A Love Note To Our Adrenals: Managing Anxiety & Stress in Quarantine

Tips & Tricks to Manage Stress at Home


Originally published in our July 2020 Newsletter.



What we know about stress eustress:


Fear and stress amidst challenges, like a pandemic, are completely natural. Although we cannot stop these emotions (it's not healthy to try) we can control our reaction and how we respond to them.  Stress….really DIStress can negatively impact our immunity and well-being. 

  • What is Eustress? It is a beneficial type of stress that allows us to be resilient and to thrive!

  • Everyone is different and can feel more stressed at certain times of day, night, times or during stressful situations than others. North America specifically – chronic inflammation and chronic degenerative conditions. We know that inflammatory conditions put added stress on the body and that can add to an already over excitable system. 

  • We all react to stress differently, but we know one thing for certain than stress and fear can cause your blood glucose levels to rise (especially if you have diabetes or chronic disease status)

  • Fear can lead to a weaker immune system

  • Staying in the best optimal health is an undeniable necessity at present


What we can do about understanding stress:

ADRENAL BASICS

  • Not all stress is bad, it only becomes “harmful stress” like DISTRESS when your fear center is activated causing anxiety and bad decision making.  

  • At this point we release stress hormones which tax our entire body including our organs.

  • When we are in this state of fear or high stress our brain rings the alarm center “fear center” located in our amygdala (location: temporal lobe ). Yoga has actually been shown to lessen electrical activity in the amygdala and increase activity in our prefrontal cortex that is responsible for planning, conscious thinking and regulating our emotions. 

  • Our body when under pressure can create chemical cocktails of stress hormones – adrenaline and cortisol, flooding our bloodstream and going to all our organ systems. If you are in this state you live in “high alert” that may result in poor digestion, high blood pressure and lowered immunity. 

  • Stress impacts our adrenal system and adrenal fatigue can cause rapid heart beat, heart palpitations, shaky and weak feeling. 

  • Adrenal insufficiency can cause life threatening arrhythmia with prolongation of QT interval (2). 

  • Creating Allostasis: Homeostasis is the dynamic process that your body goes through to maintain balance.  Allostasis is the dynamic process of maintaining homeostasis during times of stress. 

  • Immunity basics: Your immune system and lymphatic system work closely together to fight off invaders like viruses.  Our lymphatic system’s job is to help clean the body fluid. Lymph filters our circulatory system through our lymph nodes which have lymphocytes that are specialized white blood cells that help fight invaders (antigens) with its special army.  Research does show that yoga can boost your immunity to keep you healthy. 

  • Take a moment to notice the stress in your body and how it surfaces? How you react? Where do you feel it in your body? What happens to your breath? Acknowledge the stress as real and normal as you can.  This acknowledgement helps you cultivate self-compassion and compassion for others. 

What we can do to combat embrace stress & make it a manageable reality: 


If you believe in the holistic perspective of life and deep wisdom let us focus on strengthening our immune system to lessen stress and keep our adrenals intact!


***Please understand this is not medical advice, this is naturopathic lifestyle medicine.  Please always consult your physician before a new regimen is started.  If you don’t have a doctor, we can set you up with a Telemedicine appointment as you wish!


UNDERSTAND.

Understanding that our body’s stress response is not necessarily negative (as long as you keep in control).  Eustress helps us to have a greater sense of purpose and keep our mission in focus of how we want to come out on the other side.  Accept the body’s natural ability to respond to stress and have the tools to be calm in an emergency are key!


BE CALM.

Why & How? Coping with stress will make you, the people you care about and your community stronger!


ADRENAL LOVE.

Rest. Well is not just nice, it is essential! Sleep is one of the best ways to strengthen your immune system but it also helps reset your hormonal response to stress. Some people may need some adrenal support to help calm their body’s cortisol levels responsible for our sleep/wake patterns. Please try and meditate before sleeping and to go sleep earlier when able. Waking up fresh after 7-8 hours of sleep is just what most people need. 

YOGA & CHILL.

  • Yoga teaches your body how to calm down quicker.  Good news is that research suggests you can consciously break the stress cycle (1)! Deep relaxation practices like breath and meditation can calm a stimulated system (sympathetic nervous system activation) to a more relaxed response (parasympathetic nervous system) to help us function better. 

  • Exhaling is actually just as important if not more.

Thoracic and Bhramari at Sunrise may be very beneficial.

SUN BATH.

  • Get out and enjoy the sunlight if even for a few minutes. (do this with caution if you are sun sensitive ☺ ) 

  •  Submerge into the higher spiritual energy. 

MEDITATE. 

  • Play calming music that induce your brainwaves into theta.  Try this link: https://youtu.be/UkM-FjfN6Mc

  • Believe in grace. 

  • Write your mantra down and believe that you will come out stronger after this pause! 


STAY CONNECTED.

  • Schedule “date night” or “happy hour” with your best buddies. 

Ready,  set, go… Set the dates NOW!

TAKE CARE OF YOUR BODY.

  • Please avoid all nutritionally void foods (junk food, pre-packaged food, high sugar containing foods, alcohol)

  • Detoxify yourself. Keep your body toxin-free with daily diet, special herbs and even a 16-hour intermittent fast.  Do maintain a healthy microbiome in your gut with fermented foods/plant-based probiotics. 

  • Stay well-hydrated throughout the day, add some fresh fruit, veggies or herbal infusions to keep it interesting. 


KEEP YOUR ENVIRONMENT CLEAN. 

  • Want to be a couch potato? Awesome, DO it! But also know the habits of highly effective people so that when you are ready to get up from the couch you feel motivated to move on. 

  • Keep your floors clean: Viruses can live on surfaces for up to 12 hours or potentially longer – this includes shoes – shoes can be a source of contamination especially if worn in heavily populated areas.  Make sure and try to wear shoes that are machine washable or that are able to be left outside or in a porch area. 

Now with all this knowledge, let us be proactive about our self-care! We are built strong and resilient, honor that. 

In Health & Good Cheer, 

Dr. J




References: 


Yoga and immune system functioning: 

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10865-018-9914-y


Adrenal insufficiency causes life-threatening arrhythmia with prolongation of QT interval:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4893060/


https://curalife.com/managing-anxiety-stress-during-the-coronavirus/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=managing-anxiety-stress-during-the-coronavirus&utm_campaign=usa&mc_cid=5b1f29afc6&mc_eid=5a98e23d12


https://www.yogajournal.com/lifestyle/boost-immunity-during-crisis


Yoga and immune system functioning:  https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10865-018-9914-y


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