1. You’re Having Trouble Falling/Staying Asleep
PROBLEM: Are you lying in bed each night and having trouble shutting off your mind or are you waking in the middle of the night and you’re unable to go back to sleep because you cannot stop thinking about all the things you have to do the following day?
SOLUTION: Try mixing up your bedtime routine! Shut off your electronics 1-2 hours prior to the time you’d like to be asleep, relax in a hot bath and read a book. This wind-down time is essential and will help shut off the mind, thus helping you fall and stay asleep better.
Additionally, you can try the Calm App (or other meditative apps), which have great sleep stories to listen to help you drift off into la-la land.
2. You're Not Eating or You're Over Eating
PROBLEM: You find that you’re not hungry at all, all day long. You have very little appetite and you’re totally comfortable with living off of cappuccinos. You’ve noticed weight loss in the last few months.
Or, if you’re on the other side of the coin, you’re hungry all the time and you never feel full. You’re snacking all day long on unhealthy foods and find that you’re craving salt, sugar and fatty foods instead of healthy items. You’ve noticed weight gain in the past few months.
SOLUTION: Make a meal plan (or sign up for one of the many at-home delivery meal plans), food prep and have a set menu for your day! Practice portion control by distributing out your snacks and meals into even sized Tupperware. Set alarms throughout the day to eat the healthy snacks you’ve prepared. Drink half your body weight in ounces of water daily to ensure you’re hydrated!
3. You Have More Headaches Than Ever Before
PROBLEM: You’re getting headaches 3+ times weekly and they’re starting to interfere with your work. You notice that they present around mid-morning/afternoon while working (or working from home) and you start to feel tension in your neck and upper back at the same time. You even noticed that you clench your jaw/teeth throughout the day.
SOLUTION: Increase your hydration. Our brains and bodies are made of water, so being properly hydrated is essential. One study revealed that 70% of mid-day headaches (you know, that throbbing dull pain in your head that you get right after lunch) arise from dehydration. Increasing your hydration gives you a chance of tackling those pesky headaches.
How much water should you drink? Half your body weight in ounces or more, especially if you’re doing physical activity or are outside in the heat.
4. You’re Tired ALL the Time
PROBLEM: You’re exhausted. You can barely get out of bed and, when you do, you pound coffee/energy drinks all day long just to survive the day, only to come home and collapse in bed. When you finally get to bed, you can’t sleep.
SOLUTION: Adrenal fatigue is real. It’s when we’re so stressed that our bodies are literally burnt out…you essentially feel exhausted all the time. Don’t reach for more coffee, which worsens adrenal fatigue. Try green tea instead! Switch to healthier snack options instead of sugary carbohydrate-filled treats that will spike your blood sugar and then you’ll crash.
Additionally, add in some gentle exercise (30 minutes of walking on your lunch break) 3+ times weekly. It seems crazy to think that you’d have the energy to go on a walk when you’re totally drained, but even that little bit of exercise will actually help boost your energy levels.
5. You Have Cold or Sweaty Palms
PROBLEM: You’ve noticed that your hands are always cold or they’re always sweating. If they’re sweating, it can even be embarrassing in social situations. Why is this happening? Basically, because the body is in overdrive.
SOLUTION: Decrease caffeine consumption (again, try green tea), address your current medications with your Doctor or have some blood work done. Thyroid issues can certainly cause sweaty palms and feet as well.
NOTE: Stress and adrenal fatigue are serious. If you try to tackle this on your own, it may not be possible. It’s more than ok to not be okay and ask for help from a family member, friend or a medical professional. Mental health is SO important and shouldn’t be brushed under the rug. Consult your family physician, a psychologist or other health care professional to help tackle the stress and overwhelm. You are not alone!