Wednesday, January 13, 2016

5 lessons

"Are you tired?
Run down?
Do you poop out at parties? 
Are you unpopular? 
Well, are you? ..."

Here are some things I've learned from dealing with adrenal fatigue.

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.   

* Lesson #2 - It's ok that the calendar looks different from how others' look.   In other words, some can manage a very full schedule, and others not-so-much.  It's ok to choose to be in the "not-so-much" category.

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? 

* Lesson #3 - It's ok to say, "no".
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!)

* Lesson #4 - Stick to the basics.
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.
Be realistic.

* Lesson #5 -  TLC is essential.  Also - it's ok to put your jammies on early in the evening. 
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


  1. LOVE this! It actually made me cry (but I am having an emotional few days) :)

    1. Keri,
      I hope this post ENCOURAGED you! I admire you so much and all the devoted time you spend with your sweet girlies. :-)

  2. Hmmmmm I think I remember telling you to relax and slow down and not worry about the fact that toys were out because the kids were playing with them and that chores constantly needed to be done, because spending time with your children meant more than a perfectly clean home. And your children love and respected you enough that they help(ed) all the time to keep the house in order. ;) love you mum! You need a spa day I think ;)

    1. Yes, this is so true. I do need to relax about the small stuff, but what most don't realize is that when you are low on vitamin B6 - the stuff of life can come at you and just be so overwhelming. It isn't all personality.

  3. These are great lessons for all mothers of all sized families! I think we are just running around with our heads cut off... It is time to stay home and "live" :) Thank you for sharing. This adrenal fatigue sounds very difficult and I pray you feel better soon!


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