Certain times of year can be extremely busy. It can be especially busy heading into the end of the year! As soon as we turn over to November 1 on the calendar, it seems like everyone kicks it into high gear towards the end of the year.
I want to remind you of a toxin which you can’t see but can become magnified during busy times of the of the year – stress.
Stress and Its Toll
Stress is an invisible toxin that can definitely get magnified during this time of the year – especially for busy moms! Unfortunately, this is something I know a great deal about. When people ask me what made me sick in the first place, I say there were so many things, but I know one of those things was stress. Stress can be toxic to our body!
Stress can be both good and bad. There are also different types of stress. In Dr. Don Colbert’s book, Stress Less, he mentions that stress in America has reached epidemic proportions, causing more physical and emotional problems than ever before. As he suggests, it’s important to recognize personal stress triggers, control anxious thoughts, redefine stressful relationships (that one goes back to toxic emotions) and relax using simple techniques.
Stress Leading to Adrenal Fatigue
Unfortunately, far too many times in my life, I let stress take a toll. I did not manage it well and I paid a price. A few years ago I got severe adrenal fatigue. I didn’t realize what it was until it was too late.
Some of my symptoms included:
- racing heart rate,
- difficulty sleeping,
- chronic fatigue,
- daily sore throat,
- not able to have even enough strength to walk across a parking lot
I was someone who thrived on stress, but I got to the point that my body couldn’t handle one ounce of stress anymore. Fortunately, after finally figuring out what was happening, and after many long months, my adrenals strengthened. I thought to myself, I never want to go through that again, but it was something that stuck in the back of my mind. I’m sure those of you who have overcome illness have had similar thoughts.
Stressful Life Changing Events
Looking back on July of this year, I was doing really well with my health considering where I had been. I was able to go on long walks, bike rides, and even have the strength to the things that I used to. It was such an improvement and I was thankful every day that I could even just walk across the parking lot because I remembered the times that I wasn’t able to. In July, I had a few stressful events happen back to back, in addition to some longer-term stressful things that were going on in the background. I remember learning years ago that there are 5 – 10 major stresses that affect us. They are life changing events such as:
- the death of a loved one
- losing a job
- being in an accident
- having children
I seemed to be managing the long-term stress well; however, when you pile on a few other events – I call it the perfect storm. Unfortunately, I hadn’t learned how to manage my stress well enough the first time around and all of this stress led up to my autoimmune problems flaring up again, and you guessed it – adrenal fatigue! Fortunately, this time around I knew the symptoms to look out for and I was determined not to let it get the best of me again.
Fast forward to today. I’m actually thankful for the stress. As much as I hate going through it, it ultimately makes me stronger in the long run. This stress brought out other autoimmune things that still needed to be addressed in order for me to continue to move forward with my health. Let me just tell you, autoimmune issues can be a pain. And if you’re one of the 50 million Americans who is dealing with a condition, you know what I mean! Today there are many autoimmune conditions – from thyroid disease, arthritis, and diabetes, to even cancer. There are a variety of symptoms and it sometimes can be difficult to know which one you’re dealing with, let alone to be able to treat it. However, as Dr. Amy Myers mentions, at their core they are all similar in that they are an immune response caused by systemic inflammation that leads your body to attack itself.
Don’t Let Stress Ruin This Time of Year
Please don’t let this busy time of year fill you with stress. Let me just give this gentle reminder – if everything doesn’t get done, it’s ok. Give yourself some grace. Your health is more precious than making sure your house is perfectly decorated with pumpkins and turkeys in time for everyone to come over for dinner. I encourage you to try to take time for yourself (even a few minutes). Be sure to just stop where you are, stretch a little and take a few deep breaths.
Wishing you a life with less stress!