Friday, September 12, 2014

Getting back into sorts

Along the Seine River by Karla Nolan

Coming out of winter here into spring I’m finding myself quite tired.  I am easy to irritate and have been forgetting things.  There seems to be a lot going on all around me – at work and home – and I find it overwhelming when I am not my usual self.

I know I’ve felt like this before and come out of it, but it’s not nice to feel out of sorts like I do currently.  But just making plans to help myself feels better though.  I know that more early nights, less computer time and more good foods (especially protein) will help me get back into balance.

Have you ever heard of adrenal fatigue?  I remember going into a health food store and talking with the owner more than a dozen years ago and he told me it sounded like I had that.  I had gone in for St John’s Wort as I felt quite flat, but he put me onto an adrenal support supplement instead so perhaps I’ll invest in another bottle (it isn’t too expensive and for me it will just be a short-term thing).

At the moment it feels a bit like my tank is running on empty, and normal everyday interactions and problems can feel like they are getting on top of me.

My life is quite simplified already, both time-wise and possessions-wise, but when I feel like I do now, it doesn’t feel like I lead a simple life at all!  I long to empty out my rooms at home and have as little as possible around me.  Those pictures on minimalist living websites (the pretty rooms, not the stark ones) sound like bliss to me right now.

I know all things to do with nature go in cycles and I know I’m in a strange one right now, but I see it as a good thing.  It helps me to know what I want and know how I need to treat myself.

So here is my feel-better plan:

Wonderfully early nights to bed.  My husband already knows that I don’t feel myself at the moment, so he’ll understand.  Often he has quite early nights too, so it might be sleepy-time at 9pm (or even earlier) rather than 10pm for a while.

Stay away from junky foods especially sugar (which you crave more when feeling flat I’ve found) and make sure to include good, natural protein at each meal.

Limit screen-time after dinner.  This means I watch one tv programme (which is the most I would anyway) and have the laptop shut down before dinner.

Investigate the purchase of a bottle of Adrenal Support supplement and start taking those.

Limit caffeine drinks and don’t have any caffeine after mid-afternoon.

Walk outside as many days as I can.

Don’t leave too long between meals.  Sometimes if I’m busy at work it could be 2-3pm before I eat some lunch.  Considering I had breakfast at about 8am and a soy latte mid-morning, that’s too late.  I need to be more organised with having lunch ready to go, rather than get to 1pm and start preparing it (and be ready for the inevitable interruptions that goes with retail).

Tidy up my surroundings (this is mostly for work for me at the moment).  Because it is coming into the new season we have many deliveries which means unpacking, pricing and photographing for my husband, and ‘cutting out’ the photos then loading onto the website for me.  As well as working in the store, doing all the admin and everything else that comes with running your own business.  This means less urgent work is pushed to the background, such as filing, tidying and organising.  But those things when left undone contribute to stress, so I am focused on doing the important as well as the urgent work.

Completing small tasks.  Don't you find it's the little things, unfinished, that bother you the most?  As I go through my day I am endeavouring to complete small tasks as I come across them, and I always receive a boost when I do.

Be around nice people.  Keeping away from people that get me down is important because they affect me more when I'm like this.  And worry and stress doesn't help you feel better!  It’s not always possible of course (I have to deal with many different types of people at work), but I’ve realised that dealing with horrid people who won’t be happy no matter what you do can be minimised.  It helps me to see it’s their problem not mine, and I can limit or eliminate my time with them.  Life is just too short to be around nasty people.

This article gave me some good tips for getting myself back into happy and healthy land so you might find it useful if you feel a little burned out yourself.


  1. I agree on all the tips you wrote. Perhaps they already in the supplement you want to buy, but B vitamins are great for fatigue, especially during the changes of season. And I also rely on probiotics: as a doctor told me recently, if your gut works well your overall health is better.

  2. Great list, Fiona! I have been running very low on energy here lately and I know it's the junky food and not enough rest. Time to change that!

  3. Solid suggestions these are... "Overwhelmed" was the word I used to describe myself the other day. And yes, it is often the "little things" that end up being the emotional tipping points, I believe.

  4. HI, I have been suffering from adrenal fatigue for a while now, and yes it does feel like you are absolutely on the floor! From your list, it looks as though you have everything covered, especially staying away from the people who manage to drain you, emotional vampires I call them - so important. I hope you start to feel well soon, just listen to your body's needs and trust your instincts, as I am sure you will. Best wishes.

  5. I am joining your blog now. I will be glad to share comments, tips, input motivating with you all.
    deb from Italy

  6. I agree with Veritas and what a great way to describe negative people - emotional vampires. I went through this early in the summer, and, after breaking away from some people who were true downers, I began to see my energy return and my outlook was brighter. That, and I returned to my aerobics classes. You certainly are on the right track.

  7. Dear Fiona, I've been feeling like you have but I know it's because I am peri-menopausal (I will be 49 in a few weeks). The hormones, just like the article you linked us to says, can reek havoc. Your "feel better plan" sounds great. The staying away from sweets is the most challenging for me!

  8. Since July, I have cut back on wine and any sugary treats. I watch one Netflix choice usually something BBC and try to be in the bedroom at about 9:00. An early morning walk and regular meals seem to be giving me the energy that I need for clarity and enthusiasm. I find that if I "shut down" negative conversations before they get going, I can avoid having my energy drained by others. I think that you have taken positive steps and will benefit from your choices.

  9. Thanks for sharing this, Fiona! I feel I too may be suffering from adrenal fatigue. Off to research!

  10. Hi Fiona,

    I too struggled with adrenal fatigue on and off for years and can completely relate. I have had success managing it more recently.

    In addition to your great plan, and all the great tips suggested in these comments, I suggest the following. If you haven't already, get tested for vitamin B12 levels as well as serum ferritin (level of iron stores). These two tests are often underplayed and yet healthy levels of both have made a massive difference to me and others I know in dealing with fatigue. It's possible to be very low on serum ferritin to the extent that it causes tiredness and be normal on the anemia blood tests. As well, with B12, the standard minimum level for the normal range is far too low in most countries to support good energy levels. If you take B12, take methylcobalamin (cyanocobalamin is no good and may even be harmful).

    Good luck with everything!


  11. I haven't heard of adrenal fatigue. When I feel this way (and it's often), I usually think it's my hormones, but I'm not so sure. I also have to adjust when the seasons change. They all have their own unique rythm.

  12. Thank you ladies for all your wonderful tips and ideas. I plan on trying them all. And welcome to Deb from Italy!

  13. You may want to try a regular latte instead of soy for a few days. Soy milk makes me so tired I can barely function.

  14. Hello again from Canada, Fiona!
    Wishing you great success in your Feel-Better programme...I am burnt out too and appreciate your post and tips. I have been just praying and asking God to fill me with His energy so that I can carry out my tasks!
    Sending you love and light,

  15. Dear Fiona,

    Sorry you are feeling out of sorts but I have faith in you in following your good plan you have outlined that you'll be back to your best soon. And if not, that you'll see your doc of choice to be sure all is as it should be. Positive thoughts and prayers from across the world to you, sweet blogger.....Kathryn :)

  16. Urgent
    Please get a blood test. Do not diagnose yourself.
    Fatigue may be just fatigue, it may be as you self-diagnose, a hormonal problem or there is a chance it is something more serious, so PLEASE see your G.P. and explain your symptoms.

  17. Thank you for your concern! I had my annual Dr checkup this week, with blood tests etc.

    I'm feeling a million times better already though, by cutting out most sugar, only having a couple of caffeine drinks and quitting them before mid-afternoon, nice early nights, and I started an adrenal supplement on the weekend.

    I was recommended a choice of two different ones and went for Vitafit Adrenal Support along with Nutralife Fatigue Fighter (both products NZ made).

    The other supplement option which I think was US-made is Nature's Sunshine Adrenal Support if anyone is interested in trying it.

  18. september is a hectic month for all of us, running in and out to get things done. but alas, we are little french ladies and we will take our due time to relax and enjoy our part of bliss in dayroutine. My one is gym in the evening and a good shower afterwards. I am trying to eat gracefully and well , avoiding junk food . The mind has to change first of all. Into a little snob french thing hopefully.
    deb from italy
    ciao Fiona!

  19. Hi Fiona! Isn't it funny how serendipitous things can be...I just found your post on my blog today (thanks so much!) and came here for a, I'm so glad I did, it was perfect timing. I've been feeling like "the gerbil on the wheel" running like crazy (I guess I WAS getting a lot done) until I just about hit burn-out! Time to pull back, simplify (again), regroup, take care of my health, etc. especially trying to cut back on sugar!! (already got most caffeine out of my life which was a good and necessary thing (for me anyways). Anyways- love your blog- I think we read many of the same things!!

  20. QUITE right, time to simplify again and cut onto unnecessary calories, and superfluos things.

  21. Dear Fiona,

    I'm so happy to hear you feeling better.
    Did you notice that more hair is falling off? Did you have your iron level checked?

    I appreciate all the tips you shared with us.


Merci for your comment. Wishing you a chic day!

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