Burnout, Exhaustion, Adrenal Fatigue or Whatever You Want to Call It.

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Olive, our dog. Now she knows how to sleep when she needs it.

Some people call it burnout, some call it exhaustion, and some call it adrenal fatigue. I, myself, was diagnosed with adrenal fatigue by a naturopath for the first time back in 2007 but believe I suffered from it as far back as 2002 …I just didn’t know what it was then. I sure do now.

I have had more than one conversation in the past couple of weeks about burnout, exhaustion or adrenal fatigue and with more than one person. It seems to be a recurring theme. I am not sure if it is simply on the rise or I keep coming across it because I have to finally admit that once again I am there. This will be my 3rd go around.

I am not surprised. In fact I am surprised that it didn’t fully hit me sooner with all that has been going on in my life over the past 4 years. And I think it has taken me this long to take it as seriously as I should (which basically means SLOW DOWN YOUR LIFE) because it isn’t as bad as the first 2 times. And it shouldn’t be because a.) I have learned how to recognize it and b.) I know what I need to do to keep myself healthy.

But what has really hit me with all these conversations is that I still haven’t learned to properly say no when I need to. I have gotten better at it but obviously still not good enough.

In one of these recent conversations we talked about how burnout is not something you can have a quick fix for. It takes a year to get over it. A YEAR! A year of doing the absolute minimum. A year of resting whenever you can. A year of getting as much sleep as you can. And a year of supporting your body with the best nutrition you can. Basically a year of doing nothing but the bare minimum and eating the best you can and then maybe, just maybe, you will be ready to take on more.

When you are a parent and self employed this is a HUGE challenge.

So here is my plan:

  1. Prioritize and learn to say no (setting boundaries). This is hard for me because I like helping people. But I can’t help people if I am exhausted so I will have to be diligent in figuring out my priorities. There are so many things that I would like to do but the one thing I hate more than saying no in the first place is having to let people down by cancelling at the last minute because I am exhausted (which has started happening more than I would like, ugh).
  2. Better self care. I am a Jikiden Reiki practitioner. I should be able to find time to lie down and give myself Reiki. Do I? Not often enough. Like everybody else who comes to see me, my mind is going a mile a minute about all the things I have to do that I leave myself last. I plan to make time in my calendar for Reiki for myself, walks on the beach, swimming or other activities that I enjoy. Having said that I will say becoming a Jikiden Reiki practitioner is the best thing for me. When I do a Reiki session for someone benefits me just as much. Hopefully there will be lots of sessions in the coming year.
  3. Sleep. I love to sleep. Except when my daughter has gone to sleep and I can get just one (or ten) more thing(s) done which means I end up staying up too late. Sometimes I fall asleep with my daughter and then wake up an hour later and get back up to get those things done. No more. I am going to set a 9 p.m. time to stop all activities for the day with the goal to be sleeping by 10 p.m. It doesn’t matter what else has to be done. Sleeping is our body’s way of resting and healing itself and I know I need it more than ever.
  4. Better diet. I have already made a point of getting back to using Sunrider products which is a great way to add some nutritional punch to my diet. It would be even better if the food I ate was super nutritional, too. I have to admit when life gets crazy or I get exhausted good meal planning goes out the window and grabbing something quick is often a poor substitute. I am going to take some time to meal plan to make sure I have good food on hand for those times I need something quick or easy. I am even considering trying out the Seasonal Meal Plan from Annaliisa’s Organic Kitchen which is open for registration until September 17th. I am pretty sure I have spent more than $67 in poor food choices over the past 3 months so it seems like well spent money to me if it will get me on track to consistently eating well. I have followed Annaliisa’s Facebook page for a while and her food always looks absolutely delicious. She also has a free trial 5 day meal plan you can download.

I don’t really think we were designed to live at the pace that modern life runs at. It seems to me that adrenal fatigue is a sign that we aren’t living how we should be and that once I  am better again I should be careful not to add so much back to my plate. My ultimate goal over the next year will be to simplify my life for good rather than just until I feel better again.

 

 

 

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Animal Reiki

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This is a sign outside the Reiki room at the Langely Animal Protection Society in Langley, BC.

My post from yesterday about Reiki in the Sunshine Room at the Victoria General Hospital in Halifax, Nova Scotia reminded me of the Reiki room I came across at the Langley Animal Protection Society in Langley, BC. I dug back through my photos and sure enough I found the photo I took when my daughter and I visited in June 2014.

At the time it had just been a year since I learned Reiki and I remember being so impressed that there was a room dedicated to it for all the animals that could definitely use it as they passed through the doors (likely under stress) of the animal shelter. Of course, I had to take a photo of the sign. I was so excited to see it.

Can Reiki be beneficial for animals? Of course! The animals can benefit in just the same way that humans do.

My daughter and I have recently started volunteering at Semiahmoo Animal League Inc., a safe haven for at risk children and rescued animals. We love animals and being able to care for them. I plan to start sharing Reiki with them, too.

Reiki in Hospitals

In the Victoria General hospital in Halifax, N.S. they have an amazing thing called the Sunshine Room. It’s a support room for cancer patients and their caregivers. It offers different kinds of therapies: Massage, Reflexology, Therapeutic Touch, Healing Touch and of course, Reiki.

This is the information sheet they use to let the patients know what Reiki is all about.

And, after only a 20 minute session look at the feedback!

Reiki is an amazing complementary therapy to any healing process. I love that hospitals are catching on and offering it in addition to their medical protocols.

You Aren’t Sick Enough

I do administration work for a homeopath (Sharon Richlark of Wholistically Speaking who happens to really know her stuff in case you are wondering). I am lucky that I get to learn all sorts of amazing things about our bodies and how to heal them in the process. We recently had a conversation about how people have to get really sick before they are ready to get better.  As you can imagine a lot of her clients are people who have tried everything else and finally come to her desperate to try anything that will help.

Sharon is a true healer. This means that her true motivation is simply to heal people. She could care less about the rest (although she does need to be paid, as do we all, so that she can take care of herself in order to help others). She gets very frustrated with people who show up at her doorstep and then don’t follow her instructions because how can she help them if they won’t listen?

So this conversation we had was about a similar situation. But then she declared that she told the person to go away because they weren’t sick enough yet. They weren’t sick enough yet to be serious about getting better. She has far sicker people she needs to spend her time on.

And this has stuck with me ever since. We now live in such a fast paced world that we don’t slow down to take care of ourselves …until we are sick enough. And this has struck me as how very wrong that is.

And I realize that I am no different. I was very sick when I met Sharon. I started as her client. She did amazing things for me and I got better. Much better.

Now I have just lived the most stressful 3 years of my life and during that time I have slowly let my health slip again because I am too busy and because I haven’t had a big budget for extras. But mostly because I had too much on my plate and didn’t take the time to slow down and take care of myself. I will say though I am nowhere near where I was back in 2013 when I met my homeopath. Back then I was barely functioning at times!

At the beginning of 2017 I declared it the year of making sure I do self care. This recent conversation has only underlined the importance of self care.

I have already started with getting myself back on Sunrider products. This company has absolutely amazing products that are developed with their philosophy of regeneration. They cleanse, nourish and balance your body. I always feel better after taking them.

I also went to a Jikiden Reiki practice night (where Jikiden Reiki practitioners take turns giving each other Reiki) this week for the first time in I can’t remember when. It made me realize that I need to do much more of that, too.

I have also identified that I need to learn to ask for help. I am not sure why this is such a difficult thing to do since I do know that it makes most people happy to be able to help.

And I am trying to reserve more time for me to do the things I like to do for fun. It is difficult to do when you are a single parent and also working from home. So, I am working on better boundaries between home and work and also between my girly and me.

It’s challenging because often life gets in the way. I get on track and then life happens and time passes. But I will not feel guilt because I failed to stay on track.  I will not give up because I failed to stay on track. I will stubbornly continue on with my intentions.

I vow to not become “sick enough” before I take measures to maintain my health.

 

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Reiki by the Sea, a little background

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Amazing photo of East Beach, White Rock that I happened to take with my phone, if you can believe it. I took this in September 2014 right before we moved to White Rock and shortly after I came up with the name “Reiki by the Sea”. A perfect accompaniment, I think.

I originally posted my “how I found Reiki” post almost exactly 3 years ago over on my blog at http://www.babayaya.ca.

You can read the post here.

If you read the post you can clearly see that I was not in good health when I discovered Reiki. It is oftentimes the way. You get so sick before you will try anything because everything else you’ve tried isn’t working. And sometimes that is when you discover and learn some of the very best things. And for me Reiki was one of those very best things.

It has been 4 years since I learned Reiki and I have used it regularly in my life since then. I have always planned to share it and now I am finally ready to.

I actually started this plan in my head two and a half years ago. We were living in Aldergrove at the time and life was challenging. Super challenging. One day I dropped off my daughter at my Mom’s and took some very rare “me time”. I headed down to White Rock beach just to have time to myself. I always have found the ocean to be healing. And while I was sitting there thinking about my need to move to White Rock to be closer to my Mom and my support system that is when I had the very thought “Reiki by the Sea”. It came out of nowhere and popped into my head. It sounded absolutely perfect to me.

And here we are two and half years later and I am ready. And it feels like exactly the right time, too.