Guest article written by Jessica Donovan, Energetic Mama
You're a mum, you wake up to one of your children creeping into your bed in the early hours of the morning and your mind starts racing, you have a list of things to do today that is longer than your arm, you start worrying about getting it all done, about the daily juggling act of being a mum in business!
The adrenalin is already pumping before you get out of bed, the problem is you know you will be tired later when you need to be alert for that meeting or consultation with a client. When we are under any kind of stress, whether it be from a thought or a worry, getting the kids out of the house in the morning, an annoying customer or because of a looming deadline to get something done our adrenal glands start to work by secreting stress hormones. These stress hormones help to motivate us and become focused when immediate action is required. They 'amp up' our cardiovascular, nervous and muscular systems, which are needed to 'fight or flight' the stressful situation. They also shut down our digestive, immune and reproductive systems, which are generally not needed in an emergency situation.
To understand stress a little better let's go back to the caveman days to see how the stress system within our bodies works. Say you are hunting and you come across a predator. Immediately your stress hormones do their thing, your heart rate increases as does the blood to your muscles and brain. You are ready for action. Your mind is sharp, your body is rearing to go. You just have to make a choice, stay and defend yourself or bolt (fight or flight). There would usually be some physical movement and the stress hormones would be 'burnt off'. Stress was not an everyday occurrence and there was plenty of time to recover and replenish from the stressful event.
These days stress is almost constant! We rush from here to there, over committing ourselves, trying to juggle our roles as mothers, business owners, wives and home makers. Our stress hormones are being pumped from our adrenal glands in overtime causing them to become exhausted and depleted. High levels of unmanaged stress leads to 'adrenal fatigue' which can include any of the following symptoms
You can have any combination of these symptoms, in fact the classic sign of someone who has 'adrenal fatigue' is someone who is 'Tired and Wired'! They struggle to get out of bed in the morning, are constantly tired throughout the day but have trouble sleeping or waking too early too. Does that sound like you?
What can you do to improve your Adrenal health?
SLOW DOWN - take a breath, be present, and live with mindfulness. Don't let life pass you by, take it all in, make the most of every moment.
Get enough sleep – Aim for 10pm 'lights out' with a 30 minute bedtime routine from 9:30pm, you might take a bath or read a book.
Take time out for yourself to relax. Aim for 20 minutes relaxation time every day, go for a walk on the beach, lay down and stretch, play with a pet, have a bath, chat with a friend, laugh with your children, listen to music.
Turn off the Television and computer. Although many people think of screen time as down time it is stimulating and not conducive to relaxation.
Eat low G.I. Eliminate 'sugar' and 'white stuff ' from your diet. Ensure you eat protein at every meal.
Cut down on caffeine in coffee, tea, soft and energy drinks. Look out for caffeine in sports supplements too.
Jessica Donovan from Energetic Mama is a woman's holistic health expert who helps mums get their sparkle back and become a more energetic, calm and joyful version of themselves. She is a one stop shop for all things nutrition, stress and hormone related. Jessica combines her extensive naturopathic knowledge with a realistic, empathetic, inspiring and down to earth approach to empower women to look after themselves and take charge of their own wellbeing.
Jessica created her free guide '10 mistakes mums make that keep them overwhelmed, exhausted and out of balance' to help mums feel great again. Grab your copy here.