Are We Normalizing Exhaustion?

Have you been feeling less than stellar lately? Do you have to drag yourself out of bed most mornings? 

And most importantly – does this just feel normal to you?

If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions, then you might be feeling the absolutely normal effects of living the crazy lifestyle we’re expected to live these days.

Yes. I said normal. (but that doesn’t mean you have to keep feeling so tired).

It’s become the norm to be handling double or triple the workload of a generation ago.

And if you’ve survived an all-too-common large corporate layoff, then you’re also supposed to be grateful to still have that HUGE workload.

It’s become normal to be tied to your phone all evening, answering work emails right up until bedtime. 

It’s become normal to feel stress or anxiety whenever you’re away from your phone for any length of time. 

It’s become so normal to feel absolutely and completely exhausted that it’s almost unnoticeable. 

And, sadly, it’s also become normal to see the completely reasonable feelings of burn out and exhaustion as something wrong with us. That we simply can’t handle things as well as everyone else.

And I’m here to tell you a very important truth - NONE of this is normal, EXCEPT that you’re feeling totally burnt.

Feeling totally exhausted when dealing with this crazy new “normal” is the ONLY normal thing. There is nothing to be ashamed of, and most of your colleagues, friends, and coworkers are feeling this way too.

I know we’ve been collectively normalizing our exhaustion because in the last year I’ve had a record number of clients come to me with full-blown adrenal exhaustion.

This is a level of exhaustion that usually requires some time (usually many months) off work. It’s a totally debilitating level of exhaustion that has become WAY too common.

And I can say, without a shadow of a doubt, is that this extreme level of exhaustion has become normal because almost all of my clients in adrenal exhaustion came to see me for a different health issue.

They booked their appointment to talk about severe digestive issues (common with adrenal exhaustion), weight problems (also common), or help with severe cravings/disordered eating (yup, super common too). 

In almost ever case, they didn’t see their energy issues as a problem per se…instead they told me that they were having trouble coping, but didn’t know why. There was shame in their exhaustion. 

If you’re feeling like everyone else can cope but you’re not – please know that you’re not alone. 

How you’re feeling is a reasonable reaction to the idolization of “busy”. Of a time where rest, play, and joy are seen as “lazy”. A time where we’re constantly being bombarded by everyone else’s accomplishments and successes all over social media.

Let me say it one more time – it’s normal to feel exhausted. 

You’ve earned your exhaustion by being unbelievably capable. You’ve earned it by being an absolute Superstar.

…it’s just that right now, your body is asking (as politely as it can) that it needs some replenishing. That it needs some help.

Big Pharma is even cashing in

Yup. They are.

They’ve created a drug, Nuvigil, to that’s been formulated to treat daytime sleepiness and is a “wakefulness promoting agent”.

Can I get a collective ARG!

This is more than just another drug to bolster pharma profits, it’s also proof that we’ve normalized our current working life AND the belief that the problem lies within us.

It’s a lie of “if you can’t deal with everyday life, then this drug will solve your problem!” 

This drug was created through a collective belief system that treats our body like a machine, and any lack of coping is a sign of a faulty machine.

But we’re not machines, we’re humans. And our basic humanness is totally being neglected in society right now.

This great article beautifully illustrates this problem. And here’s a sneak peak -

“The ultimate effect of this dual process, the de-moralization of self-medication and the internalization of the “problem” into the body of the worker, is the normalization of an anti-human society, and the medicalization of natural bodily reactions to such a society. Society itself is seen a perfect capsule fit for an ideal human, and any failure to fit into it, any exhaustion at work (or dissatisfaction in marriage, or excess energy at school) is a failure of the individual body, to be absolved through remedial medicine. “

You can read the full article here :)

BTW, Nuvigil isn’t some miraculous medication that will magically make your body able to cope with this uncopeable lifestyle…it’s just a stimulant, similar to amphetamines.

(and yes, “uncopeable” isn’t technically a word, but I think a new word is needed to describe this new and absurd way of living).

You CAN get your energy back – finding balance in an imbalanced world

If you’re feeling REALLY exhausted, feeling better may seem impossible. Who has the time or energy for a major dietary change? Who has the money for a bag full of supplements?

It is possible. That I can tell you for sure :)

…and it won’t (shouldn’t) break the bank.

I’ve healed from exhaustion (twice) myself, and I’ve helped hundreds of people regain their energy. So I KNOW this is possible :)

WOO!

1. Fully notice how you’re feeling and your symptoms –

This can be hard to do, but it’s important. Your body wants to be acknowledged and it will get louder and louder until you sit quietly and listen to it. When you have a quiet moment, ask yourself a few questions -

How is your energy? (out of 10)

How is your digestion? Feeling any bloating, gas, irregularity, or other symptoms?

What do you crave? How strong are your cravings? (cravings are frequently a way for your body to find balance. Read more about that here :)

Also, grab my energy assessment quiz here to see how your body is coping :)

2. Normalize relaxation –

In this go go go world, relaxation and sleep are something we need to fight for. 

To quote the amazing author Brené Brown – “It takes courage to say yes to rest & play in a culture where exhaustion is seen as a status symbol.”

And to start, just do what you can. Every minute counts. 

That could be a short nap in your car before work or a meeting. Or a moment spent looking at a beautiful skyline. Or a Saturday night Epsom salt bath. Or a yin yoga class you love. 

Anything you can do is amazingly healing <3

3. Add lots of nutrients to your day to boost your energy –

Your body needs extra nutrients when you’re under stress and adding a few more energy-dense foods can give you a nice boost of energy. And it also can be easy :)

- Head to your favourite juice bar and grab a freshly- pressed juice. These are nutrient powerhouses!

- Bring an apple or orange to work and enjoy it mid-afternoon

- Add a veggie to breakfast and/or lunch, like avocado, carrots, or just add a spoonful or two of salsa.

- Add sea salt to your water, it’s surprisingly healing (more on that here)

Start by adding just one, and add another one when you’re ready. No rush, go at your own pace :)

4. Add two easy nutrients –

Our body needs extra B vitamins and magnesium when we’re under stress and it can be really easy to become deficient quickly. Happily, these are also cheap and easy supplements :)

B Vitamins – look for a B25 or B50 complex and take it with breakfast. It turn your urine a very entertaining colour…so don’t be too shocked :)

Magnesium – choose a bisglycinate, glycinate, or citrate form. Enjoy 300mg 1 – 2 x per day. It’s a relaxing and energy-producing mineral :)

5. It’s okay to get some help…it can speed things along  –

I’m a wee bit stubborn (I can hear all of my close friends and family laugh…maybe I’m more than a wee bit on the stubborn side). I like to do things myself and I really struggle with asking for help.

And, the first time I dealt with adrenal fatigue/burn out I DID ask for help but I was just sent to specialist after specialist, and all of them told me I was fine (I was DEFINITELY NOT fine).

But, over the years I’ve learned how powerful it can be to get help from a practitioner trained in helping with exhaustion and adrenal fatigue. When you’re feeling tired and your brain is fuzzy, it can be hard to know what to do and to find the right direction.

Naturopaths, Functional Medicine Doctors, and Registered Holistic Nutritionists (like me :) can help you get your energy and life back as quickly as possible.

I’d love to help you; I know first hand how wonderful it is to heal from exhaustion. You can find my consultation packages here :)

Please remember, you’re not alone. How you’re feeling right now is normal…it’s just that no one is talking about. 

So let’s start talkin’ about it <3