Essentially, we have two nervous systems – fight, flight, freeze and rest, relax, digest, sleep, and have sex. We were built to live only 20% of the time in fight, flight, freeze, and the rest of the time enjoying other things. I don’t know ANYONE living that life right now!
Chronic stress keeps us in a low-level fight, flight, freeze response that has adrenal glands constantly pumping out adrenaline and cortisol, and then they don’t get adequate time to rest and replenish. Signs this is becoming a problem may include disturbed sleep, anxiety, digestive issues, mood swings, and irritability.
And if you are experiencing these – here are ways to reduce the impact on the adrenals and help them rest:
Reduce or cut out caffeine. Take calming herbal infusions instead and when you need a boost, smell rosemary essential oil, or chew on a cardamom pod for a similar effect.
Don’t get hungry. When our blood sugar drops our adrenals have to release more adrenaline to bring it back up again until we eat. So, a handful of nuts or seeds every 3 hours really helps. Have a box by the kettle, in your car, and at your desk.
Supplement with herbs. Herbs like liquorice (as long as you don’t have high blood pressure) or ashwagandha are adrenal restoratives and support your adrenals back to full health. Buy from a reputable supplier or visit your local medical herbalist for a proper consultation and a tailor-made remedy for you.
Sometimes making change to our health can really feel like too much which at times it adds to the stress that you feel every day. Which is why, it is best to do things one at a time so you don’t feel overwhelmed.
And the best way to not get overwhelmed is simply REST. That is it – simple, but profound. It may mean cleaning up your sleep hygiene and drinking a sleepy tea at night. It may mean building a 15-minute rest into your day that is non-negotiable. It may mean ditching some of that stuff on your to-do list. Whatever it means – do that.
Secondly, the single most useful herb for women who are overwhelmed, IMHO is Ashwagandha. You can take it as a powder in a milky drink before bed, it’s now included in some lovely herbal teas you can just pick up on your next supermarket shop. Ashwagandha supports the adrenals (they will be working very hard if you are overwhelmed), improves quality of sleep, and reduces anxiety.
Now it goes without saying that one herb will never suit everyone – but this one is a good start.
So, there you have it. Just 2 things to do. Before you know it, you’ll be two steps closer to feeling better and ready to add in one more thing.