Tag Archives: perspective

Celebrating Book Week… in several ways!

Several of my friends with school age children have been having a few headaches trying to get to grips with book week and rustling up character costumes for their little ones to shuffle off to school in.  My husband and I had to do the same thing this week – we are attending an Adoption Activity Day and the theme of it is Book characters.  After asking my best friend, we decided we could go as Jack and Jill from the nursery rhyme – well… it’s in a book, right?

I also noticed that Dr Seuss, of Cat in the Hat fame, would have been 111 today.  Now, I remember reading most of his books when I was 3 or 4 and my Mum had just introduced me to the magic of the public library.  It kindled my love of books and my love of verse.  Some of the verses are actually really good to remember as adults.  They hold some very interesting truths.  So, todays blog is a bit of a cop out.  Here are some posters made by talented others!

Seuss think

I love this so much.  It is a quotation laden with promise.  Regardless of how institutionalised you are, everyone has an imagination.  You might need to relearn how to use it, but once you do… magic is unlocked.

Seuss love

This definitely explains why my marriage works!  We have compatible weirdness!

complications

Yeah… I always look for the complications.  I need to remember to look for the simple as well!

perspective

How very, very true.  This is also about cultivating an attitude of gratitude.

diversity

This is so very important to remember.  Being unique is one of the most awesome qualities we have, and it would be a shame to give it all up to be an homogeneous group of drones, regardless of what the mainstream media would like us to do!  In addition, this needs to be at the forefront of my mind on Saturday when I am faced with a room full of children, any of whom might be my future child.  I need to make sure I check them all out.

reading

If you ever come to my house, you will see just how much we love books here.  Yes, I find magic every time I pick one up.  Or even when I turn on my Kindle!  Books ROCK.

I wonder if I could dress up as the Cat in the Hat after all?

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Some ideas to help deal with Adrenal Fatigue, naturally

Adrenal what?

Yeah, I know, you may not have heard about it before, and if you haven’t well, lucky you.  I have noticed a distinct upswing in the number of people I know who are dealing with it recently.  That could be the people I am hanging out with (a lot of us have fertility issues and adrenal fatigue can be a contributing factor),  but after doing some research about it, I think adrenal fatigue is being caused by our modern lifestyles as well.

adrenal fatigue

What is it?  Effectively, it is the body burning out.  Adrenal fatigue is characterised by a disruption of your adrenal glands ability to make cortisol in the right amounts at the right time in response to stress.  Basically, it is your flight or fight response, and because it has been used soooo much, your body just can’t deal with it all any more.  Your adrenal glands (on top of your kidneys) are kicking out cortisol all the time, and it becomes background music in your chemical composition.  Your body can’t tell if it a sabre toothed tiger or that mountain of paperwork you need to run away from.  The adrenals keep pumping out the cortisol but the rest of the body pays it no attention.   So, why is it a problem?  Well, the adrenal glands are the bodies hormonal powerhouse.  They form the nexus of the feedback loops in the body co-ordinating the production of nearly every hormone in the body.  If they are overworked, then the hormonal balance in the body is going to be out of whack, pure and simple.

exhaustion

According to my research, there are three levels of adrenal fatigue.  The first level is the wired and tired stage.  It is characterised by high cortisol levels especially at night, leading to insomnia, insulin resistance and abdominal weight gain.  Often sufferers feel energised but in an edgy and wired sort of way.  The second level is the stressed and tired stage.  The sufferer will wake up early, like 3 am early, and then no be able to fall back to sleep.  Later in the day stressors kick in and they feel more awake.  According to the medics, in this stage, the cortisol level peaks early, then flattens out but there is generally a rise midday or in the early evening.  The third, and most serious, stage is burnout.  This is characterised by exhaustion, regardless of hours slept, a completely flat cortisol curve and in some cases low DHEA (a hormone which acts as a neurosteriod, among many other things) and thyroid hormone levels.  It is a dangerous place to be, not just because you feel mentally woolly and unable to think straight, but it is also associated with a higher risk of autoimmune disease.

lightbulb

Personally, I think I have been in each of these three stages at least once in my life, and quite possible more than that.  The disruptive sleep patterns and hormonal imbalances ring very, very true for me, not to mention the insulin resistance and the abdominal weight gain.   Every time I go to the doctor and they take their barrage of blood tests, they always come back telling me that everything is in balance… but I have been diagnosed with asymptomatic Poly-cystic Ovary Syndrome – which is also characterised by insulin resistance and a real difficulty in losing weight.  Hmmm.  I know self diagnosis is risky, but this is ticking some serious boxes for me.

vegetables

What can I do to turn this adrenal fatigue around?  Well, a change of diet is essential.  My research reveals that eating a diet high in brightly coloured vegetables, lean and clean protein and whole grain carbs will really, really help the levels of inflammation in the body.  If there are food you know you are sensitive to, but are still eating, then get them out of the diet as well.  One item it was interesting to find was that if you cut carbs entirely, then it will actually exacerbate adrenal fatigue, and not fix it.  Well… that explains my reaction to the Atkins diet and its variants that I have been on over the years!

You should also go to bed early… and by early I mean before 11pm.  Ideally before 10pm if you can manage it.  I have been trying to manage it since I began living on my own nearly 20 years ago… and so far I have not managed it.  You need to have lots of B vitamins in your diet.  If you are not getting it from your diet (green leafies and lean proteins), then by all means take a supplement.  B vitamins are food for the adrenals.  You need to cool inflammation in the body – you can do that by making sure that you get Omega 3 fatty acids in your diet along with lots of vitamin C and curcumin as well.  All these are known to lower systemic inflammation.  You need to make sure you are getting the nutrients your body needs.  Vitamin D, Selenium, magnesium, zinc are all incredibly important for thyroid and adrenal function.

water drop

Everyone knows you need to stay hydrated.  This is even more important in adrenal fatigue.  Adding some lemon juice to your glasses of water might help matters as well.  Plus it makes it taste a bit more interesting into the bargain.  You might want to consider using Adaptogenic herbs.  Herbs like ginseng, liquorice root and Astralgus are really good at counteracting the effects of excessive cortisol.  My research also suggests that you need to build rests into your day.  I am really bad at this.  I keep going until either I am at the end of my to do list, or I am nearly dead… whichever happens first.  One thing you should steer clear of though, is a lot of high impact and high energy exercise.  It is not going to help.  Exercise needs to be stretching and calming.  Restful.  A nice stroll in the spring sunshine, yoga, or tai chi sounds just the ticket.

change your perspective

And finally?  The best way to start treating your adrenal fatigue is to change your perspective.  It is actually possible that your definition of success might be killing you.  In modern times it is easy to compare your own life to the edited highlights of every one elses life, and you can sometimes feel that it is so important for you to do things better, harder, faster than everyone else.  Hello cortisol overload.  Changing how you define success might be the quickest and easiest way to start to revolutionise your life.

STRESSED to the maximum

We all know that stress is bad for us.  If you search on Google for remedies for stress you get over 22 million results back.  (At least 2 of those might be former blog posts from here, though I suspect it would take some searching to find)  However, as much as I try and lessen the stress of life and otherwise general existence, sometimes it just overwhelms you.  Today is one of those days.

stressed

When life gets to this point there are several things you can do.  First of all you can look at exactly what is stressing you out and see if you can do anything constructive about it.  So, for example, if you are in a traffic jam and are running late for a meeting, is there a chance of calling your appointment (hands free of course) and warning them that you will be late?  If yes, then hoorah.  If no, then tell yourself there is very little point in worrying about it because it is outside of your control.  (This latter thing may not be very helpful.  It usually doesn’t help me much!)

 

Assuming you have already done what you can about the stressful event, I sometimes try and think about it in terms of looking back from 5 years hence.  Will anyone (including yourself) actually remember this event that is totally stressing you out right now?  Is it one of those life changing events (in which case a level of stress involved is fine, but try and stay positive, or at least get positive out of the event) or is it one of those little things which are completely inconsequential in terms of life, the universe and everything?  I find that most of the things which stress me out fall into the latter category.  Sometimes, with this view, I take a deep breath, metaphorically pull on my big girl knickers and get on with it.  Other times, even this doesn’t work and then I know that this is a real stresser.

relax

So you get to the point that none of the tricks have worked, your shoulders are somewhere up near your ears and you feel like one little thing will set you off crying for hours.  What now?  Take time out, go and sit somewhere quiet and consciously relax all your body.  From the top of your head, right down to the tips of your toes.  Pay special attention to the jaw, the shoulders and your back.  These are the three places I really hold all my stress, so if I consciously relax these areas, it really helps.  And also, if you feel like you need to weep and wail a little bit, go for it.  Nothing wrong with a little bit of “get the stress out and have a paddy” regardless of your age.

 

And this is where I find myself this morning.  I have spent several hours today trying to find all of the identity information that we had already provided for the Adoption Agency at the beginning of the process and more besides, as well as trying to co-ordinate at least three different peoples diaries to set up a meeting with our Social Worker so that he can interview them.  In the grand scheme of things, it really isn’t that important, and 5 years from now, I am going to look back on this and think “Ah… it was a minor blip”.  I have done my mini relaxation retreat thingy, and yes, my jaw was fiercely clenched but it isn’t now.  I don’t really want to have a cry, I don’t think, but these days I seem to be a moment away from it at any given point, so that might not be much to go on.

 

This whole day so far has shown me two things.  1) I need to get the filing system a bit better organised and 2) the Adoption Agency might benefit from a wide scale Internal Audit to show them where they are going wrong and what they can do to sort it out.   They might well become one of my first paying customers!

 

And one final thought…

desserts

Luckily I made home made ice cream yesterday!!