Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Ragged Edge of Modern Life

Here we are on the eve of Christmas, wrapping presents, running to the Pharmaprix for last minute stocking gifts because we just realized Janie has 2 more than Johnnie, and forgot about the cat and the dog's stockings....

awakening from a short sleep because of partying with neighbours the night before, more tired than yesterday...

sex is just a dream you had the other night, it didn't actually happen....

too pooped to coop, and forever catching up with more caffeine, and weary to the bone.

What do the latest health studies call this?  Adrenal fatigue syndrome (or another name for burnout according to an article in Vogue's December issue, the reason I bought the magazine, called The Ragged Edge).

We are all plugged in more than ever, and our nerves are over stimulated and 'hypertweeted'. Not only mid-life women are being treated for stress-related illnesses, but women in mid-life are particularly vulnerable. "When we're under ling-term stress, our adrenal glands continually churn out high levels of the hormone cortisol. Eventually the adrenals can't sustain that level of activation, cortisol levels plummet, and our body can no longer respond effectively to stress." Dr. Amy Saltzman, M.D. in Menlo Park California, Vogue December issue 2009.

I've blogged about adrenal fatigue on ms menopause blog ( and there are wonderful articles at on this subject.

It's a bit like having the fight or flight option on your adrenal glands always on 'on'.  We wear ourselves down by the constant beep of the phone, computer, email, blackberry, calling us to action.  Everything feels like an emergency when you are always rushing, or addicted to the adrenaline fix, as Cheryl Richardson calls it in her book The Art of Extreme Self-Care.  It's difficult to unhook ourselves from being always reachable, always available, yet it causes a severe attention deficit as we try to multi-task our way through our days, dealing with clients emails, stirring the stew pot on the stove, helping Janie with her homework and catching the 6:00 news on TV at the same time.

What if you use this holiday as a real unplugged vacation?  Go somewhere where there is no internet.  Unplug the computer and the phone, and just sit in front of the fire unwrapping presents and sipping hot chocolate, or even better, get outside and get some physical activity, skiing, snowshoeing, swimiming (if you live in Hawaii or Australia).

Get lots of Vitamin B, fish oil land asian ginsent. Eat well, rest, and devote at least a little bit of time every day to doing nothing - be that by watching your breath, sitting in zen meditation or looking out the window at the amazing changes in the sky moment by moment.

Happy Holidays, Happy Restfulness,
May the new year bring you permission to feel more serenity, tranquility and love,



Raven said...

also need to check thyroid and support it with fish oils and kelpxx

Over the Top said...

yes Sue thanks. FIsh oil capsules every day keep the fatigue away. Mine are called "Joy" because they bring that too. I also love a product called Adrenasens, but you'd have to check it out for yourself first to see if you need the extra boost.
Seaweed is full of good minerals and healthy greens....