Updated: Sep 26, 2020
Do you often feel like you're dragging yourself through the day? Do you frequently experience a lull in your energy around mid-afternoon? And do you crash hard most evenings barely making it to bed?
You may feel like being tired all the time is just a part of getting older and that it's normal to feel this way, but guess what? It's actually NOT normal! Common yes. But it's not normal.
We all experience lulls in our energy from time to time especially during certain phases of our cycle, but if low energy and craving stimulants to get through the day have become the norm for you, then it's a good idea to start taking care of your adrenal health to avoid burning out.
Here are 5 things that could be stressing your adrenals and making you feel tired all of the time:
Too Much Coffee Coffee stimulates the release of stress hormones and increases blood sugar (this is why it's quite common to crave something sweet shortly after consuming coffee). Too much of this can leave you feeling sluggish and fatigued over time. So if you find yourself reaching for coffee or even chocolate to get through your day, then it's a good idea to give your body a break from the caffeine habit.
Tip: Switch to herbal tea for a few weeks taking note of how you feel. You might feel sluggish for the first day or two, but you'll likely notice more balanced energy throughout the day, an improvement in your sleep and fewer cravings.
Stress Stress has many forms, among them are physical (pain), environmental (exposures), emotional (guilt, disappointment, worry, and fear), mental (large to-do lists), and dietary (nutrient deficits). Often we are dealing with more than one form of stress at a time. This contributes to slow digestion, inflammation, cravings, and depletes your energy and vitality. Stress has many health implications which is why stress-management is essential.
Tip: Give yourself permission to reconnect with yourself by taking breaks when you need it. Become mindful of when you are experiencing negative emotions and practice gratitude for what's going right. Get in the habit of controlling your breath through deep breathing and living in the moment.
Not sure if you're stressed? Sign-up and get my FREE How Stressed Are You? Checklist to find out if you may be experiencing low cortisol or high cortisol + more tips for controlling stress!
Skipping meals or eating processed foods If your body thinks it's starving, this sends stress signals to the brain. Skipping meals or choosing foods deprived of nutrients causes blood sugar instability which leaves you susceptible to making poor food choices, undernourished, and tired. It's a vicious cycle that can destroy your energy.
Tip: Eat a protein or fiber-rich breakfast to promote blood sugar stability and prevent mid-morning cravings. Add more servings of veggies and fat to your meals throughout the day to stay nourished and satiated.
Need more tips? Download my "Quick-start Guide to Hormone Healthy" to learn which foods your hormones love.
Poor sleep Whether you're going to bed too late, waking up frequently throughout the night, or just can't sleep because of a racing mind - poor quality sleep disrupts your body's natural cortisol rhythm. Cortisol is meant to elevate in the morning helping you wake up and then slowly decline throughout the day helping you fall asleep at night. If you have a difficult time getting out of bed in the morning or don't feel rested without a cup of coffee, then that's a sign that your hormones may need some love and support.
Tip: Avoid stimulating activities up to an hour before bed to allow your nervous system to calm down. Take an Epsom salt bath with lavender essential oil to relax, or try drinking some chamomile tea with honey before bed.
Need more tips on how to get better sleep? Grab my "9 Tips for Getting Better Sleep" Guide.
Little or lack of exercise Exercise is an effective way to deal with stress. It helps control cortisol production and reduce adrenaline. So if your body is often in fight or flight mode from all the things mentioned above without means to counteract that, then these hormones are left to wreak havoc causing inflammation, weight gain, and slow metabolism.
Tip: Commit to taking a short 20-minute walk after dinner, or download a fitness app (Pop Fit Sugar is a great one) and start making the time to move your body a little bit each day and work your way up.
The good news is that there are many things we can do to improve our energy, and it involves dietary and lifestyle habits that support hormone balance. The adrenals are a major factor in overall hormone health, which is why supporting the adrenals is a KEY!