrients.
Reduce carb intake in the morning
Reduce carb intake in the morning and have protein and fats instead then slowly increase your carbs in each meal as the day goes on. This will help your circadian rhythm cycle (cortisol wave) to normalize.
Reduce stress in your life and incorporate anti-stress activities such as meditation.
Eliminate energy suckers
Eliminate energy suckers (e.g. stressful people) from your life. You only have a minimal amount of energy as it is, you don’t need it sucked out of you.
Do not overdo it
Do not overdo it in the gym train 20-40 minutes. If you feel stuffed the next day it may have been too much so back off. Remember too much training can also be a stress.
Get some vitamin D
Go outside and get some vitamin D from the sunshine.
Take a probiotic
Take a probiotic to help optimize your gut health. – optimal gut health is important for everything.
Chew your food
Chew your food as much as you can – this will help with digestion as if you have adrenal fatigue you may have low levels of HCL, which is used to break down foods in the stomach.
Do exercise and activities that you enjoy
Exercise that you actually enjoy increases endorphins.
Have downtime as much as possible
You need RNR whenever you can. Incorporate naps, meditation, yoga, massage, time with loved ones or even just some “me” time.
Practice relaxation exercises
Try deep belly breathing, yoga or meditation.
Take frequent vacations if possible
Nothing works better to de-stress and reset yourself than taking a quick relaxing getaway.
What to avoid if you think you have adrenal fatigue
- Getting over tired
- Caffeine, refined sugar, alcohol
- Coffee, even decaf
- Staying up past 11 pm
- Pushing yourself too hard
- Being too hard on yourself
- Foods that you have a sensitivity too
- Skipping breakfast – never skip breakfast
- Avoid fruit in the morning unless you exercise in the morning then you can tolerate a small amount of fruit.
I hope this will help some of you! They are simple things but they are very effective! Remember it takes ample time to rebalance your hormones and recover from adrenal exhaustion so take it one day at a time.