I’m guessing a lot of folks out there are having a hard time recuperating from COVID, chronic stress, burnout, and the accumulated fatigue of years of coping through a pandemic. Maybe you feel like you’ve been resting a lot, but you don’t seem to be able to recover that last bit of your energy from the “before times.” Or maybe you were already burned out then!
I’ve just released my new course Self-Care for Restoration, where I teach concrete techniques for moving from total rest into active recovery without falling into a cycle of overdoing-and-crashing. Here’s a sample video, aimed right at all you go-getters who are at a loss when people tell you to “slow down” and “just rest”!
Launch special – I’m offering the course as a name-your-price offering starting at just $5.
I’m excited to announce that I will be sharing my new course, Self-Care for Restoration, as a name-your-price series beginning this week!
If you’ve had a viral illness or a prolonged bout of stress, it’s not unexpected to feel tired. But ongoing, crushing fatigue could be a sign of a more serious condition. We’re told to “rest a lot” and “don’t push yourself,” but figuring out how to care for yourself, and then following through, can feel like just another chore competing for your limited energy. This course will help you understand why rest is so important after illness or stress, how this bout of fatigue might be different from normal tiredness, how to measure your physical and mental energy expenditures, and how to pace yourself for complete recovery.
This self-paced online course may be right for you if you:
Are exhausted from months or years of chronic stress
Have mostly recovered from Covid and still don’t feel back to your usual levels of energy
Have a pattern of overdoing it, then crashing
Are trying to “take it easy” but can’t seem to get fully rested
Aren’t really sick anymore…but haven’t really gotten well
This course has practical advice for giving your body the space it needs to recover and will guide you to build a recuperation program that suits your unique needs. The program has three phases:
In each phase, I quickly sum up the physiology of what’s happening in your body during that phase, the #1 thing to focus on in each phase, and practical tips for helping yourself progress to the next phase of restoration. Then I share activity recommendations and a physical practice video and go into more detail on the how-and-why behind my recommendations, if you have the interest and energy to explore deeper. I’ve even developed a week of deeply nourishing menus to reduce the work of feeding yourself well at this time!
There is no timeline for recovery – instead, I help you learn to follow your body’s cues for what it needs. Chances are, if you are experiencing the symptoms above, the old rules about what your body needs don’t apply right now. I’ll teach you what body signals you need to pay attention to, how to track them qualitatively and quantitatively, and how to know when it’s safe to increase your activity.
Because I feel strongly that this course material needs to be out in the world and accessible to as many people as possible, I am offering it on a pay-what-you-will basis – including “free.”
Ok – I’ll start off with the old standby: it depends. So let’s refine the question further: Is intermittent fasting and/or keto safe for people with adrenal fatigue, long Covid, thyroid malfunction, and other forms of autonomic dysregulation?
I’m going to argue “no, it is not.” I have both personal experience and science to back me up on this.
When I was recovering from post-viral fatigue, I made (very brief) attempts at both of these approaches to eating. It was a disaster. Both left me in a crashed-out, shaky, weak, fumbling pile within 24 hours. I know it can be hard to adjust to these programs, but this wasn’t simple discomfort. This was my body screaming toward physical collapse in a very obvious and profound way – and it all righted itself immediately on getting some carbs in my body.
So I started looking into why this might be. I dug through scads of pages, and it boils down to:
When your body is having a hard time self-regulating adrenaline, cortisol, and other stress-related hormones, low blood sugar is perceived as another stressor.
In addition, the particular kind of stress it exerts demands more of exactly the parts of your endocrine system that are most fried just now. Specifically, cortisol is released to increase blood sugar – and producing cortisol is super hard on your body when you have these conditions.
The first step to recovering from stress or illnesses that have thrown your endocrine system out of whack is to stop stressing out your endocrine system. Seemingly innocent things – like missing a meal – can have an outsized impact on your system. So I suggest:
Eat regularly, and avoid getting too hungry between meals. For many months, I had to get up in the middle of the night to eat. (Meatballs were great for this.)
Eat foods that will keep your blood sugar stable – lots of protein, fat, and fiber and a moderate amount of complex carbs. You don’t want a ton of sugar and refined flour, but you also don’t want to avoid carbs completely.
Add a pinch of salt to your water, and drink lots of it. Salty broth is another great option.
Keep your exercise below your aerobic threshold as much as possible – a maximum heart rate of about 120 is a good rule of thumb for most middle-aged adults. More on this in a future post.