Updated: Apr 26, 2021
By Dr. Kimberley Ramberan, ND
With 2020 behind us, we look ahead to a new year. January usually brings with it a sense of fresh starts, resets, and new years resolutions but this New Year, 2021, things might feel different and this is why – We are exhausted!
Think of it this way…
The last year has taken a toll on us emotionally and physically. Our brains are exhausted from “spinning its wheels”. Between the complete change in the way we live our lives, we have also been living with a subtext of the constant unknown and significant change while social isolating from our loved ones. We are also constantly trying to process new expectations for ourselves and the world around us, which leaves us feeling anxious and constantly unsettled.
Once we have acknowledged how we feel, the next step for most us is to ask: “Okay, what am I going to DO about it? Where do I start? Should I read a book, bake something, learn how to play chess or knit?” What I ask my patients to do instead of giving themselves more tasks to complete is work on creating space for themselves, taking time to GROUND themselves.
Grounding means bringing your focus to what is happening to you physically. This can be either in your body or in your surrounding by giving your mind and body time and space to connect. This gives you the feeling of being less trapped by the thoughts in your mind that are causing you to feel anxious.
When you are grounded you feel:
This is where built in reset and recovery time is crucial to well being so we can really fuel our minds instead of depleting it more by pulling from a place of deficit. Think about an electric car. You have to make sure you give yourself time to plug the car in so you know it will have enough power to get you to where you want to go without shutting down.
Here are 3 things you can start doing right now to support getting yourself into a centered, grounded place.
#1 Create a morning routine
Start your day with 3 things you can count on every morning that can help you set a positive tone for the day. Its doesn’t have to be complicated. A morning routine can start off with taking 10 deep breathes before you get out of bed followed by a glass of warm water and saying one positive thing to yourself about yourself. We are creatures of routine so just lean into it.
#2 Declutter your physical space and your mind
Decluttering your space, especially since we have all been spending so much time at home, is similar to decluttering your mind of things you need to let go of. If you haven’t used it, looked at it or thought about it by now you aren’t going to. Create some physical order and space for yourself and notice the calm that follows. This is true for our relationships as well. Asking yourself if you really need to prioritize spending your time and energy on relationships that don’t nourish is a very valid question especially when you’re exhausted. Give the relationships in your life that support you what energy you do have and it will come back to you 10 fold.
#3 Get outside regardless of weather (dress for it)
The more time we spend in nature, the more easily we can connect to surrounding and get out of our heads. It’s so easy to make excuses about not wanting to go outside due to the weather, but all you need is 10 minutes. Going outside to walk or hike or simply to sit and breathe will help you get more perspective on everything else going on in life.
There are 3 areas of health that you can think about supporting with Naturopathic Care in order optimize your well-being and prevent worsening of symptoms.
#1 Cognitive Brain support
Our brains have been spending a great deal of fuel and time in a constant state of reconfiguration in order to understand how to cope. Some days are better than others and that largely depends on how much gas there is in the tank. Many have reported in the context of pandemic that they are suffering more from brain fatigue than physical fatigue. Supporting the brain with proper nutrients that are specific for detoxification, circulation, and maintain healthy neurotransmitter production is key to preventing exhausting and increasing our overall sense of well being.
#2 Adrenal and Hormonal Support
The adrenals, the body’s shock absorbers, are the core of the endocrine stress response system. Two of their most important hormones, adrenaline and cortisol, are responsible for the fight-or-flight response.
Prolonged stress, whether as a result of emotional, environmental or physical causes, is problematic for the adrenals. Initially, it results in chronically elevated cortisol levels, resulting in weight gain (especially around the midsection), blood sugar imbalances, thinning skin, muscle wasting, memory loss, high blood pressure, dizziness, hot flashes, night sweats, excessive facial hair, and other changes in hormones.
We are an unusually social species that thrive on the company of others, especially the people we know and love. Biologically we require touch, talk and time with other people. Research shows that people in isolation can demonstrate signs of physical trauma via brain imaging. Our emotions are constantly being pulled on in order to refashion the understanding of the world which doesn’t leave a lot of energy for relaxed enjoyment. This is a perfect recipe for an increase in anxiety and low mood.
Putting into practice some techniques and routine behaviours that can keep you feeling grounded is vital to getting through this pandemic. Start simple and stick to it for 14 days and healthy habits will start to be second nature!
If any of these 3 areas sound familiar or resonate with you and you would like to discuss what you can do to support healthy cognitive function, emotional well being and adrenal health, a Naturopathic approach to your health care can be extremely valuable to get you back to feeling like your best self.
To find out more about Naturopathic Care, contact Darou Wellness at 416-214-9251 to book an appointment or a free 15min meet and greet with Dr. Kimberley Ramberan, ND.
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