WORK-LIFE BALANCE / OCT. 25, 2014
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How to Manage Adrenal Burnout

You’re doing everything you can to succeed in your career -- but in the quest for success, there is such a thing as too much too fast. When you’re constantly on the go and pushing your body to new levels of stress, you’re ripe for what’s known as adrenal burnout. 

You might not give much thought to those tiny, pea-sized glands that help you to regulate stress, manage energy, fight off diseases and so much more. But when your adrenal glands are constantly working overtime --  creating that “fight or flight” response in the body in response to your busy schedule -- eventually, they get burned out. 

That’s when the coffee stops working, you get sluggish in the afternoons, or you just generally feel fatigued, irritable or burned out. In the more advanced stages of adrenal burnout, you’ll start to gain weight, your hormones will be really out of whack and you won’t be sleeping well.

Whether you’re in the advanced stages or you’re just starting to feel the effects of adrenal fatigue, you have some ways to manage it. As you’ll see, they tend to correspond to an overall healthier lifestyle.

Make time for exercise

You may feel like you don’t have time for exercise with your busy schedule, but the truth is, you can’t afford not to exercise. Regular exercise will help you keep your stress levels in check and give you a break from your hectic days. Ideally, you’ll get at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise, such as walking, cycling or swimming, every day, but if you don’t have time for all that, even 10 minutes at a time is fine, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In fact, mild exercise is probably best, since vigorous exercise can increase cortisol levels -- something that’s already happening in excess when you have adrenal burnout. 

Allow yourself some down time -- especially just before bed

Turn the lights down low and turn off your electronics and your TV at least an hour before bed, signaling your body that it’s nearing time to sleep. That can help you get a better night’s sleep and allow you to wake up refreshed. Likewise, find other ways to hit your “off button” during the day, suggests Dr. Mark Hyman. Yoga, massage or a hot bath with lavender oil, Epsom salt and baking soda can help you lower cortisol, says Dr. Hyman. 

Seek a practitioner to guide you through a cleanse

A lot of times, what you’re eating is not helping. If your diet is full of sugars and simple carbs -- as are the diets of many busy professionals -- chances are you’re not giving your body what it needs to heal, and what it needs to really nourish your cells. A liver cleanse will help get all of your organs back to optimal working order. In the typical liver cleanse, you’ll avoid sugar, dairy, red meat, gluten, corn, caffeine, and alcohol, and add in supplements that support your liver and organs. It’s best to work with a natural health practitioner who can guide you through the process and counsel you when you’re on the verge of quitting. 

Feeling tired and irritable is a common condition among the hard workers of the world -- but you don’t have to suffer. Take care of your body and your body will respond in kind.

 


Image courtesy of Florian Simeth, Flickr

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