The adrenals are the tiny glands that sit on top of each the left and right kidney. These tiny glands are powerful. They are the origin of many functions of our body. One of the primary functions is to regulate our fight or flight response. The adrenal glands help protect us by thrusting us into trauma response when we are in danger. Danger being an acute danger, or immediate threat to our wellbeing. However, often we are trapped into a chronic level of fear state, due to media, potential high stress events, the pandemic, and the resurfacing of our past trauma and fear.
When at home, during the self-quarantine, it is important to incorporate lifestyle habits which will support the adrenals resetting to a resting or parasympathetic state. Yes there is much anxiety and uncertainty that many of us are experiencing, however we can treat the adrenals so we are not in an acute trauma state. The fact remains, that the majority of us are in safe homes with food and a warm bed. Looping into fear via obsessively watching the news is the mind’s attempt to help by thinking it is able to control. If we can control, we can remain safe armed with information. This is in fact not true. The way to stay safe is to put your adrenals into a resting state. Here are three important tips:
- Routine! Routine! The #1 treatment for the adrenals is routine. While in self-quarantine, it is common to just let the day run you however, the more you keep to a schedule, the safer you and your kids will feel. Maintain the same waking time; maintain the same sleep schedule; maintain play times; maintain homeschool times; maintain parent work times; maintain meal times. May seem “not fun” but within the structure, you are free to do what you wish!
- Blood sugar regulation. Many of us are not moving as much, we are not going out of the homes, rushing to work and various events. We are not expanding as many calories. We also have easy access to the kitchen. However, it is extremely important, perhaps now more than ever, to have routine meal times. Have a non-negotiable breakfast, lunch and dinner schedule. The more routine it is, the safer you will feel, the less stress on the adrenals. The body will not tip into ruminating thoughts, when there is absolute certainty of the next meal time. Make it so routine, that when you feel a bit of hunger and look at the clock, it should be the exact time of your next meal. Your body needs to know. It needs predictability.
- Breath. We are mammals. And mammals in the wild when they are under attack or fearing their life, they will hold breath and become as small and contracted as possible. We are mammals, and we do the same thing in daily life. Many of us during times of stress will hold our breath. Or we will breathe shallow from the upper 10% of our lungs. While at home we are not in acute or immediate danger. It is important to catch this pattern and reprogram it. Each and every time you feel distress or fear or anxiety, check your breath and drop into a deep belly breath and repeat 10x. Catch this throughout the day. I would venture to guess it happens up to 5x an hour! Catch it each and every time and deep breathe. This needs to be a pattern interrupt. I would guess that 99% of patients with adrenal issues do not breathe effectively and often hold their breath. Deep breathing will reset the adrenals from an adrenalized state to a calm resting state.
I hope these are helpful. Remember each and every one of these points, is a point to Master. It takes time and dedication and repetition. Keep at it daily and post in the facebook group how you feel!
In health, Dr. Neetu