I haven’t written in a while and whilst I would love to tell you I have been on a wildly amazing adventure unfortunately it’s quite the opposite. As you may know from my previous blogs and posts I am no stranger to Fatigue and was first diagnosed with Adrenal Fatigue just over 4 years ago although my symptoms started around 7 years ago. I thought my lowest point was when I crashed 4 years ago hearing the AF specialist say “Your results are in the lowest 5% I have EVER seen, how on earth are you getting out of bed every day?!” – which was obviously enough for me to make radical changes over the years, however only ever getting my energy up to 40% – maybe 50% on a good day, no matter what I did (I exhausted – excuse the pun– a long list of alternative therapies, healings and treatments over the years) and it can’t be said that I haven’t tried! So when I collapsed to the ground just before Easter I felt myself right back to square one, only worse as I had new symptoms to add to the list!
When I first was diagnosed with AF it wasn’t spoken about or recognised as much as it is today, in fact I got quite a negative response about it from some who didn’t believe it was a “real illness“. Thankfully the severity of AF are becoming more recognised by Drs now and with more press on the subject however so many of us are still constantly on the go and can’t seem to ever catch up or get on top of the never ending to-do list. The physical, mental and emotional stresses we juggle on a day to day basis are not sustainable for our body to cope with and this keeps us in a permanent state of Fight or Flight (the sympathetic nervous system) and we have lost the ability to relax and slip into our natural state of rest and digest (the parasympathetic nervous system). When we are constantly on the go our body is pumping out cortisol and adrenaline to keep us going, we eat sugar, consume excess caffeine and other stimulates to keep us going throughout the day and the adrenal glands (which are small little fellas above the kidneys) simply can’t cope and burn out. Digestive issues can also occur as energy is sent away from the digestive system to arms, legs and brain – which need energy if our body is threat – it is meant to be occasional although for many it is constant and this is not sustainable on daily basis.
Typical symptoms of AF include: dizziness, sugar cravings, brain fog, lack of concentration/focus, weight gain, mood swings, fatigue, not feeling refreshed after a full nights sleep, disrupted sleep, irregular body temperature, depression/anxiety, unable to handle stress/constantly feeling overwhelmed, palpitations and low sex drive.
There is no magic pill that makes this go away, changes have to happen in your diet, lifestyle and mindset. It takes time and can be frustrating at times.
My burn out is caused by a variety of stresses that have accumulated over the years to include moving my family abroad (7 years ago which was the starting point) followed by coming up to 10 moves over these years. I am also a mum of 2 which is demanding and stressful, plus I run my own business – my body just can’t cope with the stress and burns out quickly and often.
I have learnt so much over the years and made huge adjustments to my diet and lifestyle which has helped me hugely physically and mentally however despite all I know I haven’t mastered it perfectly and still have self sabotaging days where I get fed up and binge on sugar or indulge in a few glasses of wine (always paying the price after however it feels good in the moment to rebel) I am human and not a superhero so learnt to notice and practice progress over perfection.
I had no choice but to take the last month off work (I would be a pretty crap health coach if I didn’t practice what I preach!), I have been unable to focus, function or concentrate and I haven’t had any motivation or inspiration to write/create/post. I started my business and journey to share my passion authentically so it feels wrong to post on social media for the sake of my business, even though I love and value what I have created, I love and value myself and health much more. Lots of you have said you have missed my posts so I will be getting back into recipes and regular blogs very soon, I promise!
I have however, really been enjoying a digital detox which felt strange at first but quickly became refreshing and freeing, I strongly recommend this to anyone feeling overwhelmed, delete the apps from your phone and only check on your PC if you have the desire to do so for a minimal amount of time every day if needed. I used this valuable time to assess what I want from my life/career going forward, I have achieved some amazing things over the years but since being back in the UK I lost my mojo, I found myself not enjoying many elements of my work (mainly the blends and the mountain of issues/stresses I have had with them). I was working to 11pm most nights and feeling like I was never getting anywhere apart from a major burn out! It has been a really hard decision but I have decided to finish production of the blends (the fun part for me was working to create a product which exceeded my expectations and bringing it to market) however I have been trying to run this element of my business alone which is not fun, hard work and too much stress for one person! To heal from AF I have to manage my stress so this is key to regaining my energy as is yet another move that I have got coming up in 2 weeks! Thankfully this is the final move for us as we have bought a lovely PERMANENT family home!
There will always also be stresses that can’t be eliminated (such as the kids!) which require a shift in mindset to be able to manage and deal with the stress in a healthier way. I personally find that taking time out for me is key so I recently joined an art class which is another passion of mine and taken up golf lessons and by giving myself time I am calmer with them (most of the time!). Daily meditation, relaxation and reflection has also been key to regaining my energy as is eating a balanced diet.
Being a health coach myself I hear my story rewritten and edited daily through the voice of others who are also juggling too many balls too and I am sharing this today to let you know that you are not alone and if you don’t listen to your body and start to take care of yourself then you could be at risk of burning out too.
If you are struggling with any energy or overwhelm issues please reach out, I am not taking on any new clients at the moment but would love to hear from you to offer some support or other help.