Filling your cup
You know those feelings of being run down, exhausted, and depleted? Sound familiar? When was the last time you felt that way? Are you feeling like that right now?
Unfortunately, most people experience these feelings very frequently. Whether it is weekly, monthly, randomly or even every single day, it seems inescapable. Hey, we have all been there. And trust me, going through the Naturopathic Medicine program without being exhausted would be a miracle to say the least. I have always beat myself up for feeling tired and not having the energy to complete very simple daily tasks. I have always admired (and honestly been slightly jealous of) others who seem to tick off their to-do lists with an extra round of gusto leftover. However, I know I am not the only one who has a constant battle with their energy and who can't seem to tick off much more than the bare necessities on their to-do list.
In our medicine, we often talk about our adrenal glands. These are tiny, powerful glands that sit above our kidneys. They are in charge of regulating many hormones in our bodies, including our main stress hormone: cortisol. Cortisol levels are not meant to remain high in the bloodstream, however in today's world - this hormone is handed out by our adrenals like candy. This is because people are under constant stress. Although, the stress experienced today is in a much different form than our ancestors experienced, our bodies perceive the stressors in the same way. Over time, prolonged stress can deplete our adrenal function leaving us tired and drained. In Naturopathic Medicine, we work on supporting a patient's adrenals to help bring their stress hormones back into balance, so that they are not feeling like their energy is constantly depleted.
Lately, I have been feeling exceptionally run down. Yes, it started- oh about 3 years ago when I started medical school- but in the last few months I have really felt the brunt of it. I am not going to lie, there is a lot on my plate and my ability to cope with stress has been significantly reduced. Naturally, I decided to focus on my adrenals (mostly through diet and supplementation.. more on that in a later post). Although this has worked for me in the past, nothing felt sufficient enough anymore.
Then, something special happened. I spent a weekend with my family. And surprise surprise, I felt my energy slowly coming back. Everything started to make sense. We talk about this a lot in school. The idea of community. Of family. Of belonging. And how powerful it is. I have been lucky enough to always have a tight-knit family, but having been away for school for about 7 years, I rarely get to reap the benefits of having that closeness. I was surprised at how fast I was able to find motivation to do things I had long since neglected. Why? Because I had filled up my cup. Sometimes we lose touch with our true self, until we are able to be a part of something bigger. Don't get me wrong, those supplements and food changes have always helped me. But I knew I needed something more this time. I found that I was smiling just a little bit more, sleeping just a little bit deeper and being myself a whole lot more. And all it took was a little bit of company from people I love.
Filling up your cup doesn't always mean that you have to follow the textbook steps for feeling a certain way. It doesn't always mean that you have to try out the latest trend in wellness. It doesn't always mean you have to spend money to get a taste of peace and happiness. Sometimes, filling up your cup just means that you have to look at what you already have. It could be anything. What connects you to something greater? Where or with whom do you get that feeling? When was the last time you felt "heart-full" and what was that like? It doesn't have to be specific to family - we are all wired differently and gravitate towards different things.
Today, I encourage you to take a step back and reflect on what fills you up. Take your time. Once you figure it out, don't hesitate. Go get it.