You can't pour from an empty cup.
- Ursula Foster
Ok Mommas, let's talk about you for a hot second. We tend to be the worst patients because we are too busy taking care of everyone else...the kids need school supplies, the dog has anxiety from fireworks, the husband can't find his keys. You name it, we run after everyone else keeping their lives together and leave ourselves the few late minutes in the day to collect ourselves, read a juicy click-bait article, or maybe *gasp* drink a glass of wine. Now I'm not knocking any of those, mainly because I have used them myself to re-group after a hectic day, but we need a little more love than that. We are in this weird calendar limbo where kids are about to hit a schedule and we don't need to host our out-of-town relatives. Before our lives get even more topsy-turvy, I'm gonna give you a few practical steps to keep your sanity and not get the holiday burnout.
Step One: Get Some Sleep
This is easier said than done, trust me I know. But now is the perfect time to implement habits to keep the holidays a tad more sane. The nice thing about back to school time is the routines! It is easier to set a daily schedule of pick up kids, family time, then bed. And it's not just kid's bedtime I'm talking about here. When you have a consistent bedtime it actually helps your brain wind-down and shifts your body into that rest and digest mode (parasympathetic state). When our bedtime varies our brain gets confused. Now I know you've probably heard someone gripe about this before so here are a few practical ways to help make this happen:
- Turn off screens (TV, smart phones, computers) at least 1 hour before bed
- Make a mini night time ritual of meditation/prayer/mindfulness <- There are tons of apps out that help with this (Calm is one of my favorites)
- Have a bedtime tea <- Having a smell associated with bedtime, especially if it's from a tasty herbal tea, can help kick you into that drowsy state
- Still having a hard time sleeping? Come see me and get your hormones checked!
Step Two: Support your Adrenals!
Your Adrenals are the tiny glands on top of your kidneys. They are the ones that make it possible to deal with all of life's glorious curve-balls. So now that you have a routine (thank you, school bus that we will be perpetually late for) your body can adjust to the little every day demands. Giving your adrenals some support means that by the time the insanity of the holidays rolls around, you will be able to tackle it head on and not see it as a looming, overwhelming challenge. Cortisol (the one of the hormones secreted from your adrenals) is essential for life (heart beat, brain functioning). If we don't keep our adrenals happy and healthy, your body can shunt different hormones (think the libido kind) to make an emergency supply. Your body will be more focused on running from all of there proverbial bears than keeping your libido rocking and rolling. So then you have struggling adrenals and no libido because, let's be real, life is hard some days. So here are simple steps to take care of them now when stress is relatively low.
- Limit caffeine intake: I'm not against coffee, but more than 1-2 cups per day actually hurts your adrenals
- Stay away from carbs for a quick energy crash: we tend to crave these (and salt) when our adrenals are under duress. Stick with something that has more fiber.
- Talk to your Naturopathic Doctor about adrenal adaptogenic herbs that will help you fortify your ability to handle stress.
- Get your cortisol checked with a blood or saliva test from your favorite doctor.
Notice a similarity in the list? That's because sleep and cortisol are in a close relationship. It's not as simple as having low or high cortisol because your levels can fluctuate throughout the day. Having the wrong fluctuation at the wrong time can mean insomnia, anxiety, weight gain, and a whole slew of metabolism issues. Having a doctor that is well versed in the interpretation of symptoms and labs is the key to having optimal health.
Need help getting back in balance? I would love to join you on your journey to optimal health!