Sunday, April 13, 2014

30 Days of Chilling Out

We've all seen the articles that litter Facebook and Pinterest, 30 days to a better this, 30 days to lower that. Sometimes we need to take a step back and rest! Rest is talked about (I don't know the #, but a lot!) of times in the Bible. It is even linked to our very salvation (see Hebrews 4, Proverbs 10:22, & Romans 4:5).

I have struggled with adrenal fatigue since high school and have come a long way in learning how to treat it, but it has hit again recently, probably just from raising 2 toddler boys. The biggest symptom for me lately is over-reacting to stress. Things that most people can take in stride just really put me over the top as far as stress goes. That rational part of my brain (which, thank God, still works) is saying, "Really? That is going to bother you right now?" but whatever other part of my brain that has spawned just takes over. This is a big clue that adrenals are an issue. It seems that it would be the opposite, and that your body would just be too tired to care about anything, but I have not the time or energy to give a scientific explanation for it right now, OK? :) 

So when I discovered this guy and his method of re-booting metabolism (and all hormones along with it), I decided to give it a try. Each of us has different stressors that set us off, so I evaluated what mine were and made some "rules" for myself, although they don't really seem like rules.

  • Eat a big breakfast very soon after getting up- this starts the metabolism and turns off your stress hormones that carry you through the night.
  • Eat whenever I'm hungry. (I had actually stopped getting normal hunger cues and would go straight to low blood sugar symptoms right out of nowhere, so I had to start planning my meals ahead of time so I'd be ready before the crash (the crash stresses the adrenals!)
  • ...without worrying too much about WHAT I'm eating. Eat what I want. (This was interesting, because when I pay attention to what I really want, I realize a lot of it is healthy. I don't feel deprived, because I can have the frozen pizza if I really want it, but do I? Or do I want a big chicken salad with veggies, nuts, cheese, and avocado? When you don't feel deprived, you're free to make better choices.)
    (for more on what to eat, see the link above)
  • Wean off of coffee. (OK, I take that back! This one DID seem like a rule, a very difficult one! I only have one cup a day, but it makes me feel bad. I get shaky and jittery and just feel ug. I was still chasing that high I used to get from it when I was more healthy. That reaction is another sign of adrenal fatigue, by the way.)
  •  When my 2 YO is whining (big stressor for me!), STOP what I'm doing and listen and play with him or do whatever he needs. 
  • No internet after dinner. (I need this time to wind down, and the internet winds me UP.)
  • No debating. (only for 30 days, not forever, bwahahaha!)
  • No talk radio. (Again, a personal stressor for me. For people who don't ever listen to it, I would SUGGEST it, ;) )
  •  Nothing suspenseful on TV.
  • Take some time each day to meditate and kind of turn my mind off, maybe a power-nap.
  • Rest one day per week. (Turns out, the best day for me right now is Sunday, duh! :) But I usually rest a little on Sat, and little on Sun, and a little the day the boys go to their church program. My goal is to work harder on Saturdays so I can have one day to chill!)
  • Get lots of sleep at night. 
I'm doing this for the month of April.