on November 18, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina.

It’s the most wonderful (or stressful) time of year!  What does that mean to you? While the holidays are definitely full of happiness and joy, a lot of people feel overwhelmed and super stressed!  How will you get it all done?  How will you avoid overindulging – both overeating and over-drinking?  How will you make sure you move that darned elf EVERY SINGLE NIGHT?

Life, not just around the holidays, is stressful. Stress is a natural physical and mental reaction to both positive and negative experiences that can be beneficial to your health and safety. Your body responds to stress by increasing your heart and breathing rates as well as releasing hormones.  The additional oxygen that goes to your brain and the small doses of hormones (cortisol and adrenaline), give you an edge when dealing with stress.  In the short term, stress helps you cope with tough situations.

But what happens when you’re under stress for a prolonged period of time? Chronic stress can cause a variety of symptoms and can affect your overall health and well-being.  If your body is under long-term stress, your adrenal glands are working over time producing cortisol and adrenaline. Eventually, the adrenals weaken so much that they are unable to respond adequately when we need them, causing a condition known as Adrenal Fatigue.  Adrenal Fatigue is a very common, but often under-diagnosed, syndrome.

Primary Adrenal Fatigue symptoms include: 

  • Difficulty getting up each morning, even after a long sleep
  • Low energy levels (high fatigue)
  • Inability to handle stress
  • Cravings for carbs, salty and sweet foods
  • Higher energy in the evenings
  • Weakened immune system

Other symptoms, often related to the primary symptoms listed above, include dark circles under the eyes, dizziness, chronic infections, dry skin, low blood pressure, low blood sugar, poor circulation and weight gain.

Natural ways to support your adrenal glands:

  • Sleep!  Keep a regular sleep schedule and try to get at least eight hours a night.  Make this a priority!
  • Eat clean and whole foods.  Add superfoods such as bone broth, seaweed and fermented drinks.
  • Eliminate sugar and processed carbs; these foods put stress on adrenals.  Adrenals glands help regulate blood sugar levels.
  • Cut back on coffee/caffeine.  Caffeine provides significant stress.
  • Hydrate – drink more water!

During this holiday season, keep your stress in check by eating a healthy diet, exercising, meditating and sleeping!   Keeping yourself and your family healthy will ensure it’s the most wonderful time of year!