Well now there’s a new term to describe this feeling and it’s fast becoming a modern day health problem: Adrenal fatigue or to put it even more simply, adrenalin overload. And according to experts more and more of us are suffering from it and it’s damaging our health. It’s even been accepted as a real ailment by the World Health Organisation.
Dealing with a heavy workload, financial concerns, running around toddlers or teens can make you feel constantly under threat, triggering your ‘fight or flight’ stress reaction. However this stress response is now switched on for far longer than it should be which is ultimately leaving us stressed and exhausted.
When we’re overly stressed we find it harder to sleep. And then when we’re sleep deprived it increases the odds that we’ll get ‘anticipatory anxiety’ – that sense of dread you feel before a big test, presentation etc. That’s because the loss of deep sleep fires up your amygdala and insular cortex – the regions of your brain responsible for emotional processing as well as your flight or fight response.
We’re all expected to be able to juggle lots of balls in the air these days but if we don’t make the time to relax and indulge in some ‘me’ time then those balls will come tumbling down.
Here’s our top tips for relaxing:
- Make sure your bedroom is a place of peace and tranquillity – a perfect escape from the toils and troubles of everyday life. Keep it cool, quiet and dark.
- Devote half an hour to an hour every day to do something you find enjoyable – whether it’s reading, having a bath, listening to some music or even going for a walk.
- Take small time-outs to consciously slow down and re-balance.
- Regular exercise helps you to cope with stress. If you’re exhausted don’t over-do it, try a yoga class instead.
- Put down those gadgets before bed. Leave mobile phones and tablets downstairs out of reach and try to refrain from using them a couple of hours before bedtime.
If you want some further advice or exercise click here.