If you are feeling like most people are, you are probably feeling drained, tired, and looking for something to combat the fatigue. 2021 so far feels like a continuation of 2020 because the lockdowns initiated at the end of 2020 were carried over into 2021. This lockdown may be harder to get through for many because the days are colder and darker and going outdoors for walks is harder. Seasonal affective disorder is prominent during Winter in a normal year but with this pandemic and lockdown measures, seasonal affective disorder may be more widespread especially with the lack of socialization.
2020 really showed us the strength of our adrenal glands and how well our adrenal and cortisol regulation is. All the stress and anxiety we experienced activated our hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. This led to the production of cortisol and epinephrine (adrenaline) from the adrenal gland. These adrenal glands, if you aren’t familiar with them, sit on top of the kidneys like little hats on our kidneys. During times of stress and anxiety, we activate our sympathetic nervous system and generate that "fright or flight" response promoting the release of adrenaline. Following this acute adrenaline rush, we produce cortisol to keep us in survival mode during times of stress.
Cortisol is a blood sugar hormone which means it increases blood sugar to get more glucose to our muscles and help with energy during physical activities and times of stress. Cortisol can also suppress the immune system and makes it harder to fight infections which can make us more prone to colds, flus and other infections. This is why they give glucocorticoids like prednisone and dexamethasone to suppress inflammation in chronic infections, inflammatory states and/or autoimmune conditions. Cortisol production can also contribute to sex hormone imbalances (testosterone, estrogen and progesterone) and may affect libido, endurance and strength, and for females it might affect their menstrual cycles over time. High cortisol can affect our sleep and energy levels and over a long period of time, it can increase our blood sugar and put us at risk of diabetes and weight gain.
Over time, our adrenal glands start to lose their charge and cannot keep up with cortisol production. This is when we start feeling sluggish, fatigue, brain foggy, low motivated, depressed and may even feel like we are running on adrenaline because in reality, we are. The good news is that there are ways to re-charge your adrenals and get its cortisol and hormone levels regulated again much like you re-charge your cell phone. Just like you probably grab your mobile charger and charge your phone before it reaches 0%, the BEST time to begin to re-charge your adrenal glands is before you crash and hit total burn-out. That means for most people, NOW is the right time!
4. NATURE TIME
6. SLOW DOWN and REST
7. Take Your B VITAMINS
8. ADRENAL SUPPORT
10. DIGESTIVE HEALTH
There you have it – Dr. Suhani’s Top 10 Energy Hacks for 2021 + a BONUS when you are in the ultimate slump and need something to give you a boost.
Need a little guidance navigating any of the areas above? Are you doing everything and still can't seem to kick up those energy levels? Blood tests coming back normal but you are still feeling depleted? Click the link below to book a naturopathic initial assessment and we can review your complete health history and decode what/where the issue lies.