“THE LORD delights in the wellbeing of His servants.” Ps. 35:27
Hey! So, I am really happy to say that I am feeling much better. I definitely feel my mind getting clearer, my sweets cravings calming down, my confidence and excitement about life coming back, and my body much more willing to get up and go!
Just had to share this praise, but also just to say if any of you are feeling fatigued a lot, foggy minded, stressed and gaining weight, I can pass on a few ideas that may help since I’ve been through this so much. Just a disclaimer, too: We are all at different places and sometimes our bodies just need a little TLC but sometimes there is a more serious underlying issue that is at work. What works for me may not always work for me, and may not ever work for you. I just know that it is possible to feel better and for many women that I know, including myself, it is a full time job to figure out how, implement the changes, measure the results, rinse and repeat! It can be so daunting, and requires perseverance beyond our own strength. Here are a few things you may not be taking time for, but can bring great results…
1) A daily time and space for communion with the Lord is a spiritual, emotional, and mental necessity for me. If it’s 15 minutes or 1 hour, God knows what time we have and He is a master at making the most of it when we just COME! I think sometimes laying on my bed during my kids nap time and telling God everything on my heart, not just staying surface level but really letting myself talk to Him or journal it out, is true therapy. He is our Wonderful Counselor, and He wants to listen. After a few days of laying these concerns at His feet, down to the frustration about the ants in the kitchen, you might find yourself feeling like those things aren’t bothering you anymore and the Holy Spirit will lead you to pray for others during this time. But either way, get past the surface prayers and connect with God every day. I am lost without this. I don’t care what kind of personality you have, every branch dies without true connection to the Vine! Sometimes when I feel busy in my mind and heart and can’t “dial down”, I’ll use the old A.C.T.S. to guide me. A=Adoration. C=Confession. T=Thanks. S=Supplication. A friend of mine once said to me, “We don’t HAVE to spend this time with God, we GET to.”
2) This may feel impossible, but laying down with eyes closed for 10-15 minutes every afternoon in your “tiredest” time of the day is very valuable. It calms down your parasympathetic nervous system and you will be able to fall asleep faster at night because you took the time to chill earlier in the day. You don’t have to be alone to do this. Sometimes I lay on the piano bench and do this while the kids eat lunch. It may be a week before it makes a difference, but eventually it does. Taking time for moments of calm (especially if those moments can also be infused with truth, from God’s Word, an encouraging book or song, or just hugs and snuggles with kids) is so important for our adrenal glands, which are constantly pumping out enough hormones to handle our craziness. Also, although it is sometimes not possible, my normal schedule is to be in bed between 10 and 10:30. There is something about getting in bed a couple hours before midnight that is healing to the adrenals. I’ve learned through this 2 week bout with tiredness that it really all boils down to good sleep for me. I’m a nut without it; I cannot trust a single thought that goes through my head if I am not rested…good to know! 🙂
3) Nutrition: There is so much to say here, but I’ll keep it to the basics! We need protein every time we eat, I believe. Raw seeds and nuts such as almond or pumpkin seeds, milk, yogurt, cheese, granola, lean meats, fish, whey (for protein shakes)…these are all great and healthy sources and I feel best when I have a palm size portion of protein every 3 hours. Skipping my 3 pm snack is one of the reasons I have been feeling low lately. In the other palm every 3 hours should be a healthy carb, which can be a whole grain something (brown rice, wheat bun, etc.) or you can consider your fruit as your carb. In other blogs to come, I’m going to take pictures of my plate to give some ideas of these palm sized portion mini-meals. I think 5 to 10 servings of fruits/veggies a day is an absolute necessity and I also take Juice Plus, as do my kids. This is a whole food concentrate supplement that gives you 19 different types of organic fruits and veggies–the variety and amount is something we could never actually eat in a day, unless you juiced (I’m guessing) about $20 a day of organic produce. (I have a good friend who is a Juice Plus representative/wellness coach, and I would love to connect you to her. Please contact me if I can help you get started with JP+). We have to think of food as good quality fuel for our engine. What time of the day are you craving sweets? That is when you need a handful of a good quality protein and a good quality carb. I am so preaching to myself right now!!
4)The last thing I’m going to harp on is–well, I’ll combine these two–Exercise and finding out what supplements you need. Exercise is a given, but you have to make sure you are not doing TOO much exercise. If you are a person struggling with fatigue, you need gentle exercise, not a Spinning class. You need to work your body daily to the point of feeling good, not feeling exhausted. Gotta give up on the crazy goal driven stuff, and just go for a nice walk! As for supplements, there is no way I could NOT believe in them because they are the number one reason why I have been among the land of the living for the past couple years. (Not to say I’d be dead, but just in bed!) My doctor took blood and found I was very deficient in several of the Vitamin B’s, Vitamin D, and DHEA (an important hormone your adrenal glands produce). Yes, it takes time to get the right amounts and that can be so frustrating! But it’s worth it. I wouldn’t buy anything less than pharmaceutical grade, which you can find at vrp.com or you can try a couple different brands at health food stores, like Solaray. Because of my night time supplements, I take no sleeping meds and I haven’t for 2 years (although before I made these changes, I was on Ambien and Trazodone, practically knocking myself unconscious every night to get some sleep!!) Here’s my night time concoction: 100 mg of Phosphatidylerine, 3 mg of Melatonin, 200 mg of Magnesium. I have a sleep disorder that no doctor can help me with…at all…and this works! I wasn’t taking my Vitamin B Complex because I had an allergic reaction to it (I guess it was the brand I was using) and I think that’s one of the biggest reasons why I have felt so bad this past month. I am now on a Solaray brand B Complex, and I am positive that has brought my energy level back up. I hate to say it, but I am just not sure that we can get all our bodies need without supplements. I wish this wasn’t true! I’m not a doctor or a scientist, but it seems that if I ate the recommended amount of organic foods to get all the Vitamin D, B, E, A, C, plus all the other amino acids and trace minerals, protein, calcium, (not to mention needing 200 mg of things only found in weird locations around the world) I would be eating literally be eating myself out of house and home! Plus, sadly, the soil and farming procedures are just not what they used to be. There are a precious few people still getting to “live off the land”, and there’s not enough for everyone. That doesn’t mean give up, it just means if you are lacking something in your health, find out what it is and don’t expect to get all you need (especially as we get older) from food.
I hope these things are helpful, and if you need any community around you to make these healthy daily choices, let me know either on this blog or on Facebook and we will journey together!!! I get in ruts where I don’t invest wisely in my health (physical, spiritual, etc), and I need community, too.