1. Chill the f*ck out. (stress less)
Easier said than done, especially for us competitive, go-go-go, entrepreneur, A-types. Many people who suffer from adrenal fatigue, or who on track to get it, have lifestyles similar to mine. They overwork themselves in every aspect of their lives, make food choices that don’t adequately support their bodies (specifically with extremely low-carbohydrate, low-fat diets and excess amounts of caffeine and alcohol). They have the “can’t stop won’t stop” mentality, and they force their bodies to go until they literally can’t go any more. And for these people, it is *the hardest thing* to chill out and allow themselves to relax. Have trouble doing yoga or meditation because you can’t calm your mind down, and you think you could be doing so many other things with your time? This is you - and these are the people who need yoga and meditation the most.
You cannot recover from adrenal fatigue if you have stress coming from every area of your life. So we need to figure out where we can cut some stress out, where we can learn to manage unavoidable stress, and build in some stress-relieving practices.
Chill the f*ck out. PRACTICE SELF-CARE. Do some yoga, or meditate for 5 minutes in the morning with an app. Get a massage. Take a walk in the park with your dog. Listen to a podcast or some calming music. The world will not stop spinning because you didn’t hit everything on your to-do list or post on instagram today. YOU WILL BE FINE, I promise.
Another tip? Stop letting little things get to you. So what if you’re stuck in traffic on the way to a big meeting? Yeah, it sucks. But there’s literally nothing you can do about it (aside from get out of your car and sprint to the office, which I’m guessing you’re not going to do… and imagine the pit stains? ugh.), so you might as well chill out, apologize when you get there, and move on.
I know you still have commitments, and a million things to do. Here’s what I do - at the beginning of every week, I make a list of all the things I MUST get done that week. Schedule it all out by day like appointments to yourself. Pro tip: schedule in breaks, where you can *actually* chill out, go for a walk, take time for yourself. This is key to recovery and preventing adrenal fatigue.
2. Say no to high-intensity exercise, long runs, and your favorite spin class.
Yes, that means crossfit. And zengo cycle. And your yoga class with weights. And pretty much everything you love to do, I get it.
But let’s think about it. When was the last time you weren’t *totally exhausted* after a workout, when it didn’t take you days to recover before your next one? When you didn’t have to drag yourself out of bed with multiple cups of coffee and then take a preworkout, just to get through your workout?
You already have a lot of stress in your life, and stress - whether it’s “good” or “bad”, can come from multiple places - and exercise is one of them, even if you love it. Your body has a certain threshold for stress, and once you go above that, it’s the total exhaustion / hormones totally out of whack / can’t get out of bed in the morning / can’t recover from workouts / when is this going to stop? Feeling.
Exercise is a form of stress on the body, and if you’re already dealing with a lot of stress, it’s probably too much for your system to handle. High-intensity exercise and cardio (running, biking, etc.) spike your cortisol, which is why people with adrenal fatigue sometimes can feel soooo good for a little while after a hard crossfit workout, spin class, etc. But then, you totally crash, can’t function for the rest of the day, and can barely drag yourself out of bed the next morning to do it all again. So yes, your favorite workout could be pushing you farther into adrenal fatigue. It sucks, I know. But it’ll get better as long as you take some time off to recover.
What to do so you don’t go stir crazy? Walk. hike or bike (leisurely). Scale your workouts waaaay back. Lift some weights - but not to your max. Stick with low intensity. LISTEN TO YOUR BODY. it will tell you when it’s too much.