How long since you've been on a holiday?
Working long hours without a break and coping with the busyness of life may really deplete your resources, leaving you exhausted and emotionally drained, with little ability to cope with the extra demands of life and/or family. Naturopaths often refer to this as "adrenal exhaustion", a term that's not recognised medically (GPs focus on "adrenal insufficiency" or "Addison's Disease", a disease that involves a lack of adrenal hormone production, measurable by blood tests). While Adrenal exhaustion may not be a formal medical condition, and may not be measurable via blood tests, the symptoms of overwork and busyness closely match some of the symptoms of Adrenal Insufficiency, as follows;
When my clients present with these symptoms, I investigate the possible underlying reasons, but often find no other logical cause except a lack of holiday time. My favoured prescription for these clients is simple; "take a holiday!" When a holiday is taken in a relaxed place, with few electronic devices,and simple 'time out' as an individual or with close family, my clients usually report back with increased energy and renewed happiness. There are few trials measuring the impact of holidays, but in some small trials researchers have found that clients may experience lowered blood pressure and better sleep patterns after a holiday.
So, how often should a holiday occur? This obviously depends on finances and work/family commitments, but I like to recommend a decent holiday every 6 months where possible, as the positive benefits of a holiday are lost after some time.
If you're in the situation that a holiday is not possible for a while, then there are excellent supplements that can help you cope with the demands of life. Some of these are called "adaptogens", often including different ginseng herbs and B Vitamins, and I prescribe them with great success for those who just can't take a break in the near future.
...And three other things;
1) You can't underestimate the power of a good sleep to help you cope with life and all its issues (check out my blog on sleep for more information).
2) It's worth having a professional look at your diet to make sure your energy intake matches your energy output each day, and to ensure that the actual types of nutrients are balanced and appropriate for your needs.
3) If relationship issues are adding to the stress of your situation, a holiday with the person/s in question may be more negative than positive. If this is the case, then relationship counselling may be a better spend of your money.
Have a happy, relaxing and safe holiday (when you can)!