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There have been positives during the lockdowns, such as families spending more time together. But there are those families that have gone without seeing loved ones, and many single people who have felt the effects of isolation, not to mention the many losses most of us have had to face.
Uncertainty, Loss of Control and Fear create Anxiety and Fatigue
The pandemic has created huge uncertainty and a loss of control over our lives. Despite the fact that lockdowns are coming to an end, it would seem that so many people are suffering from fatigue and are saying that they just don’t appear to have much energy. When you consider that we have been exposed to a lot of negativity for over a year now via the media and other people, it is little wonder that there are people who are feeling exhausted. But it’s not always obvious why this is.
The science behind Emotional Fatigue and Anxiety: The Adrenal Glands
Fear, anxieties, worry and anger can, and do, have an adverse effect on our body, our immune system and the adrenals. This sends people into a state of fight or flight, which means that the continued state of stress and anxiety sends a signal to the amygdala in your brain. The amygdala reacts to danger that then sends a signal to the hypothalamus. This then activates the sympathetic nervous system, so that the adrenals can then release adrenaline and cortisone. As soon as this happens our pupils dilate so that we can see more; our digestive system shuts down, so that we are not burning precious fuel; our heart start pumping faster, so that it can get oxygen to the brain; we start breathing faster and our muscles tense up ready to fight. The problem is there is no actual physical fight or flight! And yet our brain and nervous system continue to believe that there is because we are stressed or feel afraid.
This adrenal response is great if you need to fight or run for your life, but not so good if you’re sitting on the couch with the kids watching TV and not exerting yourself. It’s easy to see now why many of us would be suffering with fatigue and prolonged tiredness. It’s not healthy to be in a state of fight or flight all the time every day. Its fine when you are running from a tiger, but when is the last time that you had to do that?
What you can do to help yourself?
There are things that you can start to do now to help to alleviate these symptoms. For instance
- Reduce your sugar consumption
- Include healthy fresh fruit and veg in your diet
- Exercise plenty, even if it’s only walking in the fresh air
- Learn to meditate (use an app such as calm or headspace)
- Turn off the TV and restrict how much news you listen to as this can add to our negative state
- Book a bespoke homeopathy consultation to help to calm down those adrenals that have been under so much stress for such a long time
Read our article on managing anxiety
Read our article on Building Emotional Resilience