Burnout, exhaustion and adrenal fatigue is a big topic. For me, it is one that is very close to my heart.
Cosmopolitan women’s magazine conducted a survey in 2015 which showed that 3/4 of the women they surveyed suffered from burnout and exhaustion. Women stated that they felt stressed, anxious and over-worked. I suspect that figure has now risen in 2017, as the information and support has not improved that much from the medical profession to diagnose symptoms early enough to offer education and lifestyle solutions that may make a difference to people suffering from burnout.
I suffered from burnout and adrenal fatigue for nearly 2 years, and managed to bring myself back to full health which took over a year. Some people take longer or shorter periods of time to restore their health and vitality, which may depend on the speed of diagnosis and finding out what works for them individually.
My recovery took longer because the doctors were insistent that they could not find anything wrong with me, despite my many tearful visits to the surgery. I was recommended to take time off work and get a good nights sleep as I was probably exhausted and stressed out from being a busy working mum.
Eventually at the end of 2016, I took matters into my own hands and started analysing my triggers and tracking back to when the symptoms actually started. I calculated that my health started to deteriorate almost immediately after having a particular contraceptive coil inserted in my body. I eventually sought the advice of a holistic therapist who tested me. The results showed that I was off the scale with burnout, adrenal fatigue and hormonal imbalance symptoms. We started working on a plan to manage stress and balance my hormones in order to get me back on track.
I started incorporating holistic wellbeing techniques, hypnotherapy, regular exercise, essential oils and self-care rituals to get me back to feeling like myself again. I have continued to educate myself about burnout and the damaging effects it causes an individual as well as researching various methods to banish burnout and balance hormones with diet.
Whilst everyone’s experiences are different, there are some tell-tale signs that you should take notice of sooner rather than later, so that you can avoid burnout if you see the signs early enough to take the right action.
Insomnia or Feeling Tired All The Time
You may find it difficult to get to sleep as your over-active mind plays over events of the day, thinking up new ideas or just tossing and turning because you cannot switch off. Or, you could sleep for 7 or 8 hours most nights, and yet you still wake up feeling exhausted. You may even find it difficult to physically get out of bed because your body feels heavy and your muscles ache. Napping during the day through sheer exhaustion is an every day occurrence instead of being a nice midday treat.
Dizziness, Headaches or Migraines
You wake up feeling dizzy upon standing and even have a light-headed feeling throughout the day. This can be coupled with regular headaches or migraines throughout the day that causes you to rest and sleep in a darkened room unable to move or do anything that requires your energy or brain power.
Weight-gain or Weight-loss
Often you have a loss of appetite or binge eat through boredom or lack of interest in your personal physical appearance. No desire to exercise or do anything physical. Feeling stressed out will reduce your appetite, however, you may turn to alcohol or fast foods as healthy meal options require time to buy and prepare and as a busy person time is ticking. So reaching for the quickest snack or foods is not good for the body to process quality nutrients.
Depression and Anger
You may find yourself feeling depressed, sad and lonely. This can be brought on by frustration of not understanding what is going on inside your body and mind, causing you to lash out at loved ones, work colleagues and friends. You may also feel a sense of low self-esteem and low self-worth and confidence in anything you do or try to do.
Sickness and Low Immune System
As your diet may be restricted to fast foods and snacks that are not nutrient rich, your body will not be absorbing any of the vital vitamins to sustain a healthy immune system. Therefore your body will not be able to fight off any colds, viruses and other illnesses, which can lead to time off work, feeling inadequate and having to take anti-biotics and other prescription medicines that damage your gut and general well-being over a period of time.
Hair Loss or Hair Thinning
It may be only slight at first with light shedding of hair at certain times of the monthly cycle. However, without appropriate care, this can lead to more hair loss, a deep sense of anxiety, low body confidence, low self-esteem and an unwillingness to go out to social gatherings or maybe even work as you may feel self conscious. These feelings can easily spiral out of control and lead to depression.
Forgetfulness and Lack of Concentration
This is one of the easier signs to spot, especially if you usually have a good memory. You will start to notice things like bills that you have forgotten to pay or the appointment you forgot to attend. Your lack of concentration could be affected too. It may appear that you are not interested in the task at hand, but you may be trying to control your over-active mind which is racing around thinking of all of the things that you have to do before you forget them.
These are just a few of the tell-tale burnout signs that I have experienced and other women and men I have spoken to, however, you may have experienced more signs that you may not have put down to burnout, but it might be worth getting tested.
I didn’t know why I was feeling like this and the doctors could not give me an answer either. At the end of 2016, I started doing my own research and on 1st January 2017 I decided to be kind to myself and restructure my lifestyle and treat myself to a wellbeing makeover.
I have created a more balanced way of living and working, by taking regular exercise, meditating, writing, trying new things, meeting and making new friends, taking the right vitamin supplements, changing my diet to meat-free, dairy-free and wheat free. I made the drastic decision to change my lifestyle pattern because my previous way of living was no longer working for me. I also have fibroids and eating meat for women with fibroids is a definitely no-no. So this was an easy choice to make.
I felt helpless, but not defeated. I was determined to change how I felt, and to find a way to start to feel positive about my health even if the doctors could not find out what was wrong with me. I needed to regain control over my life. After all what did I have to loose? – nothing! I had to try something radically different for me, and it has been a great experience with lots of help and support – I now feel amazing.
Slowly over the months my health started to improve and I am possibly even healthier than I was before. I like to think of myself as a new version of me, Tracy 2.0 has been born!
If you are suffering from any of the signs of burnout, exhaustion or adrenal fatigue and want to speak to someone that has experienced this debilitating illness, then please get in touch. I would also like to hear if you have experienced and side effects from taking contraception.
I have made it my mission to help women understand the effects that burnout and hormonal attack can have on your physical and mental health. I would love to hear your experiences in the comments below. If you would rather not do it publicly, please get in touch with me by email, you do not need to suffer in silence, there are many ways to banish burnout and adrenal fatigue you just have to find the method that works for you.
I can help you create a plan for your recovery and banish burnout, so you can start looking and feeling good once again.
Contact me firstname.lastname@example.org let’s have a chat over a cuppa and get to know each other.
Disclaimer: I am not a medical practitioner and would advise you to seek medical advice if you are experiencing any of the symptoms above. The above is an account of the effects I experienced from burnout and adrenal fatigue and hope to educate and shed some light on this illness for others.