Burnout: Reducing Stress & Activity Through Design To Preserve Your Thyroid & Adrenal Function
Welcome to America, the land of opportunity, the land of hitting the grind and the land of burnout! As unfortunate as it may be, the flip side to hard work is often coming at a cost to wellbeing. The constant stimulation that takes place around us all the time does take a toll on our wellbeing and covering it up with caffeine is only going to make it worse. So let’s talk about burnout, a common place I tend to see adrenal fatigue and hypothyroidism.
I have talked about adrenal fatigue and its relationship to low back pain and sciatica often with patients in the clinic, however this is a topic that runs deep into the root of many issues that also often lead to the thyroid taking a hit. Aside from medicine, nutrition and the important vitamins needed for these things to function properly, they will not completely improve if we are constantly burning ourselves out. We need a place we can recenter, a place we can go to within, and therefore we need a place we can physically go to in order to accomplish that. It is no surprise, just look at the research on meditation and mindfulness when it comes to supplementing your health. However, if you are leading an overly stimulated life, that is like running a vehicle constantly without ever changing out the oil, it will burn out the engine.
Adrenal fatigue is the result of a sustained amount of cortisol in the body where the sympathetic nervous system never actually turns off appropriately. While I have done things like acupuncture for patients to balance, this, what they do outside the clinic is actually more important. Tai chi, qi gong, yoga, meditation, breathing exercises, whatever it may be, it is imperative you rest appropriately. There is much media today that talks about the hustle and the grind. But the only way we can properly sustain ourselves for the long term is finding a way to do that responsibly, which is why I highly encourage anyone to take the time necessary for self care outside of their work and hustle.
Where I have found this tends to go toward hypothyroidism is years of the hustle and the grind without a work/life balance. Trust me, I;ve been there too, but in order to show up as the most powerful and healthy version of yourself, your rest should be a priority just as much as your career, I would actually argue more. I have done some deeper training into thyroid conditions like hypothyroidism and to actually fix hypothyroidism requires a holistic approach to treatment. Yes there are things I would do clinically, but what can you do on your own?
By focusing on your relaxation, sustaining what makes you feel good, and truly enjoying your life, your body can get the necessary reset that is needed in a day. Hypothyroidism is the result of overtaxation which would come up as adrenal fatigue, (spleen yang deficiency would be a common example in traditional chinese medicine) and as a result the thyroid cannot regulate, leading to inadequate performance and deficiency. Lifestyle, nutrition and supplementation are often needed to fix this, but I would actually focus on lifestyle as the number one aspect here. Supplementation and medication are relatively easy, but changing a lifestyle or choosing a career that is sustainable for your health may be the hard part. This is where I always talk to clients about priorities and mindfulness. I ask them, well, “how much do you want to get better?” It is a difficult question to answer, but one that is necessary for longevity- if that is in fact your goal of course, I believe there is always a way to get there.
So what can we do in our homes design to aid this process? We need to focus on creating a space for relaxation, rest, contemplation and creating a sense of spiritual ease. I always recommend creating a space in a way where you feel most relaxed and comfortable in your own skin. Where you can unfold the burdens and challenges of the day and turn them into lessons along your journey that creates your version of bliss. Reflection, gratitude journaling, and getting in touch with yourself is much smoother when you have a physical space that allows you to do that. A quiet space you can rest, reflect and focus would serve you very well and allow you to ground and allow your parasympathetic nervous system to take a breath. A space that is minimal, encompasses a design that allows you to maintain clarity, and of course, allows you to attain a heightened sense of wellbeing is what you would need.
What Design Aspects To Pay Attention To
You can accomplish this through certain colors, functional furniture and of course proper lighting. It doesn’t take much but knowing exactly what to do to get that effect could seriously benefit you in the long run. This is about creating healthy habits on top of using medicine. This is where your design could greatly benefit your psyche!
If you are curious to learn more about this, grab your copy of my book, “How To Design For A Healthy Mind & Body” just by clicking below: