To piggy back on the last post about setting intentions for practicing better self care in 2019, let's dive a little deeper into something that can sabotage even the best attempts at self care - stress.
We live in a fasted paced, ever changing world these days. The demands of keeping up with your career, family, aging parents, and social circles (in person and on social media), can leave even the most organized gal feeling like she's drowning at times.
While there are benefits to having some stress in your life (helping to get things done, having new experiences, pushing beyond a comfort zone for growth, etc), too much can leave you feeling emotionally tapped and physically exhausted - all due in part to your adrenal glans being maxed out.
The adrenals reside on top of your kidneys - one on each side. They're responsible for releasing a variety of hormones that play a role in maintaining the balance of blood sugar, blood pressure, as well as supporting energy metabolism, immune function, mood, and more - all the things you want to function well when you're living a busy full life.
However, these tiny but mighty endocrine powerhouses can get overwork with all that life throws at you - leaving you feeling tired, moody, less able to focus, even less interested in getting out of bed in the morning. Sound familiar?
To make an accurate assessment of your adrenal health, it's always a good idea to check with your primary care provider. In the meantime, if you're feeling tapped (especially after the holiday season), here are some ways you can support your adrenal health and give you body a stress break - even for just a few minutes!
1. Getting enough quality sleep (see last week's post)
2. Regular gentle movement that you enjoy ~ Movement that's too intense or that you feel pushed to do will not provide the stress relief you're looking for. Consider a walk outside or a restorative yoga class.
3. Experiment with meditation. The fine folks at Green Mountain At Fox Run, put together an excellent beginners meditation audio HERE
4. Singing in the car or shower can actually stimulate your parasympathetic nervous system (the calm, rest, digest, nervous system). You now have full permission to belt out your favorite tunes, no matter who's listening!
5. Getting a regular dose of vitamin C (fruits, veggies) and B vitamins (whole grains, legumes) will help support adrenal cells and hormone production.
6. Consider taking adaptogen herbs (after consulting with a functional medicine or naturopathic doctor) such as ashwagandha, rhodiola, and siberian genseng
7. Stimulate your "love hormone" oxytocin, which has the power to minimize the stress response. Oxytocin is released during sex, childbirth, and lactation. But in case you're not in the "right place at the right time" for either of those, you can also stimulate oxytocin production by hugging or petting and animal. Pets give unconditional love and will listen to any troubles you have - anything for a belly or butt scratch!
Chillax'n Wishes ~ Amanda