Do you poop out at parties?
Are you unpopular?
Well, are you? ..."
I have eight children. EIGHT. Whenever I tell people that, they look at me with either complete admiration, or astonishment or pity - or maybe all three. I don't know.
"You sure must be busy!". Yep, I am.
But a couple of years ago, I was really feeling exhausted. I mentioned that a time or two to my doctor, but she just chalked it up to the many demands of a homeschooling mother of many.
I bought it - sort of.
Except this was different. I know tired. This was DRAGGING and EXHAUSTED.
* Lesson #1 - You know yourself best. You know what your "normal" is. I decided to make an appointment with a naturopath recommended by a friend. She listened carefully. She did blood work. As it turned out - my iron levels were extremely low, my adrenal numbers weren't much better, and gluten was not my friend.
I don't like having every square of the calendar page filled with activities, commitments, and/or appointments. For me, that is stressful. I'm stating the obvious here, but stress does NOT help adrenal fatigue.
race.race.race. Why do we do that to ourselves anyway?
This isn't a license to check out and become completely self-absorbed, but the commitment level definitely needs to be addressed and revised. Re-prioritize what is absolutely important and essential. (God, husband, children, home.)
This one isn't easy, but for a time, necessary.
Being honest with myself and evaluating whether I could really meet some extra needs outside my immediate family was important. At least I need to be willing to re-think what that could look like. How can I be a blessing to others and not over-tax my energy level? (Because with adrenal fatigue there is a finite amount of energy!)
Make simple meals. My time with Julia Child's book Mastering the Art of French Cooking is not for right now.
Save bigger projects for summer.
Cut yourself a little slack and be gentle with yourself.
If you feel like you have hours of work ahead of you after the children go to bed, perhaps it's time to rethink the 'must do' list.
It's very slow process to recover from adrenal fatigue that includes conscious decisions to drastically modify your lifestyle. It's not like you can see the recovery process as if you were sick with the flu.
There are supplements that help (at the advice of your doctor) and diet modifications can help too, but ultimately, relieving the stresses of life must also be a major factor. Obviously, we can't get rid of it all, but we don't have to add to it by piling on unrealistic expectations (either our own or what we perceive others have of us) and workloads that are beyond burdensome.
I see a lot of young moms running at the pace I used to keep, doing all good things, but I'm thinking rather than the rat race, a leisurely stroll with stops to smell the flowers would be ever so much more enjoyable now and profitable for the future too.
Linking with Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth