Looking after children…..
After school sports and activities….
Still trying to find time to get to the gym or out for a walk……
Gaaaaaaaah! When did life get so busy?
Some days can literally feel like you’re on a hamster wheel, running a million miles an hour and moving nowhere.
By the time you’ve finished for the day, fed hungry tummies and tidied up, its late….
However, you now find that second win and find yourself stuck in that corny tv show that you just can’t pull yourself away from or sucked into your phone scrolling through the day’s events….
Before you know it – its way past ‘bed time’, you drag yourself to bed, but with thoughts still racing, it takes forever to get to sleep….
Tomorrow…. Another day dragging out of bed, jumping back on the wheel to do it all again.
The problem is, although our minds have evolved a hell of lot over since the days of our caveman ancestors, our body has not…
We can run around, cram as many things into our day as possible, but eventually our body starts to wear down. Although mentally we do not feel ‘stressed’, being busy, day in and day out, is seen by the body as a sign of stress.
Small amounts of stress are GREAT! Its how our body adapts. Exercise is a prime example, the body is stressed through lifting heavy loads, and adapts by getting stronger. However, it’s the persistent, constant stress, that can lead your body to feel ‘dis-stressed’.
So, what are some the bodies signals that it is ‘dis-stressed’?
Unexplained Weight Gain
You’re still eating and doing the same things, yet you feel like you are gaining weight or unable to shift weight, especially around your midline.
When the body is stressed, it produces hormones to prepare you for survival. Fight or flight.
Your body communicates with your mind through thought. It doesn’t know the difference between a sabre tooth tiger and a traffic jam.
Your body releases sugars into the blood to fuel your muscles in preparation for action. This creates spikes in insulin as the body tries to regulate blood sugar. This in turn, affects our ability to burn fat and leaves us craving sugary fuel. In extended periods the body will also begin to break down some of its muscle to fuel cells, lowering metabolism and making it harder to shift weight.
As I said, the body communicates with the mind through the thoughts we feed it. If we are feeding our body danger signals – our primal body receives the signal ‘war’ or ‘famine’. Your primal body is not going to let go of its precious fat stores when it feels like survival is threatened!
Finding it Hard to get to Sleep or Stay asleep
Its finally bed time. Except now your mind thinks its time to solve all the problems of the human race and you can’t sleep!
Our busy brains are wired all day. Without adequate ‘wind down’ time for our brain, as well as our body, we can find it impossible to get to sleep.
The body we live in, is the same body our primal ancestors lived in. It is sensitive to our surroundings. It communicates with light and dark. To sensory stimulation.
Instead of sitting by the fire and chatting quietly after our evening meal, we are watching ginormous televisions and scrolling through phones, sitting under bright lights.
That late-night action movie you watched, was great, but it now has your heart racing. The sale you have seen on the web now has mind racing! Just in time for bed…. Our body is very ready; however, our mind will not rest.
Persistent over-stimulation that our body finds stressful, over time will may dys-regulate our hormones, affecting our circadian rhythm, our sleep and our energy.
Lack of sleep exacerbates EVERYTHING! It makes us less able to deal with stressful situations, it lowers our metabolism and leaves us craving sugary foods! Uh oh…
Finding yourself more snappy than usual? Something that is small (in hindsight) can have you flying off in a temper, or breaking down in tears within minutes?
I liken this reaction to filing a cup. You pour little bits of tea in your cup all day with your teapot and life is roses. However, when our cup is up to the brim, it only takes the smallest drop to have it overflowing (or exploding!) hot tea all over the floor.
Although mentally, we may feel fine, our bodies coping capacity is lowered. We get snappy or teary and then we beat our selves up about ‘not being able to cope’.
You may find yourself more bloated than usual? Constipated? Diarrhea?
When our body is in fight or flight mode, it is sending all its energy to our muscles in preparation for action! Our hormones are primed to fight, not rest and digest.
This state can mean that we are unable to absorb or break down our meals efficiently, leaving us feeling bloated or affecting our bowels. Over extended periods this will also affect our long-term health as we are unable to absorb the nutrients that our food is giving us.
That’s right… you could be eating all the great food in the world, but if your body is too stressed to absorb it – you’re not receiving the nutritional power pack that you were shooting for.
Of course, this creates the vicious cascade of lower energy, poor quality sleep and poor moods!
Do you remember bouncing out of bed to face the day as a kid? Where did that go??
Now Snoozing the alarm, until your late for work and gagging for the first cup of coffee to kick start the day!
Hormonal changes and high cortisol levels can feel fantastic…. To begin
You’re on fire, you chug on your coffee, nail your to do list and high five yourself!
In the short term, this is what our stress hormones are designed to do. However, our busy lives have us doing this day after day and eventually this wears the body down and leads to an alteration in these hormones (and others), leaving your feeling flat and exhausted.
To top it off, as we have talked about, your bodies constant perceived stress effecting sleep, nutrient absorption and blood sugar – all of which will affect your energy!
So, is your body whispering to you?
I find our body whispers quietly for a while… Eventually, after not listening, our body punches us in the face! That’s when we end up in burn out mode, or with more serious conditions as the body is worn down.
So, what can you do?
You can’t stop the stressors coming in. Life is busy… But you can definitely prioritise nourishing your body so it is better able to cope.
Have quality wind down time in the evening.
If you have trouble winding down, why don’t you try setting an alarm on your phone signally its time to slow down, dim the lights and put your phone on flight mode or silent. Read a book, have a nice bath. Chill out.
Slow down to eat your meals. Pause before you eat, instead of diving straight in. Take time away from your desk to have lunch. These actions give your body a chance to accept the nourishing foods and allow your body to better absorb them.
Take time out to fill up your cup. Even a 10-minute walk outside, or a cuppa in the sun un-distracted by technology can make the world of difference in you day.
Sometimes when our body has been in this state for an extended period, it can take a little extra time and nourishment to bring yourself out of it.
In my clinic, I utilise specific herbs and nutrients to nourish the body and begin to restore balance.
We work with small achievable lifestyle and nutritional changes that make the world of difference in restoring energy and calm to the body.
If you would like some extra support to help your body to feel energised, calm and focused, naturally please contact me to s
ee how I can help you.