Being physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted makes living an epic life pretty near impossible. I mean, when you feel like you’ve been hit by a bus every single day, and are completely wrung out, depleted, and have nothing left to give, how are you supposed to create a life that really feels good to you, and is thriving on all levels?
When you are just doing all you can just to get through the basics of everyday life, like getting out of bed, and making it though the morning without needing to take a nap, going after the bigger things, like your soul purpose, financial health, building a business, or even getting out to exercise to shed those unwanted inches, can feel pretty darn impossible!
I get it, because this was me for almost 10 years during my journey to reviving my fried adrenals, and frazzled mind – from complete Adrenal Burnout, Depression and exhaustion that made keeping up with my life, and young children feel like I was trying to run a marathon.
While there are many factors to be considered when chronic fatigue and exhaustion, low mood, anxiety and depression are present, and there are many underlying health issues that can cause these symptoms, here are the top 5 most common underlying causes.
- Low Iron. This can make even the slightest exertion leave you feeling like your going to fall over. Muscle weakness, and exercise intolerance, and a feeling of fatigue or headache after exercising are all common signs. If you are vegetarian or vegan it can be difficult to get enough iron in your diet. Some blood types do not thrive with an animal free diet, and become anemic. Also consider if you’re eating enough blood building foods such as greens, beets. If you aren’t producing enough stomach acid, this can also inhibit iron absorption. Get your ferritin levels checked by your doctor, Naturopathic doctors consider a level below 100 to be low. So don’t rely on your doctors “you are in normal range” clean bill of health. Dig deeper.
- Thyroid imbalance. Thyroid related fatigue usually occurs in the afternoon, and can lead to falling asleep where you are sitting. Also weight gain, hair thinning and dry skin are also part of this imbalance. Again, I recommend getting this test done with a naturopath, to be sure all hormones are tested. I have heard of many cases of clients being told they were in “normal range” only to have it looked at by an ND, and find out otherwise. Be proactive, and get a second opinion with a naturopath – it’s a smart move and is part of taking empowered action toward our health and wellness.
- Blood sugar instability. If you consume a lot of coffee or caffeine, refined carbohydrates in the morning (think a muffin and coffee), you are likely going to have a blood sugar crash by lunchtime that leaves you on the floor, and needing a nap. Skipping meals has the same effect. Make sure to get adequate healthy protein in your breakfast, and throughout the day to keep blood sugar steady. And the more caffeine and sugar you consume, the bigger the crash.
- Lack of fresh air and exercise. Sitting at a desk all day under artificial lighting, and recycled air reduces the quality of oxygen available, as well as fluorescent lighting can cause fatigue in some individuals. Get out for a few 5- 10 minute walks during the day, breathe in the fresh air, and get a dose of natural light. While you’re at it, hydrate with a glass of water, as dehydration can add to the effects. Getting enough daily movement also enhances mood and counteracts depression.
- Adrenal Fatigue. This is one of the most common causes for ongoing, chronic fatigue, low mood, and total exhaustion. It’s a fatigue like no other, and can make completing even the simplest tasks a real challenge, mentally and physically. You feel as if everything is a chore, and many things get left unfinished, and you will find you have a lot of loose ends and incomplete tasks scattered all around you. It also leads to a whole host of physical symptoms that are debilitating and almost impossible to reverse, unless this imbalance is addressed. You can find out more about this condition, and my fully online 21 Day Adrenal Reset Program by visiting Breakthrough Burnout. Having this underlying imbalance can make the basics of living every day life feel overwhelming. If you are more than a little exhausted every day, it could be AF, and or a combination of all I have listed here.
In Part 2 of this series I will cover the 4 stages of Adrenal Fatigue so you can determine where you are at on the spectrum.
The message I hope to get across is this: We are not meant to struggle through life feeling awful, depressed and unfulfilled. We need to take an empowered and proactive approach to our health, and embrace a holistic lifestyle toward our health and healing.
This means investing in alternative health care, seeking the advice and support of those who know exactly what you are experiencing, and can guide you through the process.
My challenge to you today, is to pick something from the above suggestions, and take ACTION!
Whatever you do, just take one action TODAY, big or small, and know that you deserve to truly thrive on all levels.
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