Do I have Adrenal Exhaustion & What Aromatherapy Can Help?
Ask yourself…are my adrenals exhausted or fatigued? Do I feel burnout, frustrated and tired of being tired? Why am I unmotivated?
Let’s go through a quick checklist so you can connect with yourself and become more aware of what’s really going on with you.
- Do you wake up feeling sluggish?
- Are you unmotivated and feel like you are not doing things you should be doing?
- Are your eyes tired often and heavy?
- Do you have lower back pain?
- Do you startle easily?
- Are you nervous and frazzled often?
- Do you give up easily on a task?
- Easily feel overwhelmed by responsibilities?
These certainly are not all of the questions you need to ask yourself to determine the state of your adrenals, but it’s a start. Many people have heard of adrenal exhaustion, but not sure if they have it, or would recognize it. You want to assess what’s going on, evaluate how you are responding, physically, mentally and emotionally, and create a game plan to nourish your adrenals.
Signs of Adrenal Exhaustion
Here are some clues that you might have some adrenal issues. Do you hear yourself (or someone else) saying things like –
- “I can handle it”, but deep down you feel overwhelmed and in over your head and not real sure you can handle it
- “I’ll just push through” when really you are wiped out and exhausted
- “I keep having wave after wave, when will I get a break?”
- “If I can make to ___, then I’ll let myself rest”
- “I have to keep going, I don’t have a choice”
If so, these are signs that you are pouring more in your barrel and not taking the necessary time to empty your barrel. At some point, your barrel runeth over. What does this mean? You can only take on so much stress without replenishing yourself, before your body and mind will “break down”. If you continue to expend your energy, and not replenish that energy, at some point, your energy tank runs out. Think of putting gas in your car to make it go. When the tank is empty, your car doesn’t go anywhere.
It is similar to having a bank account. You can only withdraw so much, based on what you have put in, before you go into the “red”. I call this the Bank of You. If you keep giving and taking on stress, responsibilities, and tasks without giving yourself the time, nutrients, and space to repair, refuel and rejuvenate, then this leads to exhaustion.
What does adrenal exhaustion look like?
Exhaustion looks different for each person. You may experience –
- Extreme tiredness
- Can’t think clearly, solve problems and you feel more confused and scattered
- You have a short temper, easily irritated and frustrated
- You get weepy and cry when you feel overloaded, hypersensitive
- You have severe anxiety about work and home performance, task completion, and fear of failure
- You try to rush through tasks, decisions, chores and talking with people instead of being present in the moment and aware of the entire situation
If you continue down this path of depleting your energy reserves without refueling your tank, this can cause you to either have a meltdown, cry at the drop of a hat, get angry or just be flat out exhausted with an “I don’t care” mentality.
ME Break time to overcome adrenal exhaustion & how aromatherapy can help you
Does this sound familiar? If so, time to for a ME BREAK aka personal care break! I’m not asking you, I’m telling you…you need to take care of yourself. You can’t go on this way and function at your best. You have to take care of yourself. Because, if you don’t, who will? And how will ALL those tasks and responsibilities you have on your plate get done, if you can’t even get out of bed? All those people who depend on you, won’t have you to depend on. Think about that. If you want to people please, start with pleasing yourself.
For IBS sufferers, this is a CRUCIAL message. For me, I manage and maintain my IBS by managing my stress, eating as healthy as I can, exercising, drinking enough water each day, and taking my herbal supplements daily along with aromatherapy diffusion and roll-ons. They give me short spurts of nourishment throughout the day so I don’t get depleted or wiped out.
However, I recently let my stress get the best of me, I said the things I listed above, and I kept pushing through. “If I can just make it through ___”. “I can handle this.” “I’ll rest when ___ is all done.” Well, let me tell you…your brain may say this, but your body doesn’t care about a timeline. It needs what it needs when it needs it. And if it doesn’t get it, it will send you a huge “smoke signal” (i.e. IBS attack, migraine, etc.) that it can’t continue without rest, replenishment and refueling. And if you still don’t listen, those “smoke signals” get louder, longer and more debilitating.
Why I am attracted to certain scents & turned off by others
I find that you will gravitate to scents you need at the time you need them. Your body is very smart. It knows what it needs to balance itself. That is why some essential oils you smell will light you up, and others will repulse you. Some oils may actually have an opposite effect that what they are typically known for. lavender for example. It is generally a relaxing, soothing and calming scent to most. But for others, it can activate energy, stimulates thought and rev you up. Whereas, rosemary, which is generally energizing would calm you down.
Why do these oils give you an opposite effect?
In my experience, when I am working with clients and students doing emotional healing sessions, I find this opposite effect is connected to a sympathetic & parasympathetic nervous system imbalance and adrenal exhaustion/fatigue. Your nervous system has been so taxed that it actually starts acting opposite of how it should work. This is the premise behind autoimmune responses as well.
ADD/ADHD, for example, typically has underlying adrenal fatigue & exhaustion. I have found a pattern that this usually is from an essential fatty acid deficiency from the mom during their pregnancy with them. This exhaustion over time causes a cross wiring or opposite effect when using the essential oils and herbs. It could also be an indicator that your energy polarity is off or reversed, which causes you to respond with the opposite behavior.
What do you do in this situation? If you are familiar with muscle testing, you can test your polarity. See if it’s in alignment or switched. This is a technique I teach in my Professional & Clinical Aromatherapy Certification programs. I remember when I first learned about polarity from two of my mentors, Dr. Kimberly Balas, Ph.D., N.D., and Wendimere Reilly, RDN, they showed me a crazy way to put it back in balance by marching in place 3-5 times and tapping my knee with the opposite hand. After doing this, I muscle tested myself, and guess what? My polarity went back into alignment. Then, I would smell the oils and could notice a shift or change in my scent preferences to be more in tune with the oils typically effect (lavender is relaxing and rosemary is energizing). The time it takes to realign scent preferences will depend on the severity of the adrenal fatigue. Therefore, it may take several smelling sessions over time to reverse this effect.
Self-Care Habits to Get You Through Adrenal Exhaustion
- Aromatherapy: Adrenal Exhaustion & What Aromatherapy Can Help
- Create a custom blend and use 3-6 times daily. Need me to make one for you? Click here
- Diffuse your favorite essential oil blend (my favorite is Lift + Calm – 3 drops each)
- Take a daily aromatic bath: Mix 5-10 total drops of essential oil in 1 cup Epsom or sea salt. Add to warm/hot water. Soak for 30-45 minutes. Wrap up after and go to bed.
- Aromatherapy Roll-on: use 3-6 times daily (my favorite is the Comfort Roll-on)
- Herbal Supplements
- Adaptogens to help the body & mind manage physical, mental & emotional stress (i.e. ashwagandha, astragulus, rhodiola, schizandra). My absolute favorite is Adaptable (2 capsules twice daily). When I take this, it can corrent my mood, energize my mind and flush out negative thoughts pretty quickly.
- Digestive enzymes to help support gut functions
- Essential fatty acids to support the nervous, glandular & cardiovascular systems (I like my EFA to have a fat emulsifier in it to help those with sensitive GI systems absorb it better, and it helps people with no gall bladder).
- Minerals to support electrolyte balance and activate the body “spark plugs” to enhance cellular and neurotransmitter communications
- Probiotic: enhance gut-brain functions
- Licorice Root: tea or supplement (use caution with high blood pressure)
- Adrenal glandular
- Get 7-8 hours of sleep per night
- Get to bed and be asleep by 11:00pm (before your second adrenaline kicks in)
- Do not eat a heavy meal or drink a lot within 2 hours of going to bed
- Movement & exercise: this gives your body a way to release stress
- Nutrient Dense foods: enhances absorption of nutrients and assists in better elimination
- Have fun, play, find a hobby! You have to have fun in life. Laugh…A LOT!!!!
Need help bouncing back and getting your head, heart & gut in alignment? Time to talk to Jennifer about creating a herbal & aromatherapy plan to get you healthy and maintain your health. Book your Mind-Body assessment call here.