Despite over a decade of clean, organic eating and an obsessive interest in nutrition, I was still unwell. I was always tired, my body ached constantly, my skin was inflamed and broke out and I was over-prone to catching every cold or winter bug. Doctors would tell I was “absolutely fine” (clinically), so I thought it was normal to always feel stressed and tired - as a busy mom to two little ones this was entirely normal, right? Wrong!
We have gotten used to simply putting up with hormonal chaos, burnout and feeling less than optimal as part and parcel of being busy mums or 'getting on a bit'. This is not OK.
Although these things are common they are not normal. Our bodies were designed to thrive and a lot of these everyday symptoms are early signs of disease dynamics at play that if ignored could lead to chronic illnesses.
Turns out, the “random” and “unrelated” symptoms I experienced were typical of a dysregulated HPA-axis which had progressed to full-blown burnout. My body was stuck in freeze mode and my nervous system was completely out of whack.
Burnout is a mind-body syndrome which affects every aspect of our human experience (click here for my previous post on what burnout is and why we should care). Some even call it a crisis of the soul and I would certainly agree with that! The root cause, which never came up in my many doctor visits, was emotional stress.
Regardless of whether stress is physical, emotional, or psychological, the physiological stress response releases biochemicals that affect every cell in our bodies preparing us to fight, flee, or freeze. When this response is chronically switched on, it wears the body down leading to hormone imbalances, premature aging and chronic illnesses. It is a lot!
Although I had little energy to do much, I knew there had to be a different way....
I embarked on a 2-year journey to get to the root cause of my symptoms. I took daily action to calm and rewire my nervous system and nourish my body on and off the plate to promote its innate healing wisdom. There was a lot of trial and error. But the results were worth every setback I experienced.
I was so happy with the results that I now live to empower other mums, at any stage of motherhood, to find their own path to sustainable, optimal health.
Health is not just the absence of disease; it is a state of being where you get to maximise your potential and express your life with purpose, joy and meaning.
Our days are filled with endless choices: what to do, what to eat, how to move, how to rest, what to think, who to be with.
Every single choice you make has a significant impact on your well-being and health.
This is not just wishful thinking. Cutting-edge science is telling us unequivocally that what we choose to do and eat every day can powerfully switch our genes on or off. That means that at any given time how our health is expressing is mainly down to our choices rather than genetics! We have the power to choose our health outcomes with our daily habits.
So how do you choose and take time to nourish yourself on and off the plate everyday? When you take time to create more balance, increase self-awareness and reconnect to your body, your mindset shifts and how you relate to yourself and others becomes easier.
Life will still happen and there will be countless things that you cannot control. The difference will be in the meaning you give to situations and the freedom to choose your reaction.
In a way, thanks to burnout, I found myself again which was what had been missing all along.
My increased inner-knowing helped me to show up as a better mum and find my calling as an advocate of women’s health.
You do not have to sacrifice your health to be a good mum. All you have to do is commit to staying curious and present, moment to moment. And cut yourself some slack, perfect mums do not exist!