Holistic Survival Techniques For When S*it Hits The Fan – Adrenal Fatigue, Hormones, and Trauma.blog
Hi friends. I’m gonna get real with ya in this blog post. So don’t mind the F-bombs, cuz they’ll be happening…
And if you’ve stumbled across this post because you’re in pain, let me tell you from a sister – I feel you. And I’m so, so sorry. I intimately know what it’s like to be knocked down fucking HARD and having to face the pain – emotionally and physically – to get back on your feet again.
And I hope you get some value from this post. There are several links throughout this article with gems that have helped me on my journey – perhaps they will for you too.
So here’s what I’m dealing with **big breath**.
About a month and a half ago I suffered an emotional trauma. While I was out of town visiting my grandparents, my (ex)boyfriend whom I lived with for a year decided to pack his things, run off, and then break up with me over text. It seems he had no intention of even telling me he left, and when I found out what had transpired, I was informed that “this was in his best interest”. He completely deleted me from his life, refused to speak to me, and I was left to deal with our apartment and zero emotional closure.
Now C-L-E-A-R-L-Y there were issues and warning signs that I was aware of and struggling with for awhile. But this incident really side-swept me – I had never experienced such cruelty.
I’m not disclosing this to bash the ex. Remember, hurt people hurt people. Compassion.
This is for context. Shit got real ugly real fast on me. Hence, trauma!
And to let all you people out there who are (or think you are) in or recovering from a narcissistic relationship… please read / listen to this book. There are a lot of “Aha’s!” and medicine here.
Like many people out there, I have abandonment issues. Which I recognize and work on. However when faced with an insane situation like this – especially when you already deal with a lot of stress (over-achiever here ????), one may tend to get “too triggered” and have their adrenals “blow up”, like mine did.
So! I got to learn very quickly that emotional traumas and stress can wreak absolute havoc on your body. Yippee!! 😀
After extensive hormonal testing it was discovered that my cortisol levels (the stress hormone that your adrenal glands make) were off-the-charts, and my adrenals were “eating up” all of my progesterone and estrogen. Like practically all of it.
Here’s what Dysregulated Cortisol looks like in women (at least for me):
• Chronic anxiety
• Panic attacks
• Cramping (at times extreme) and spotting throughout your cycle
• Brutal cystic acne
• Chest pain and heart palpitations
• Water retention and swelling of limbs and abdomen
• Kidney and back pain
• Gastrointestinal issues
• Inability to lose weight no matter how hard you try and how well you eat
• Inability to stand up or walk up the fucking stairs without getting dizzy
• Barely being able to work or make it through the day without sedatives (super productive when you’re running two businesses btw)
• Feeling like you’re going to go insane / die
This is actually a perpetual disease that plagues our society right now. People are stressed AF. And this is what happens when it gets to be too much.
The phrase “stress kills” is no joke. It’s actually the #1 cause of disease. Because once your system gets out of whack like this for a period of time, your body starts to deteriorate.
This is also a very plausible explanation for a growing infertility epidemic. Toxic hormones and pesticides in our food don’t help, but low progesterone from high cortisol (stress) = miscarriages and infertility. Something to consider if that’s something you’re struggling with.
The big issue with stress is that once it gets to a certain extent, it becomes a biological issue which needs to be seriously addressed.
So what is a holistic-minded, light-seeking, self-help-loving girl to do in a situation like this? FREAK THE FUCK OUT AND TRY TO FIX IT AS FAST AS POSSIBLE!!
Healthy right? lol
Well that’s my tendency. I’m a voracious student of everything, and in my fairly physically incapacitated state, I’ve been reading, studying, reaching out, praying, and crying all over to be well again.
And I’ve fixed myself once before with plants and meditation, I’ll damn-well do it again.
The holistic approach doesn’t happen overnight – which is extremely uncomfortable – especially in a society where we want everything done NOW.
Adrenal fatigue can take a year or more to heal.
But a holistic approach addresses the causes of the issues. It’s not just a bandaid – so it takes time. Which I’m giving myself.
So, here’s what I’ve been doing to start the healing process.
1. I Got Tested
I went to a Naturopathic Doctor that did an entire workup and hormone panel on me. To have your hormones properly tested you need to do a SALIVA test – not blood work. It’s not nearly as accurate.
Once we had an idea of what we were dealing with I was prescribed several supplements. Here’s what I’m taking:
• Vitamin B12
• Vitamin B6 twice a day
• Pascoflair twice a day (with passionflower for relaxation)
• Cortisol Repair (with relora – key ingredient)
• Vitamin C
• Ashwaghanda twice a day
• Heavy-duty Omega 3’s with at least 1200mg EPA
• L-thyanine 100mg just before bed
• Evening primrose oil
• Vitex (400 mg one daily)
• 4 drops Iodine (not for hormones)
• 100mg 5-HTP (boosts serotonin when I’m feeling low – DO NOT take with most antidepressants)
• 10 mg Melatonin at bedtime – which honestly isn’t doing shit. So full disclosure, I’m having to lean on some xanax right now. ‘Cuz let’s face it – when you’re up against being totally insane the next day because you couldn’t sleep – you need to just do what you need to do to survive. You don’t need the additional stress, and it’s not forever.
So yeah… I’m like a walking fucking pharmacy right now – and it ain’t cheap. But it’s better than having a stroke, am I right?! ;D
If you’re suffering with adrenal and hormonal issues, please consult a health professional before taking a bunch of supplements. Your imbalance could be caused for different reasons so getting tested with your own personalised plan is really important.
You also want to be sure you have no interactions with other things you may be taking.
2. I cry. A lot.
You gotta let those emotions OUT. When I feel like I need to cry, I just go in another room (if there’s other people around) and do it. Or just cry in the middle of a busy restaurant and make other people uncomfortable. I’ve done that a few times 😀
The release is part of the healing process and holding onto emotions just manifests more dis-ease.
When your hormones are all over the place and anxiety is through the roof, it’s very easy to get overwhelmed. And it’s totally ok.
Just find a safe space, curl up, crumple on the floor. Whatever you need to do. Just let it out.
Always my go-to saviour. This is SO KEY PEOPLE.
After my breakup I went to Italy and ate a bunch of pasta and drank a bunch of wine. ‘Cuz Eat, Pray, Love, right? WRONG!
When your body is this angry, the last thing it needs is a shit ton of cheese and alcohol to try to process. And I certainly paid for it with limb swelling and stomach issues.
After Italy I immediately got on the raw green veggies, whole healthy grains, and superfood tonics and noticed a big difference in just a couple days.
I’m using an Ayurvedic method of eating to help pacify my system imbalance. I recommend doing a quick test on this site which offers a wealth of insight into your system and imbalances.
I’m also consulting an Ayurvedic practitioner to really dig in and map out a plan.
Consistent meals are also very important when you have adrenal fatigue. Keeping your blood sugar stable will help reduce anxiety.
For me, it’s all about cooling veggies, sweet, watery fruit, grounding vegetarian stews, and hearty oatmeal.
And my favourite tonic which includes:
• 1/2 tsp of my Chaga tea (to keep my immunity up)
• 1 tsp ashwaghanda powder
• 1 tbsp cocoa powder
• 1/4 cup coconut milk
• 3/4 cup hot water
• xylitol to sweeten
Also super duper important. My body was holding onto water like crazy so I researched an Ayurvedic water recipe and method of boiling and cooling water to help my body process water better.
I’ve also been travelling and hate buying bottled water (plastic is the devil) and there are so many toxins in tap water – so I Amazon’d these handy portable filters that also alkalise the water. Never travelling without these again!
This should actually be #1 on the list.
In Ayurveda, it says that when you’re unbalanced, always pacify Vata first. This is the dosha that when out of balance leads to anxiety, insomnia, worry, anger, fear – basically all the symptoms of elevated cortisol.
And the best pacifier for Vata is meditation.
As a perpetual seeker of enlightenment (probably not in this lifetime but a girl can try) I’ve been “a meditator” for a while now, and I was very fortunate to be going through a Kriya Yoga (type of meditation) course at the time of my trauma incident.
Obviously I wasn’t able to participate in it fully after disaster struck, but it at least I had something to focus on and some spiritual guidance when it all went down.
There is absolutely a healing science to meditation and I’m currently mixing my own flavour.
I’m mixing Kriya techniques with some lower chakra energy raising techniques I recently learned in this far-out book.
I found the book’s techniques extra helpful because it deals with raising the energy of the 3 lower chakras – which happen revolve around sexual trauma, hormonal issues, and adrenals. All very relatable issues for me right now.
When energy becomes stuck in our body, it can’t flow to the higher centers. Emotions are energy and traumas need to be lifted through the body. We can actually tap our own energy field as a resource for healing.
A pic of me demonstrating the technique – perched on uneven ground and very swollen legs ???? Thanks hormones!
Try this meditation out for yourself:
Note: I like to listen to binaural beats to help block out noise and get me into a trance state. On an esoteric level, it’s also helpful to face East and sit on wool which helps with grounding your energy.
1. Find a quiet place to sit cross-legged with your hips supported so your spine is straight (important). Keep your hands relaxed and open, palms facing up on your legs.
2. Close your eyes and set a healing intention. Begin drawing energy up your spine by contracting your perineum, lower abdomen, and upper abdomen muscles as you breath in slowly through your nose – filling up your whole body, lifting your eyes and imagining the energy and cerebrospinal fluid being drawn up your spine like a straw and out the top of your head.
3. Clench your muscles and breath for as long as you can. Then heavily exhale through the mouth and relax.
4. Repeat the breathing exercise 6-8 times. I usually feel hot but calm after this with my hands tingling with energy.
5. Hold your attention on your third eye as you breathe in and out in a regular manner. As you breathe in, chant “hong” in your mind, and “sau” as you exhale.
6. Continue this mantra until you go deeper within yourself and then focus on becoming no-thing. Just emptiness and peace.
7. Thoughts will come and go, just try to remain focused on the third eye. If you find yourself falling asleep, lift your eyes again and remain focused. Most people think meditation is passive but is actually a very active and deliberate practise. A successful meditation should not result in falling asleep – although that is very relaxing 🙂
8. Open your focus and put attention on different parts of your body. Unfold as pure consciousness and bring up elevated emotions like joy and gratitude. Try to feel them fully. Visualize what you look like as whole and healthy. Bless your body, bless your life, bless your soul and bless your challenges.
9. Give thanks for the new health and vitality that is unfolding in your life now.
10. When you’re finished, lie down and allow the autonomic nervous system take over and program your body with healing energy and intention.
Om shanti shanti ❤
Yoga is also a vedic science (like Ayurveda) that has so many healing properties.
In a state of adrenal stress, it’s really important NOT to put too much physical stress on yourself. Aggressively working out will make things worse.
I notice when I do a power flow or strength conditioning, I’m more sore than normal the next day and very tired. Annoying because I like harder workouts… but I know my body is needing me to slow way down and I need to respect that.
I have this whole awesome sequence of a combination of adrenal self-massage, a 12 minute adrenal Kundalini exercise, and a beautiful long rejuvenating hormone balancing Yin sequence that I created a post about. Check it out HERE – it’s incredibly helpful. 🙂
7. Nadi Shodhana
Alternate nostril breathing is a fantastic way to calm yourself down when you’re dealing with anxiety. It helps to balance the two hemispheres of the brain and is a great “panic fix”.
I do this a lot. I notice that my cortisol levels are elevated when my insides start to feel tense and my breath shallows. This technique is a life-saver.
If you’re new to Nadi Shodhana, here’s how you do it:
1. Using the right THUMB, close the right nostril, and inhale as slowly as you can through the left nostril, then close the left nostril with your RING finger. Exhale slowly, then and inhale slowly through the right nostril.
2. Close the right nostril with your thumb and exhale and inhale slowly. Switch nostrils and repeat until you start to feel more calm.
You can continue this breath exercise for several minutes – the longer you do it, the more balancing benefit you’ll receive.
So I’m on the road to recovery but I’m still traumatized – not just from this one incident but a series of disturbing events that have left me pretty disillusioned and upset.
I’ve done a looooooooot of personal development work over the past few years. And I can understand and rationalize many things about myself. But sometimes we need a little help from a professional when things get too messy.
Seeing a professional therapist can help shift and reframe things to get you back to feeling empowered and operating at your full potential.
Get grounded in Mother Nature. Swim in the ocean, stand under a waterfall, walk in the forest, GET OUT OF THE CITY.
I was recently in a very busy area of Berlin for 2 weeks and it almost killed me. I emergency flew to an Island in Portugal where the energy is much calmer and laid back – I started sleeping better immediately and the beautiful sights heal my soul every day.
Also, essential oils! I cover myself with calming lavender every day.
My current refuge in Madeira Island, Portugal
10. Energy Healing
I’ve received some incredible medicine from a martial arts energy healing practitioner that has really helped my physical symptoms. I’m also consulting with a Shaman versed in American Indigenous energy work to shift things on a soul level.
I’m all about the woo – and I’ll talk about this more in my next post 😉
I can’t be thankful enough for the amazing people in my life that have helped support me through this difficult time. Life is really fucking tough sometimes. No one gets through unscathed.
I’m eternally grateful for the angels, guardians, and spiritual ninjas that are helping me heal brokenness into resilience.
And speaking of gratitude. You DO NOT have to be grateful for the perpetrators and negative circumstances in your life in order to heal. Gratitude brings more of what you’re grateful for, so FUCK THAT. I’m not grateful for what happened to me, but I’m grateful for the lessons I learned along the way ❤