September 18, 2012

Rest Your Body, Rest Your Mind

With adrenal fatigue, it's vital that one gets proper rest. That 2-3 pm crash that many people get is their adrenals telling them to take a nap lest the precious glands overextend themselves. Otherwise, you're bound to end up in a hellacious mood when they start pumping the stress hormone cortisol through your body. Keep your cortisol levels from rising during the day, and you'll have a more restful sleep at night, too. To reap the full benefits, you should make sure you're lying down horizontally, not just sitting down. You'd be amazed at the benefits that arise from a 15-20 minute midday nap. 

While I don't always drift off in an afternoon slumber, I do like to take a break from everything to focus on relaxation and quiet. My favorite thing to do as of late is hang out in the yard with Tucker. I usually bring lunch or a snack and a book with me. Sometimes I don't do anything but sit or lie in the grass, give Tucker doggie massages, and let the city sounds fade into the background. I've been enjoying the last of the summer sun in this very soothing way.

Physical rest is not the only thing that nourishes the adrenals. Cortisol management is the key. Both sleep and reduction of stress keep the cortisol peaks at bay. Sometimes doing a calming activity can be just as revitalizing for me as a nap. This past weekend, I rested my mind.

We've been taking Tucker to the dog park a lot. I love seeing the wide grin on his face, his tongue flopped to the side. Plus, we get to hike around on the trails after he gets his play time in. What a great opportunity to unwind!

While Tuck was running around like a mad man – his playmate that day was a 200 lb Great Dane – I found a bench near the trees to meditate and clear my mind of any stagnant emotions. I had a lemon turmeric drink (alkalizing and anti-inflammatory) at my side and a journal at my fingertips. Moments like those are just as important for healing as resting the physical self. The simple acts bring about the most profound change within.

Over the last couple months, my energy has not been as abundant as I'd like. I haven't been able to do a lot of the outdoorsy things that invigorate me. The hike we took made me feel so alive. We took an easy trail that meandered through the hills. The walk was a welcome retreat for J and I. We were far away from everyday stressors and able to enjoy being together.

On the way home, we stopped at the store to pick up a few items for dinner. J stayed in the car with Tucker while I got the groceries. When I got back to the car, I spied a very tired pup in the back of the car!

Our peaceful weekend also included going to an all-vegan brunch buffet with two of our friends. The restaurant we went to is great because they rarely use veggie meats in their dishes. The food is old-school hippie vegan at its best. The only downside of eating there is that many of the entrees are not gluten-free. I'm not allergic, but I feel far better when I exclude gluten from my diet. For the most part, I managed to avoid it. I had a tasty Moroccan stew, several different cold veggie dishes, grape leaves, and some cake. Small portions, mind you. I wanted to eat more of the pesto veggies (part of a pasta salad. I picked around the noodles), but my stomach had no more room!

A funny thing happens to me when I eat very satisfying, well-prepared vegan fare. Those wonderful cooked meals make me realize just how much I love raw foods. While I enjoy hearty vegan cooked meals, raw foods make me buzz. The ease of digestion, the hydrating freshness, the energy boost. There's nothing better. What can I say? I'm in love!

So, that was my worry-free weekend. Yesterday, I awoke rested and ready to tackle the day.

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