By Erin Wiley Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine
Underneath anger is fatigue. Catching yourself yelling at your loved ones? Frustrated with your coworkers? Leaning a little more on the coffee and red wine than normal? Making up arguments in your head? Escalating thoughts about how life is not going as planned and it’s impossible to get ahead? Recognizing that “this is not you” as your motivation seems to only be for Netflix, your optimism has hit rock bottom and, lets face it, you’re looking for someone or something to blame? Well chances are it’s not your family, your job or your co-workers that are making you so frustrated, grumpy and generally unpleasant (although some of those things may need to change), chances are your just F&*%ing tired.
Overwork and information overload is taking a toll on all of us. Although the pressure to be perfect and never admit weakness is causing some of us to choose to stay angry rather than admit we are tired (because hey, it looks like everyone on Instagram has life figured out), in reality we are all under a huge amount of pressure. In today’s world of smart phones and endless internet searches, the rate of information is faster than ever before, and that rate has been increasing exponentially. From my perspective, we are now hitting our biological max. There is a finite number of neuron connections our brain can make every day. If we spend those connections mindlessly and without a strategy to handle social media and email, and at the same time are pushing the number of hours in our workday to the max, there is going to be nothing left but frustration, lack of focus and poor concentration by the end of the day. Exhausting the nervous system results in both physical and mental fatigue and when this pattern is chronic, your hormone balance will make you angry and emotionally fragile.
Consider how many times a day you tell someone how busy you are or apologize for not doing something or being able to remember things the way that you used to. I see it everyday in practice and I have absolutely experienced it myself. It’s time for a gut check, a wellness inventory, a reconnection with yourself and ultimately an opportunity to recharge your spirit, or in medical terms, rebuild your endocrine system.
To perform at our best, we need to stop sacrificing sleep, exercise, fun and real life relationship-building just to get a head on a to-do list that never ends. Otherwise, we are going to risk not living our life potential, losing our spark, and losing relationships that really matter. Perhaps, if we let ourselves get too exhausted, we will no longer function and might just lose everything.
Before you quit your job, fire your assistant or break up with your partner, let’s make sure that you are running on a full tank and are thinking clearly about your life purpose.
This is what I can do to help you build your energy levels.
I can assess and educate you on how to balance your hormones to improve your mood and energy levels. If you can’t sleep, I can recommend treatment options that will help you to sleep better.
Naturopathic doctors utilize comprehensive testing techniques because fatigue can be related to so much more than just ruling out anemia. Evaluating your thyroid and adrenal function, checking for hormonal imbalances and uncovering hidden food sensitivities can all be part of this approach. Together we can choose the testing that has the highest priority for you.
We will also work to support your often overlooked mitochondrial function. These tiny organelles produce all of the energy for the body. They are a therapeutic target in the world of anti-aging medicine and require specific nutrients and antioxidants to function at their best. At our clinic, you can access IV therapy and professional strength supplements to help replenish your lost resources in a meaningful way.
And of course I would not be a Naturopathic Doctor if I did not address the underlying causes of digestive imbalances and inflammation that can lead to anxiety and depression. So much can be gained in energy by simple changes in the health of our micro-flora.
Seriously, fatigue is not working for you and this is what you will need to do.
Set up healthy boundaries around your work and sleep schedule. It’s not sustainable to constantly work 10+ hour days without support or recharge time. The goal is to work better, to be more efficient and productive but not work longer.
There is no way around it, you are going to need to go to bed on time and exercise if you want to recover and repair your endocrine system. We will start where you are at and take it one step at a time, because I know how tired you are and unmotivated you feel, and you may have kids or clients, or a boss who just does not care, but be prepared because without sleep and exercise you won’t get better.
You will need to prioritize. This means putting your basic needs for nutritious food, daily activity, fun and relationship building first. If your tank is full you will have so much to give. If your tank is empty… well, you know what will happen.
Supplements can be very supportive but you need to take them on a routine basis, at a therapeutic dose and for the correct period of time if you want your recovery to be enhanced by their effect. Although you should start to feel better in the first 2-3 weeks, supplementation is not a short-term therapy. It’s going to take time to recover what has been lost.
Ultimately, you need to be honest with yourself and uncover the driving force and beliefs behind choosing actions and behaviours that are not supportive to your health. You will need to let go of perfectionism, focus on your progress, and develop compassion for your recovery. My clients are all results-oriented, but if your negative patterns keep up the way that they have been, you are likely going to burn out.
Above all, trust your intuition and embrace clear-minded choices that are moving you in the direction of your life purpose. Where there is purpose there is great power to change.
The next step is to book your assessment by clicking here. I look forward to working with you.
Dr. Erin Wiley
Dr. Erin Wiley is a naturopathic doctor with a strong focus on preventative and integrative medicine. She is the Owner and Clinic Director of the Integrative Health Institute, an integrative medical clinic located in downtown Toronto. Erin has a strong clinical
emphasis on stress related illness, anxiety, depression and hormone balance. As a naturopathic doctor, Erin is passionate about working with people to help them better understand their health and achieve their health goals.
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