Is balance a myth?

Is balance a myth?

Today I want to address a little bit more about a particular topic that I get asked about a lot and it has to do with balance. Everybody wants to know:

  • How do we do balance?

  • How do we make that feel right?

  • How do we manage all of the things in our life?

Balance truly feels like a struggle for so many people especially when you think about the things that you are trying to accomplish in your day to day life: your schedule, your work, your family, your health, etc.

What are some of the things that we are struggling to balance?

20190502.jpg

I would say one of the top things that my clients wonder about how to handle is their work in relation to everything else... it’s on the top of so many female minds. 

How do you balance your work life with your family life.? Faith? How do you balance relationships? How do you balance involvement in activities like church or community events? How do you find time for fun? How do you balance health-how do you fit in exercise and eating healthy?

Question of the year, right? How do we fit it all in?!?!

Having all of these tasks that need to be done, these obligations, and wondering “how in the world do I manage to stay healthy and not burn out”? Here's something that I want you to think about, we are being sold this lie of a superwoman complex. We're being told by society and a lot of “experts”- coaches, trainers, and psychologists, we can have it all, do it all and do it really well and that is a fallacy that is being sold to us as women. We're given this information and then we're taking it and holding onto that as truth of this is what we must do. And, do it all exceptionally well.


What's the caveat with balance?

Here's a little secret: the caveat (and truth!) to balance is that there is no such thing as balance because it is simply impossible to do every single thing all of the time and do everything exceptionally well!

When we say yes to something there will always be something that we say no to. And, when we say no to something that is totally okay!. Don’t feel bad because you say no.

5ways.png

When we say no to something then we're saying yes to something else. If you're saying no to your health but you're saying yes to to work life, that is a choice you are making in that moment. However, you can’t say yes to health, yes to your work, or yes to your family, yes to fun, and yes to relationships simultaneously. Those are important things to say yes to and they need specific time and attention

Know that when you put your attention on one thing, your attention falls away from other things. There are seasons where certain things are more of a priority than others.

I have had a season where work was more of a priority than my health and relationships. Transversely, I had a time where I was obsessed with health and I made very little time for anything else.

When I work with women, we take a look at what the priorities are in their life currently and what do they want to make a priority at that given time. Focusing on three priorities is a good place to know where to put your attention and time. Only three.

I help women uncover what they want to do, how they want to feel, and how they imagine their day. For example, there are obligations that I say no to because I just can't put that on my plate; I know that it will take away from my time with God, family life, and making health a priority- the three things that are the most important to me based on who I want to be, how I want to feel, and how I want to lead my life.

choose your “yes”.

There is not balance, there are choices. Choices become your selection of focus for your time and attention. What will you say “yes” to?

One thing I have found to be true as I help women recover from burnout and Adrenal Fatigue: Burnout is never sudden. Burnout comes from a series of choices where your priorities are unclear.

We can’t say yes to everything except health and then be surprised, frustrated, and angry because we feel so fatigued and sick!

If somebody has an expectation for me, for something that is not a priority for me then I have an obligation to say no to that.

Did you catch that? You not only have a right to say no, it’s your obligation. Otherwise, I know that I'm not going to necessarily do it well and even feel resentful that I have to do it. Right?

When I say yes, I want it to matter. I want my choices and actions to be congruent to the woman God created me to be and who I desire to become.

We say yes to things without having our own boundaries established in our lives. We say yes to things that mean we must say no to something that is more important to us. And then we get frustrated because we wonder how we can do it all!

I think everybody gets tied up in this internal conflict. We struggle with this balance piece because, really, it's us feeling obligated to say yes to all of the things, and you can’t say yes to all of the things. Saying yes to all of the expectations and obligations means that nothing gets done well because we are trying so hard to put the same effort into everything.

Understanding that balance is a lie is the first step in defining priorities. It's a matter of us choosing what we want our focus to be on. Make choices based on that every time.

avoid burnout.

I hope that this gave some insight especially because I know there are so many people telling you right now that you can do all the things, and you can do them well. They tell you to be superwoman and you should take on more things.

My challenge to you is to say no to the things that don't need to be taken on by you. Because though that leads to resentment, that also leads to burnout. If you think that maybe you are in a place of burnout or you're approaching that place, I want to encourage you to download “5 Signs of Burnout” checklist by clicking the button down below.

It gives you an indication of some of the things that are warning signs to you that there is too much on your plate. As you tried to balance it all, it's really becoming a consuming thing for you. And, ultimately it leads to chronic fatigue and burnout. And, that is certainly the very thing that we don't want.

Start making choices that are reflective of the life you want by becoming aware of the signs and symptoms of burnout and Adrenal Fatigue.

Just Listed!.jpg

In health,

Ericka



Anxiety...Taming the Monster

Anxiety...Taming the Monster

Today, I have a treat for you! I have asked my dear friend, Rebecca Hamlin, a LCSW (licensed clinical social worker) that knows so much about the stories we tell ourselves when we are in a state of anxiety/fear/stress/shame/anger, to write something for us here on my piece of the interwebs.

Because she is awesome and because she has the same heart for women- to help every one of us drop the anxiety and stress so that we can fully step into the purpose laid out for us by God, she said YES!

When I read this article she wrote, I kept yelling “YES!!”, as if I was surprised that she shared the same viewpoint. But I think the most exciting part for me was that MORE people are talking about the impact we have on our stress, anxiety, health, and overall well-being when we get to the root cause. I coach women struggling with Adrenal Fatigue and burnout that started with a mindset being rooted in anxiety.

I can throw vitamins at you all day long, but until we do the work to figure out the WHY behind your symptoms, we can’t initiate change, growth, and recovery.

I will stop typing now and let you read for yourself what the expert has to say:


There’s a lot of shame surrounding this topic and that’s why I think it’s so important to have these conversations….to shine a light, to educate, and to make sure that those who may struggle with anxiety know that they are not alone. Here’s the challenge though with this discussion…each individual’s journey with anxiety will be different – their symptoms will be different, the origin will be different, treatment recommendations will be different. Honestly, anxiety can feel like a big scary monster that looks different for a lot of people and there are a lot of ways that you can learn to tame that monster.

I will do my best to cover a wide spectrum of experiences, symptoms, and treatment approaches and to also provide some education about anxiety and some tools for becoming more grounded and more centered with the goal of promoting mental wellness for all of us – and I hope that will be really helpful…if you struggle with anxiety and even if you don’t.

In January of this year, I went through a season of anxiety. At the time, I couldn’t figure out what was causing it – though looking back now, I certainly have some guesses but what I was certain of was the inescapable and paralyzing fear. This season gave me a new perspective on anxiety - both symptoms and approaches. It gave me an opportunity to practice what I preach and to change my relationship with anxiety, such invaluable learning for the rest of my life.

I want to share with you some of what I have learned and lived in just the past 12 months.

ANXIETY – STATS

Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health disorder in the United States affecting 40 million adults – most of them women. Only 36.9% of the 40 million receive treatment.

Anxiety is an umbrella term that covers a wide variety of diagnosis including PTSD, OCD, Panic Disorder, and Generalized Anxiety Disorder, just to name a few.

Studies have declared millennial's the most anxious generation in history. There are a lot of hypothesis as to why this is but let me start with this encouraging information: there is mounting evidence to suggest that mental health is becoming a priority for millennial's – they’re more willing than previous generations to consult a therapist and to talk about their struggles openly, which is a powerful way to end the stigma and to shine a light on mental wellness.

ANXIETY - SYMPTOMS

Anxiety comes in many forms but almost always causes nervousness, fear, apprehension, and worrying. Mild anxiety is vague and unsettling while severe anxiety can seriously affect day to day living.

There is a strong connection between emotional and physical symptoms and anxiety is often stored in the body…physical manifestations like rapid heart beat, rapid breathing, increasing blood pressure, lack of focus, irritability, nausea, sleepless nights, and muscle tension. When anxiety escalates it can be debilitating and have serious effects on our physical health. By some estimates as much as 80% of all disease and illness is initiated and aggravated by stress and anxiety, diseases like diabetes, heart disease, substance abuse, lower immune system, and GI distress.

With anxiety our body is reacting to a threat and the amygdala (the lower part of our brain) is hijacked – it’s literally as if we are being chased by a bear, and we respond with a fight, flight, or freeze response.

Typically anxiety is long-term and is a very internal experience – it’s possible to hide your anxiety and for no one to know the depth of your struggles. Anxiety is often steady and consistent and there may be no awareness of what is causing our anxiety - it often feels irrational or out of proportion with the actual likelihood or impact of the anticipated event. Anxiety is synonymous with a helpless/powerless feeling, which only leads to more anxiety, leaving you feeling completely stuck.

ORIGINS/ROOT CAUSES

There is a continuum with anxiety which makes this conversation incredibly difficult. There are a lot of different origins and root causes, i.e. childhood onset, adult onset, anxiety caused by trauma, and then of course there are hormonal factors, such as postpartum anxiety.

POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION AND ANXIETY

Postpartum or Perinatal Mood Disorders, also known as PMD (which includes both postpartum depression and postpartum anxiety) is the most common medical complication of childbirth and it’s estimated that it effects 10 - 20% of women giving birth globally. In Pima county alone 4,000 women suffer with PMD. Baby blues last for a couple of weeks while symptoms that last longer indicate PMD. Sadness is only one symptom and other common symptoms include anxiety, irritability, and nagging self-doubt.

Here's the key to PMD, you don’t have to suffer alone! Here are a few steps if you or someone you love seems to be exhibiting symptoms of PMD;

· Talk to your doctor

· Learn more about the symptoms

· Know that it’s a common complication and it’s not your fault

TREATMENT

For anxiety, most often the best treatment approach is a combination of both therapy and medication. Here’s my disclaimer about medication though…so often we want a quick fix. An easy solution to a complicated problem. I want to encourage you, if you’re struggling with anxiety to not simply treat the symptoms but to discover and treat the root cause. My experience is that anxiety is often rooted in trauma and shame. In many cases, healing is possible and you don’t have to live with anxiety forever. Healing from trauma and shame is the harder path but can lead to incredible freedom and joy.

Struggles with anxiety or even depression, don’t have to define you, in fact, learning to cope and manage it well can lead to being a wiser and more compassionate human, but we have to do the hard work of healing.

Here are some important factors to consider as we work at changing our relationship with anxiety.

SELF-EXPLORATION AS A FIRST STEP

As you work with a therapist, part of the process is self-learning and self-exploration. Understanding the emotional continuum and where you land on that will help you know how to treat your symptoms - both when you are experiencing acute anxiety and then how to lower your overall level of anxiety. In addition to understanding your anxiety intensity you will identify patterns and triggers and learn to avoid them if possible. Many people identify too much caffeine, not enough sleep, or too much social media as major anxiety triggers. When you’re more aware of these triggers you can do a better job of planning and preparing for them.

LOWERING YOUR OVERALL ANXIETY LEVELS

The second important step in treating anxiety, after learning about your anxiety, is to lower your overall anxiety level. When you work with a therapist, you will learn coping skills and distraction skills for both preventing anxiety (to the degree you are able to) and to manage anxiety. Everyone is different and different things work for different people so testing this and trying new things becomes really important. While there may be no cure for your particular anxiety, there are things that can help you in your journey. Just a few of the things I often recommend;

· Meditation – head space app

· Yoga

· Exercise

In addition to these tools, mindfulness becomes an invaluable skill. Anxiety means our brains are disconnecting from our bodies. Mindfulness becomes a priority to learn to manage anxiety. Get out of your head and into your body…slow down, be present and avoid judgement. Meditation and yoga are both great tools for developing and strengthening the skill of mindfulness.

DEVELOPING RESILIENCY – HOW DO WE PROMOTE MENTAL WELLNESS

Resiliency is a critical component to not allowing these struggles – if it’s anxiety or something completely different – to define us. How do we develop this skill?

COMMUNITY/REDUCING THE STIGMA

Individuals who struggle with anxiety are more likely than the general population to feel lonely and isolated from others. Yet, close relationships are both preventative and restorative when it comes to emotional wellness. Our minds and emotions are healthiest when we maintain strong attachments to people whom we can be open, honest, and vulnerable.

I realize that there is still a significant amount of shame involved in being honest. My hope is that you will do the hard work of building a community where you can be honest about your struggles. There is freedom in honesty and honesty can begin the healing process. Freedom from shame and stigma releases us to do the work of healing – this work requires vulnerability, honesty, connection and empathy.

Thank you, Rebecca, for your honest and brave work. Visit her website.

If you are ready to embrace your wellness, starting with mindfulness and intention, head over to Revitalized Wellness! The 12-week group program is open now! There is an AMAZING bonus for those who join by 4/28! 💜

In health,

Ericka



Stress Management: Pursuit for Peace

Stress Management: Pursuit for Peace

At the end of 2017 I received the best gift and the most unsatisfying diagnosis of severe hormonal imbalance with Hypothyroidism. Despite my focused approach to “health”, I had some major blind spots. I had to take a long, hard look at what was in my life that didn’t need to be and what was missing.

social-curator-04-2019-44.JPG

How does this happen to a health coach?

I’d gotten lost in the day to day. I was tied to my commitments and obligations. I was ruled by the “shoulds”. I allowed the “chores” to become my beacon of direction. What needed my attention? Who needed something from me? What wasn’t complete and was needing only me to be finished? These days turned to weeks and the weeks turned to months.  My life was much more reactive than intentional.

I focused on my work, my tasks, and “what can I control”?

In this season, I allowed all of the “shoulds” and “need-tos” to consume me. Yet, that wasn’t the part that rendered me ineffective as a wife, mom, daughter of God, friend, daughter, employee, or business owner. The largest missing piece for me was my time with God. I had allowed the excuses of why my health could not be a priority or why my time with God would be compromised during this season of my busy. You see, those things can’t be SEEN. They aren’t necessarily physically in front of me demanding my attention. God isn’t like a child, always pulling at you and grabbing your face to look at Him. He doesn’t give you deadlines to meet. He patiently waits for us to seek Him. I believe there are blessings within our days that God places to remind us of His faithfulness and love.  But you must be still to find them.

There was very little room for stillness. When I found it, I typically saw some shiny object begging for my attention, and there is where my attention went. “Sorry peace, you’ll just have to wait until I complete this project or travel for this conference or create more content” …blah blah blah.

I tend to strive for perfection and sometimes it paralyzes me and renders me ineffective, looking like a deer in headlights. I want to meet the expectations of all the people, I desire to please, and I will sometimes forget that my needs are important too. Does that sounds familiar?

I swapped out my morning walks for email responses and never-ending meetings about the meetings. I missed my time in nature, but God’s creation wasn’t going anywhere, right? So I kept striving. I was working about 50 hours a week in a full-time career and I was building my growing coaching practice. I was still a wife and a mom. I was burning the candle at both ends and pouring gasoline in the middle.

As time went on and the demands grew, it felt like walls were closing in on me. I yearned for time to just be. To be still and just be in God’s presence. My health wasn’t nearly as patient as God. The reminders of the importance of maintaining my health came frequent like an annoying neighbor kid who rings the doorbell every 30 minutes. I was fatigued most of the time, I started gaining weight, I was irritable with most, but especially my family. 

I was trying to manage my stress as best as I could and my symptoms smelled of Adrenal Fatigue but it seemed like something more. After my visit to my primary care physician, I was frustrated and confused. I KNEW something was off and all she could gather was a “mid-life slide”.

You know, the downhill slide you embark on once you hit 40 (and this was just before that)? Your metabolism slides down, your energy slides down, your weight slides up and your boobs and belly button also head south. She made me feel like my extreme fatigue, brain fog, irritability, weight gain, heavy periods and dry skin were just a sign that I had one foot in the grave and another on a banana peel. Her solution? How about an anti-depressant?!

I didn’t have a Xanax deficiency, my body was telling me (loudly) that I had no longer made my health a priority.

In my pursuit of success, I had lost the roadmap I give to my clients to prevent and recover from burnout. I had allowed the voice of social media and “experts” to shift my attention and priorities.

My next best steps?

social-curator-04-2019-31.JPG

FIND SUPPORT:

Thankfully, I had created amazing connections with practitioners that I trusted to help me uncover the root cause of my symptoms. I asked for help. I knew that I couldn’t see all my blind spots. I needed some people to guide me through this time. I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism and severe hormone imbalance. We are talking crazytown imbalance.

I gained new insight into what was going on within my body and a plan to lead me back to recovery and homeostasis. I had new adjustments to make. I also needed to focus on restorative exercise (yoga, walking, stretching, deep breathing).

REASSESS MY PRIORITIES & GOALS:

As I was working on healing my body and recovering from stress induced hormone imbalance and hypothyroidism, I knew that I could no longer keep up the pace I was running in life. It was time to let go of my full-time position that I had held for over five years as a Business Development Manager of a supplement company and focus on my health, family, and growing coaching practice.

I understand that not everyone has the ability or luxury to take this step; I am so grateful that I could. I worked hard to build my practice and gain new clients (I’m still working on this!) and I desired to build upon what I had started a few years before.

It was time to shift my lifestyle to promote wellness. Again, let me say, the answer isn’t for everyone to quit their job and become a full-time entrepreneur (and this could be more stressful), the point is to dig in, seek God and ask what He has for you. For me, I had a calling to build my business and reach more women.

I allowed myself to build margin into my day. I allowed myself to rest. I allowed myself to just be.

SEEK GOD:

Another “next best step” was for me to lean into God. I had missed the connection, the peace, the growth, and the relationship that I gained when I made time to listen to His voice. I couldn’t move forward without His direction.

This time of physical challenges left me grateful that I was given an opportunity to stop looking inward and instead, focus my eyes back to God. I had been living in my own strength for some time. It was time to get His help.

What did I learn?

social-curator-03-2019-51.JPG

In the past 12 months of changing my lifestyle, my career, my priorities I have learned so much about myself and was able to increase a better understanding of my clients. What were my main lessons?

I was not as much of a time-management ninja as I thought. Being in charge of your own time can be challenging when you do not report to anyone, have nobody expecting deliverables with a deadline, and have open structure to your day. I had to create structure for myself. My time is a commodity and I was wasting it at a neck-breaking speed. I had to implement systems, processes, and time limits to get things done (even writing this blog has a time limit).

Health is not a constant. Once you figure something out and feel pretty comfortable, you may need to make new changes. I have spent the past year doing lots of tweaking, testing, changing, and going back to the drawing board. I feel like I have a good hold of what is working for me to normalize my hormones and thyroid function but I understand that it can change and I will be ok when it does. Being frustrated and stressed about it doesn’t improve my health. I can only pay attention to what my body is telling me and move from there.

Comparison is a thief of joy. Embarrassingly, I spent too much of this past year looking at other coaches in my industry and wishing I was where they are. I wanted the number of clients they had, I wanted my website to look like theirs, I wanted my photos to look beautiful like theirs. I was focused on other people more than I was on my own journey. This creates a root of bitterness and resentment. It makes us discontent where we are. We get so focused on what we are lacking and where we want to be next that we miss the joy of right now.

What I came to know? I have a journey to experience and teach me. There are no short cuts. I can have a growth mindset or fixed mindset about my journey. I can be positive or negative. It’s up to me. I have a choice. Thankfully, I chose to embrace my place and I have felt the freedom and success that brings.

There are not fast fixes that last. We all want the easy button. I am totally guilty of this. Why draw out a process and the results to be had by taking the long way? Here’s why: Because the quick fixes are often not sustainable. They work temporarily because you can only do the work for a short time (think crash diets, long hours working, caffeine dependency) and they are never something you can build a healthy lifestyle around. I wanted to jump 1,000 steps forward . In my own health and business, I wanted to get to the glory days of success without the work…because that just feels better, right? I mean, why can’t it just be easy? You know the saying, “you don’t appreciate what you didn’t earn”? It’s true. I have earned my success (and I will continue to earn my future success) in my current business and health and family life and it’s amazing to know I put in the work. I appreciate the people, the journey, and the results so much more. The best part? I can keep this pace forever or until God asks me to change my direction.

Community is key. I have had struggles in my path (and some continue) but I asked for help. I knew that I couldn’t do everything on my own. I have an amazing support system between my husband, kids, friends, and experts that help guide me, pray for me, keep me accountable and check in on my progress.

We tend to have a default setting that tells us we can do it all alone; it will be faster, cheaper, and keep the anonymity. If we don’t share the struggle, it’s not really a struggle, right? WRONG. It continues to fester and eat away at us until burnout, breakdown, or both, happen. Gather your people and ask for help. Seek expert advice and trust the process.

What does this mean for you?

I pray that my lessons offer a light of hope for you. In my struggles, observations, and research, I was able to better understand you! I understand your stress (even better!) and I know how to help you increase your energy, focus, time management to improve your success in work, family, and lifestyle.

During this year, I was able to fine-tune my programs based off of feedback and need. Revitalized Wellness is now open and offers you a sustainable roadmap to beating burnout! Click the link to find out more about the 12-week group program that is offering my clients AMAZING results-greater than they imagined!

I am making this journey one of ease for you (notice I didn’t say EASY). I guide you, you become more aware of your lifestyle, choices, and the impact on your health.

Drop the shame.

Lose the guilt.

Feel empowered.

Believe you can feel better.

Accept help.

Make a choice.

I hope you choose you.

In health, Ericka 💜

Additional resources:

Facebook Live - What causes burnout?

5 Ways Stress Impacts Weight Loss

What is Adrenal Fatigue and how does it impact health? - Interview with Dr. James Wilson




How my pursuit of "perfection" led me to burnout

The question frequently asked of me: How does one become an expert in stress and adrenal fatigue? My answer: go through burnout twice and get mentored by the leading expert in Adrenal Fatigue, Dr. James L. Wilson.

Did you catch that? Twice. I suffered through a burnout TWICE.

You would think I would figure out what went wrong in my health and not do that again, right? That seems reasonable for sure; however, my burnouts were a result of two completely different circumstances.

Something to note: it’s not unusual to hear from my clients suffering through burnout for a second time; they slowly slid back into a lifestyle that resulted in the first burnout and leads to a second episode.

That isn’t necessarily my story, but I do find my story to be the same story of most women. I was striving for perfection.

My first burnout (and the focus of this blog post) was a result of over-exercising and under-eating. After going on birth control in 1999, I struggled with maintaining a healthy weight. I decided to stop taking the pill in 2000 after suffering debilitating migraines. I had never experienced headaches of this magnitude before and the pill was really the only thing that had changed in my life that could be leading to severe headaches. After I stopped the pill, the weight continued to be difficult to manage.

Add in getting pregnant and birthing three children in 5 years and weight loss seemed elusive. I tried everything under the sun to lose weight: fasting, Weight Watchers, juice cleanses, Isagenix, South Beach, Atkins, low fat- low calorie, Nutrisystem, diet pills. Everything.

In 2012, I went all in. Whatever it took, I would do. I sought coaching from a former physique competitor and began heavy weight training. I also added in a ton of cardio. I woke up at 2:30 AM to get to the gym at 3. I trained with weights for an hour and then did an hour of cardio.

I would go to work, come home and go for a 3-5 mile run. Sometimes I would play an exercise video on my laptop during my lunch hour and workout in the warehouse at my office.

I kept my calories around 1,200 most days and focused on consuming all the protein. I had two protein shakes a day. I was severely under-eating for the amount of activity I had each day. I became orthorexic. I measured and journaled each morsel. If I ate something that wasn’t “clean”, I added in extra exercise. I felt shame and guilt for not being “perfect”.

This went on for 1 ½ years. During this time, I went through a divorce, became a single mom, switched from a part-time photographer to a full-time business development manager that traveled, got into another relationship that was unhealthy, and now had this obsessive “fitlife”.

I had lost 40 pounds and was the leanest I had ever been since high school. To society, I looked perfect. I never saw it. I was so critical of myself. I was addicted to the creation of my “perfect” body. I yearned for better and continued to drive myself until I hit the wall. In 2014, I got so sick that I was out of work for close to three weeks.

Almost every infection possible had hit me at once (sinus, double ear, upper respiratory, urinary tract, and eye). I went through multiple rounds of antibiotics to recover. I was left weak, fatigued, and lethargic.

The ironic part? I was working with THE leading stress and Adrenal Fatigue expert, Dr. James L. Wilson. In fact, my job was to train and educate practitioners that were treating their patients for symptoms of stress that led to Adrenal Fatigue. I knew what led to Adrenal Fatigue and burnout. I taught medical practitioners how to treat their patients. I had the tools and education. But I didn’t live it. I thought I was living the healthy life!

I exercised. I ate clean. I took my supplements. But it was excessive. There was no rest. No grace for myself. No room to be gentle. Rest days were only for those who didn’t want it enough.

fullsizeoutput_10f9.jpg


The Road to Recovery

This incident of burnout led me to an entire new life and perspective of wellness. Dr. Wilson helped guide me back to a path to healing and health. I found out my hormones were a mess, my cortisol levels were completely opposite of what they should be, and I had some severe vitamin deficiencies. As I researched my way to recovery, I took my mentoring and education to heart. It lit a fire deep within me to teach other women how to avoid burnout and pursue recovery.

I had already begun coaching women on a weight loss journey, but I changed the way I coached my clients after my burnout because I realized I was leading women toward the same disaster I had just gone through myself. And so many other coaches have been doing the same!

We have women chasing this “ideal” and compromising their health in doing so. I have made it my personal mission to offer a comprehensive and holistic approach to prevent and recover from burnout. It’s not enough to give a client a meal and exercise plan; we must address the emotional, lifestyle, and nutritional changes that need to take place for sustainable results.

The effects of stress on the body are of enormous proportion. When a stress response is kicked on (and stays on in times of chronic stress), EVERYTHING is affected: hormones, blood sugar, digestive system, brain cognition, immune system, tissue health.

IMG_1652.JPG

Adrenal Fatigue doesn't have to be permanent.

Adrenal Fatigue is completely preventable when you are intentional towards a holistic approach to health. Stress is a choice, burnout is a result.

If you think you may be suffering from burnout, click the button to download “5 SIGNS OF BURNOUT” to understand the symptoms and steps needed to promote recovery.

What questions do YOU have about adrenal fatigue? Let me know in the comments!

How hormone imbalance leads to adrenal fatigue

Hello sisters,

This week I want to talk about one of the most critical topics that I think I can address to women that are undergoing a tremendous amount of chronic stress. And, that is how stress affects your hormone levels.

You might have gone into your doctor's office with some of these symptoms only to be told that you should be put on an antidepressant or an anti anxiety medication. Not cool at all!

What I share with you today will give you hope for creating a new lifestyle that promotes hormone wellness.

how stress impacts hormone imbalance?

This is one of the top questions that I get from clients. They want to know how their stress have an impact on hormone imbalance. And, I say with a resounding YES. I know this from first hand experience. I've shared with you guys my story of burnout number two. That was basically a result of me filling my life with lots and lots of good, wonderful things but not having boundaries, not being able to say no to anybody because I felt like nobody could do the things that I can do in the way that I can do it.

I wasn't delegating. I was taking everything on and I wanted to please people. I wanted people to know that they could count on me. That resulted in a severe hormone imbalance with a burnout.

Visit to the doctor

I went to the doctor with some of these symptoms because I knew something wasn't right. This wasn't the way that I normally was. I sat in disbelief in her office as I rattled off all of these symptoms, and I said I know that there's something wrong because this isn't the way I normally am. I don't feel like this typically.

she said at that time I wasn't quite 40 and she said “you're almost 40, you have a very busy lifestyle, and it's pretty normal for you to be tired and your metabolism is slowing down.”

So, all of these things are very normal? I've been in the wellness industry for over six years now. And, at that time I had plenty of education and training to know that this wasn't normal. This wasn't something that I should just chalk up to getting older because I was not ready to settle into that complacent midlife lifestyle.

With the help of a natural path and some other practitioners and educators I was able to rebound and regain healthy hormone balance because they are connected.

What are your hormones have to do with your stress levels?

Some of your sex hormones are actually produced in your adrenal glands because you have a lifestyle that leaves you in a chronic stress response. Then those hormones are going to be affected and as a result you may have an under production or an overproduction of certain hormones.

Some of the symptoms that you might be experiencing from a hormone imbalance are going to be:

  • Increased PMS symptoms.

  • I was like a raging lunatic.

  • Weight gain

  • Iincreased belly fat

  • Breakouts

  • Irritability

  • Increased blood sugar

  • Loss of sleep

  • Low libido.



I'm telling you ladies these symptoms can be super quick with the onset and I'm saying I gained a matter of 10 pounds in two weeks. I wish I was kidding with that 10 pounds in two weeks. Pants that fit me a week ago, I had no chance of buttoning. So, then I buy the next size up, Right? And, then the week after that.

How unfair is that when you have some of these symptoms. What that can lead to would be hypothyroidism, PCOS, low progesterone levels, or estrogen dominance. All of those things could be a result of a chronic stress lifestyle.

You're hearing me talk about hormone imbalance some of the symptoms and some of the results of those symptoms. You're probably wondering what to do now? Well, there are three main things that you have to address in order to maintain or rebalance healthy hormones.

What to do?

The first thing is you want to focus on lifestyle changes which means you're managing your stress in an entirely different way.

The second thing would be to make changes in your diet reducing inflammatory foods eating in a way that is fueling your body rather than stealing nutrients or not even having nutrients at all.

The third piece is supplementation. This is going to be key to your hormone recovery. So, how do you find out if you have a hormone imbalance? I recommend senior practitioner for an extensive blood panel or saliva panel.

I prefer saliva. That's what I recommend to my clients and I think it's just a much more comprehensive look at how cortisol is tied. With saliva you're getting a look at your hormones through out the day what the circulating hormones that are in your blood system at the time of collection.

It's not just a peak at one time of the day but it's taking a look at what the pattern is through the day. Again it's not something that is set in stone because it's just a glimpse.

Your symptoms are going to be the most telling but getting that picture from a blood test or a saliva test gives you a better indication of what's happening.

I actually did an interview about a year ago with Candace Burch who is a hormone educator. She previously worked with zero labs which was one of the labs that I recommend for saliva testing. We had a really in-depth conversation about hormone imbalance and how stress is related.

Click here take a look at that because that is just full of really good education and information for you.

30-day stress reset program

If you recognize that these symptoms are affecting your life in a negative way and really preventing you from being the person that you want to be, then I am inviting you to take a look at my 30 day stress reset program where I give you a kick start into revitalized wellness.

With this program. You get a vitamin and mineral comprehensive protocol that really addresses a body that's under stress. And, it helps to deliver nutrients back to the body.

I also give you a truly in depth PBF guide where we talk about lifestyle. We talk about diet. We talk about sleep and whole of the things that really affect your body from a hormonal state of being.

We take a look at how stress impacts your body with 30 day stress reset guide. I help you to lose the shame, the worry, the confusion, the self-doubt, and the disbelief in yourself thinking that maybe this is all your fault.

Ladies I'm telling you that this is something that you can fix with my guidance and your compliance to my suggestions. Then I guarantee you will be feeling like a brand new you click the link below to find out more about the 30 day stress reset program.


In health,

Ericka



Now let's increase Cortisol

Now let's increase Cortisol

Last week we covered symptoms of high cortisol and I gave you some tips on how to naturally reduce your levels of increased cortisol.

This week we are talking about symptoms of a low cortisol

This week we're going to focus all on low cortisol and how you got to that place. Some of my clients will come to me with certain symptoms and typically what I see is that most people are coming with lowered cortisol symptoms. What's that mean? What are those symptoms look like.?

Well, last week I talked about high cortisol levels and how when you typically have higher levels of cortisol you're in a heightened state of stress. That means that you haven't been in a state of stress for a pretty long time because your body's ability to maintain the output of cortisol needed for that stress response is diminishing.

What are some of the symptoms of low cortisol?

Extreme fatigue
This is the number one thing that most of my clients are coming to me with.

Low blood pressure

Salt cravings

Very slow recovery from illness or an injury

Lack of appetite

Low blood sugar

Tend to have depressive tendencies

Hair loss is one of those symptoms as well

So if you are in a state of low cortisol, if you heard some of these symptoms and they are resonating with you; don't worry I'm giving you four tips today on how to increase those levels naturally and fairly quickly.

How to increase cortisol

Decrease your caffeine

Because as you rely on stimulants to increase your energy because you're so fatigued, you are basically doing the work that your adrenal gland should be doing; to send that cortisol up but also you're really impacting your blood sugar levels. This is the thing that most in my clients want to just cover their ears and pretend like they didn't hear me.

You have those chronic up and down spikes. So, it's really important for you. As you are combating stress to really minimize or completely take out caffeine. I know that that seems like a really big feat to accomplish but trust me just taking a decrease each day makes a huge difference in your body's ability to recover.

Decrease sugar intake

For the same reason that you're going to decrease your caffeine consumption. Sugar acts as a stimulant and so you want to make sure that you're minimizing that intake as well. Plus, It's an inflammatory. (I mentioned in the video before with symptoms of high cortisol) You really want to decrease your inflammatory foods that you're taking in. And, sugar is one of the top inflammatory items.

You're increasing your vitamins, your minerals, and adaptogens.

The third thing and I think this is a really key piece that a lot of people are missing. I don't know if it's just a lack of knowledge or if it also seems like a really confusing thing to do. You want to make sure that you're increasing your vitamins, your minerals, and adaptogens to help balance your cortisol levels as your body is in a chronic state of stress.

It's truly depleting nutrients from your body and it's not a secret that we as an American society eat really poorly. Our foods are not nutrient rich. We're typically grabbing processed foods things that are quick through the drive, through fried fatty and just really nutrient poor. As you have a heightened state of stress or your fight or flight your body demands a lot more vitamins and minerals.

It's really important that you are supporting your body so that it can recover. I suggest a comprehensive protocol that includes vitamins, minerals, and adaptogenic herbs to ensure that your recovery is much faster and more complete than if you did it without.

Proper nutrition

You want to make sure that every meal you consume has a protein, a fat, and a carbohydrate. But the carbohydrate you want to make sure is more of a form of fiber.

Think leafy green vegetables. Diet is key when you are dealing with chronic stress. If you give your body back the nutrients that it needs especially in times of chronic stress, your recovery is going to be faster. You'll feel better and your cortisol levels will be more normalized.

If you're struggling with stress and you're wondering where to start especially as you read some of these tips while they might seem fairly easy you just don't know which way to go. I have a 30-Day Stress Reset kit for you!

In the kit, I give you a 30 day supply of vitamins, minerals, and adaptogens that are necessary for a body under stress.

You also get a comprehensive guide that truly takes you on a journey to wellness and revitalized health.

You don't have to do this alone. You don't have to be wandering without a map anymore because I give you everything you need within this kit! The protocol that is included in the 30 day stress reset is the very same protocol that I have my clients on when I'm working with them individually.

This is truly the most complete protocol that I have found on the market that is typically only available through practitioners but you can get it in your 30 day stress reset.

Click the link below to find out more about the kit with this kit. You are well on your way to a less stressed life and revitalized wellness and increased energy.

www.erickaeller.com/30

Let's decrease High Cortisol

Let's decrease High Cortisol

Hello my friends,

When you talk about stress and when you hear people talking about stress, cortisol is always included in those conversations when referring to the physical impact on your body.

what does it even mean for me to have high cortisol?

We're going to touch on that today and what you can do to lower those levels down.

So, what's the difference between when you have high cortisol and when you have low cortisol?

When you have high cortisol:

That means that you are in a heightened state of alert. Basically, your sympathetic response system, or your fight or flight system, has been activated and it hasn't been incredibly long that you've been in that state, relatively speaking. However, when you have prolonged heightened levels of cortisol, or chronic stress, that can lead to burnout or lowered cortisol production.

What are the symptoms if you have high cortisol? Some of your symptoms could be:

  • Difficulty falling asleep.

  • You have anxiousness or nervousness most of the time

  • You're super irritable

  • You have sugar cravings

  • You tend to have a foggy memory or just kind of that overall brain fog where thoughts are easily distracted and unclear.

  • You have skin conditions such as eczema, dry, itchy skin, or some sort of dermatitis.

  • Muscle weakness

  • Headaches

  • Weight gain

  • G.I. issues and high blood sugar levels.

You may have just read this list of symptoms and you're thinking “oh, man that is me.”

And it's OK because we are a stressed-out society. We tend to be in a heightened state of alert because we're always going. We're never resting. We feel like we have to be better, faster, stronger. We feel like we have to do more, achieve more, produce more. Busy is the new black.

It's no wonder that we have many of these symptoms!!

What can you do right now to start bringing your cortisol levels down?

Tips to lower your cortisol

I have five tips for you today to lower your cortisol levels in a very natural way.

1. Increase your sleep.

As you increase your sleep your body is able to be in a state of repair and rest. Your cells and your hormones are able to regenerate. The nutrients are actually turning and synthesizing; they're doing what they're supposed to do to keep you healthy, to keep you well. Sleeping will contribute to healthy cortisol levels by establishing a consistent circadian rhythm.

2. Increase your sun exposure.

You want to make sure that you're getting enough vitamin D by spending some time outdoors for at least 10 to 15 minutes each day without sunblock.

If you live in an area where it's not always as full of sunshine as we have here in Arizona then you want to make sure that you're taking a vitamin D 3 supplement but make sure it has K 2 included as well for optimal absorption.

3. Go for a walk.

The fresh air and deep breathing promotes lowered cortisol because you are actually taking that time to rest you are doing something good for yourself. Deep breaths are restorative.

4. Decrease your inflammatory food intake.

The top inflammatory foods to eliminate are going to be dairy, gluten, sugar, soy, and alcohol. Your body’s parasympathetic response is more likely Those foods just naturally tend to be the most inflammatory which increases cortisol. So if you can eliminate those foods your body will tend to have lower cortisol levels.

5. Make time for prayer & meditation.

Increasing your quiet time to include prayer and meditation will benefit you as you settle in a state of gratitude. Also in quietness and stillness, the rest will automatically lower your cortisol levels. Think of at least 3 things you are thankful for: flowers blooming in your yard, a project finally finishing, a vacation that has been scheduled, your new Lululemon leggings (ANYTHING!!).

And I've said before, thankfulness begets joy. It's really hard to feel stressed when you're in a state of gratitude. I dare you to try.

==================================

If stress is a familiar friend for you. I have created the 30-Day Stress Reset program to help your body become energized, balanced and recovered.

With the 30-Day Stress Reset Kit, you get a protocol that includes the vital nutrients that your body needs when it's under chronic stress and a comprehensive guide that helps lead you to a more relaxed and less stressed state.

You can click the link below to find out more in the 30 day stress reset kit.
https://erickaeller.com/30

In health,

Stress Management: How does stress affect digestion?

Stress Management: How does stress affect digestion?

Whether it stems from marriage trouble, trying to make grades at school, becoming a new parent, or one of countless other reasons, stress is a constant part of our lives. And while we normally think of anxiety, lack of sleep, and irritation as ways stress affects us, there’s one result from stress that often goes overlooked: our gut health.

Stress and gut health are more intertwined than you may think. When stressors enter our lives, our gut health is heavily impacted. It’s also true that ignoring our gut health affects how much stress is part of our lives. Stress is our body’s answer to any kind of challenge or danger.

Your body goes on full alert and instantly responds to the stress chemicals released into the bloodstream, such as cortisol and adrenaline. It also slows or even stops digestion so that the body can divert all its internal energy to facing a perceived threat. Unfortunately, in today’s high-stress world, our body never has a chance to reset, so we’re always feeling like we’re in fight or flight mode. Moreover, we’re responding to stressors that can’t be fought or fled from.

One of the biggest factors in our gut health is the microbes that live inside all of us. The gut microbiome is comprised of the bacteria, viruses, and fungi that live in your intestines and on your skin. There are as many as 1,000 species of bacteria living in our intestinal tract, and each one of them serves a different purpose. These friendly microbes help us digest certain types of food; aid in the production of vitamins, such as B and K; and help combat other aggressive microorganisms trying to wage war on our intestinal mucosa.

When we experience stress, our microbial diversity is reduced, which lowers the number of friendly flora that live inside us. This creates conditions in which undesirable strains of bacteria thrive, which can cause issues like low energy, uneven moods, poor complexion, difficulty sleeping, and a variety of stomach problems. Our gut microbiome composition also has an impact on our ability to handle stress, so it’s easy to get caught in a cycle of gut-brain stress if you’re not taking care of yourself.

Stress and Adrenal Fatigue can decrease nutrient absorption, increase nutrient excretion, affect how the body uses the nutrients, as well as increase nutrient requirements, so it’s important to make sure you’re putting the right foods in your body. Since your serotonin levels are lowered when your stressed, you naturally crave sugar, which in turn triggers more stress.

The more sugar we consume, the more our blood sugar levels plummet, which in turn causes us to feel even worse. Stress can also cause fermentation in the small intestine, which causes the body to improperly break down sugars and starches. This causes bloating, increased gas, nausea, body odor, increased sweating, fatigue, and irritability.


How can you improve digestion?

I created a quick guide for you with 10 Tips to Improve Your Digestion. Download it by clicking here

Thankfully, there are many ways you can have a positive impact on your gut health, and in turn live a healthier life. Perhaps the biggest thing you can do is make sure you’re being mindful of what you’re putting into your body.

Deep-fried foods can cause chronic inflammation, MSG promotes the colonization of energy-sucking microbes, and overconsumption of alcohol can lead to leaky gut syndrome, along with many other stress related ailments.

  • Try to stick to brightly colored vegetables, fruit such as blueberries, pears, and bananas, and plenty of nuts. These foods are all known for helping create a healthy gut microbiome.

  • Be sure that you’re getting a full night’s rest. Getting at least eight hours of sleep every night has been proven to help you deal with life’s stressors, which in turn is good for your gut health.

  • Getting an adequate amount of exercise every day can also do wonders for your digestion. Research has shown that living an active lifestyle improves microbial competition and diversity.

  • Last but not least, adding a probiotic supplement to your diet is a perfect way to replenish healthy bacteria in your gut that may be lost to stress.

References:

Stress and Your Gut. GI Society – Canadian Society of Intestinal Research. https://www.badgut.org/information-centre/a-z-digestive-topics/stress-and-your-gut/

Nutrition & Stress. Cherry Creek Nutrition. http://cherrycreeknutrition.com/nutrition-stress/

How Stress Affects Your Gut Health (and Vice Versa). Hyperbiotics. https://www.hyperbiotics.com/blogs/recent-articles/how-stress-affects-your-gut-health-and-vice-versa

Sourced with permission from AdrenalFatigue.org

Setting boundaries changed my life

Setting boundaries changed my life

boundaries create freedom

As a new parent, I was taught that children need boundaries in order to promote independence and safe limits. Somehow between teaching my kids this important life skill I lost my own boundaries for my life.

I allowed others to determine what I should be doing, how I should parent, what I should say, how I should feel and what should be expected of me. In that, I lost my voice and my understanding of what I needed in order to be healthy-emotionally and physically.

Boundaries are a critical piece of how I work with my clients on stress management. So often what we find is that you're allowing a lot of yes to impact the amount of no; and that my sweet friend, is affecting your health.

Boundaries seem to be the missing piece for a lot of women, including my clients. As we continue to say yes to all the things, we say no to something so important, our health.

I’ve shared how I fell into Adrenal Fatigue because of my inability to say no. My clients are struggling with Adrenal Fatigue and other symptoms of stress because they can’t say no.

Say no to the yes

I want you to think about something: when you're constantly saying yes to everything that comes your way, you diminish your impact. As a high achiever you feel that nobody else can do that job the way that you can, you don't feel comfortable with handing it off to somebody else, and you definitely don't feel comfortable with saying no because you tend to worry that people will think you're not capable If you say no to something. However, you aren’t doing your best work because you are so limited and stretched.

Thought for the day: Your yes becomes less.

When you say yes to everything, there is an underlying tone of resentfulness that tends to be underlying in what you do. You know that you shouldn't have said yes but you continue to say yes and you really don't want to do any of it.

You find yourself moving into that project, or that obligation, or that activity, or that event without joy. You're doing this simply because you feel like you had to do it, which then makes you less impactful.

You feel less impactful because you're taking on so much more than you really want to be taking on and you’re missing the passion behind everything you take on. You're taking on so much more than what you are physically capable of taking on…and it’s taking a toll on your health.

When we say yes to something it means that we're saying no to something else. If we're saying yes to another meeting then we're saying no to quiet time. If we're saying yes to another project then we're saying no to family time.

By saying yes you're taking time away from the 24 hours that you're given in a day. So, then the margin of time that you have to yourself, to focus on yourself and your health, is diminished more and more as you say yes to something else.

I have allowed “yeses” to pop up

I know this personally because I have allowed yeses to pop up. I have allowed myself to be reactive and frequently say yes which causes me to say no: I don't have time to go to the gym, I don't have time to meal prep, I don't have time to just sit and be, I don't have time to take a deep breath.

It’s time to be picky: what is it that we're choosing to say yes to? Get very selective on what you allow on your schedule.

Maintain your personal “self-belief” boundaries

the other piece in the boundaries is the boundary on what we're saying to ourselves.

What is the audio in our own head? Something that I like to talk to my clients about when they tell me the things that they're thinking in their head about how they should be more do more; and it's echoing what society is telling us that as women we have to do.

I ask them, would you speak this way to your daughter or your friend? And have you heard them saying these things to themselves or about themselves. What would you tell them? Because what we have going on in our head, the tape that's playing continuously where we're saying we don't feel like we're good enough, we're not doing enough, we should be better or we should have figured this out by now.

Recovering from chronic stress.

Your mind and body are connected, studies and research have verified how you think impacts your health. I have clients coming to me with symptoms of stress and they're chronically fatigued, they're just completely worn out and more importantly they're without joy in their life because they are so wrapped up in thinking they must do all the things for all the people. So, we have to start where the mindset is.

Because stress starts in the mind. You can change the impact you have on your health by placing firm boundaries. When you think about boundaries and the things that you start to say no to, also think about what you're saying yes to in terms of your overall sense of health and joy and peace!

When we put those boundaries in place it's completely healthy and it's necessary in order for you to recover from chronic stress. Start today by thinking of things that you can actually cross off your list, the things that you can say no to in order to open you up to a yes to your health, a yes to your family, a yes to your joy.

I hope that you find your “yes” by saying no.

Here’s to Whole Health. Whole Love. Whole Success. 💜

Genetics? The joke is on me

Genetics? The joke is on me

Let’s talk about the impact that genetics, lifestyle, and stress play on the impact of your health.

Yes, you can beat adrenal fatigue and burnout by paying attention to genetics.

How well do you know your health history?

What is the role that genetics is already playing in your health? Once you know that then you have an idea about the risk.

One of the things that is really important for a coach to know about their clients is their health history from the family.

It's been said that genetics load the gun and lifestyle pulls the trigger.

We are seeing a really sick nation right now. That is compounded because of the level of stress that we're taking on in our everyday life. We are stressed and we are sick. So, what do you do if you have a family history of any sort of health issue? like heart disease, diabetes, obesity, liver or kidney issues? What do you do with that information? Today, I give you three key points for you to know what to do with your current situation and how to move forward, so that you are changing the genetic expression or epigenetics for the future generations.

The very first thing is you have to be aware of the risk

The same Ignorance is bliss does not play into your health management people. You have to be aware of the risk. You have to know your family history and you also have to know what your current state of health is. It's important to know what the previous generations have brought forward so that you can change the story for any future generations. Make sure that you are visiting your health practitioner at least once a year and getting an extensive blood panel to know where your critical numbers sit. Awareness is key in lifestyle modification.

The second piece is you have to take inventory of your lifestyle.

Truly assessing what you have on your plate on a daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly basis will be truly eye opening. I will tell you when I work through this with my clients this has the biggest impact, when they are really looking at how they spend their day with tasks and actions that they aren't even necessarily seen outcomes from. We have these amazing lives and we're feeling it with things that aren't so fun. As you assess your lifestyle take no. Is it more work than rest. And do you have a space that's been created for you to just be still and to enjoy hobbies that you once enjoyed before.

Stress is costing the nation 300 billion dollars a year right now in sickness and loss of productivity. I would venture to say that genetics has a huge role in the enormity of that number. If we have the family history then we have to know how to modify our life so that we're not compounding our issues that we're genetically predisposed to.

The third thing is creating a plan to take action for change

This is huge because you don't know where you're going. If you don't have a map, If you don't have a plan in place, it's really hard to know what milestones you've hit.
With a plan of action you have the ability to actually change your gene expression by modifying your lifestyle. That's epigenetics. If you have a family of heart disease. Eat more bacon should not be on that plan of action.

Taking ownership of your own lifestyle and managing your stress will have a positive impact on the outcome of your lifestyle and your overall state of health. We have an entire society that is burning the candle at both ends and pouring the gasoline in the middle to speed it up. By knowing your risk and making the necessary changes in your life TODAY you can change the outcome of future generations. Not only that but you're changing the story for yourself. You're not destined to the predisposition of issues that your parents or grandparents passed along.

You can make the change

I bet you're wondering right now, how do I take these three steps?. I don't know where to start. Well that's where I come in. Click here to schedule your free 20 minute stress assessment call where we go through your lifestyle. I help you come up with a strategic game plan on how to move forward towards revitalized Wellness.

You don't have to do this alone. I'm happy to help you. And together let's change your outcome. Thanks so much. I'll talk to you next time.


Stress Management: Meal planning

Stress Management: Meal planning

As we are going through the “Love Your Life” month I realize that one of the things keeping my clients from really loving their life is feeling completely overwhelmed at the idea of meal planning, prepping, and keeping the menu fresh.

Today, I am sharing all about my process. This is what I’ve been doing most recently and I am loving it!!!!! #gamechanger

meal planning.jpeg

I am using Trello for my meal planning (and general life organization) video that I am sharing today. It’s free, there is also an app you can use and it is magical!

If you are not using Trello yet, I highly recommend it! It has become an important tool for time management and implementation strategy when setting goals and creating the activities for those goals.

Trello has become my best friend as I get my life in order. You can create customized boards. I have quite a few specific to my business and my home. I break things down by month in my business to keep me focused and organized because I know what’s coming every day, week, and month.

As I plan weekly meals, one thing that has helped a ton is for me to set aside some time on Saturday or Sunday. Sunday seems to work the best for this. I find that it’s a more relaxing time to figure out what we are going to eat for the upcoming week.

I like to have dinner and breakfast options planned out for the week. However; in my case, for my family, dinner is probably the most important to plan. When it comes to breakfast in our house, we tend to keep some quick things on hand. We prepare breakfast burritos to freeze and boiled eggs ahead of time or my kids just grab a bowl of cereal or toast and a boiled egg. I make myself and my husband a green smoothie every morning (one of us likes that more than the other, I will let you guess who doesn’t. HINT: the answer isn’t me).

In the video below I am sharing tips and trick about meal planning. I am sharing my meal options and how my grocery list became smaller and more organized. Typically, you go to the grocery store and forget most items because the list you wrote out is on your kitchen counter (or is that just me?), you impulse shop, and you wander aimlessly because you don’t exactly know what to prepare everyday.

Enter the ever-amazing Trello! (I can’t sing the praises enough)

I am showing you how to create your own organized grocery list on Trello.

I break down the list by:

  • Dinner

  • Breakfast

  • Kitchen Plan

  • Snacks

You have everything in one place. You look for a recipe, add the ingredients and even the link you got the recipe from. This is really helpful in case you forgot to add something. And remember how I said there is an app? Now your list and meal plans are mobile!! Cue the singing angels!! 😇

Trust me… after you watch the meal planning video you will love me!!!!

It’s crazy how the everyday routine can be so time consuming and stressful! But today, my friend, that changes for you!!

I am sharing some really EASY recipes and methods to turn meal planning into FUN. (FYI-my family LOVES each of these things in the video!)

No more headaches or overwhelm when it comes to think about preparing your own healthy food. You have just learned another way to manage your stress.

You’re welcome. 😘

Here’s to Whole Health. Whole Love. Whole Success. 💜

** If you are struggling to lose weight, be sure to download my free guide “5 Ways Stress Is Stopping You From Dropping A Dress Size” by clicking HERE.



Mindset of Change

Mindset of Change

A majority of people who are wanting change won’t make the change because they are fearful

As a health and stress management coach, I see this frequently.

As a business owner and HUMAN, I experience this personally.

blog1.jpeg

Why are we afraid?

What are we afraid of? And why are we afraid?

  • Fear of failure

  • Failure of success

  • Fear of opinions of others

  • Fear of unknown...we’ve never done it before OR we did do it and settled back into old habits (lose weight and gain it back)

Change isn’t easy, but it’s not impossible

Mindsets are beliefs or thoughts we have been taught or absorbed through experiences in the lives of someone we may or may not know or personally.

Mindsets are simply beliefs, they can be changed.


Have you ever believed something to be true but realize it wasn’t?

-Many inventions have come from a person CHANGING their belief about something. They had to teach themselves to BELIEVE a new truth.  

The lightbulb (Thomas Edison said he found 10,000 ways for it to NOT work, he didn’t consider that failure), the airplane, cars, dishwasher, air conditioning, refrigerators, businesses.

If people just held to the belief, “This is the way it has always been; therefore, this is the way it will always be”...we would not have industrial progress!

It’s time to renew your mind!!

Romans 12:2

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.


Our mindset can change, we must make the choice to work at changing it!

5 practical questions


Here are 5 practical questions to ask yourself in order to start changing your mindset from fixed to growth to accomplish a necessary change:

  1. What goal am I after?

  2. What action can I take TODAY towards that goal?

  3. If I had a plan to be successful at [blank], what might it look like?

  4. What habits must I develop to continue the gains I’ve achieved?

  5. What did I learn today?

    I want to encourage you today to change your mindset in order to accomplish the things that you want to accomplish.

Make sure to follow me on Facebook so that you can watch my Live videos on mindset and overcoming burnout.

Until next time, here’s to Whole Health, Whole Love, Whole Success.

💜Ericka



Take action to see results

Take action to see results

We get stuck in a place of “wanting” and “desiring” but we don’t take action.

Will this be another year of lost hope when it comes to changing your health, habits, and behaviors?

We get stuck in the place of research… I do this as an Enneagram Type 1. I want to read, plan, doubt the efficacy, read some more, plan even more. In the meantime, I haven’t taken one single bit of action.

I want to make the right choices and have perfect results straight out of the gate. I want the results to come quickly and as painlessly as possible.

TAKE ANY ACTION

I understand where you are too well, in fact it has taken quite a bit of re-learning and training myself to just take action. ANY ACTION!

BUT...I am improving greatly.

A perfect example of not taking action:

I purchased a course on FB ads a while back. Learning how to utilize this tool in my business was important to me. I didn’t want to WASTE money on advertising.

I started the program, as I went through it I wondered if someone else was teaching an easier method because this made no sense to this girl who would rather dream up ideas for business; I didn’t want to get hung up on these technical pieces.

So I started researching again and getting lost in the vortex of Facebook ad land. I became overwhelmed. I no longer knew what to believe. So I just stopped and decided to do nothing.

I came back to the program 2 years later!!!


Guess what? This program was now obsolete! Everything about Facebook ads in this program was pretty much all different...the entire Ad Manager platform was different. Metrics were different! Strategies were different. Set up was different. The program made FB ads even MORE frustrating because it was no longer up to date.

I’m guessing that is what is happening to you in your journey to revitalized health.

You are researching, planning, asking for recommendations, reading, watching videos, getting more opinions. All the while KNOWING that something has to be done but not taking any action.

You’re stuck in a state of self-doubt, you need a mindset shift!

You make progress by working through self-doubt and taking action!

3 ways to take action

Today, my friend, you are changing your story!

Here are 3 ways to take action & gain momentum:

  1. Set a goal
    -Go from wishing and wanting and desiring to creating the goal.

  2. Set a deadline to have a plan
    -Take some time to think about what you want to do. But give yourself a deadline. Because things will take you as long as you allow. Be decisive, set a date.

  3. Tell someone about your deadline
    -By telling someone, you are asking someone to check in with you about this deadline you have set for yourself. Tell them why this is a goal and why it is important to you. You are being held accountable.

I would love to hear how you are taking action to gain the results you desire. Share in the comments or tag me on social media!

Here’s to making 2019 a different story! Until next time, here’s to Whole Health, Whole Love, Whole Success.

💜Ericka


Stress Management: Shift your success

Stress Management: Shift your success

I want you to think back to a time when you had stress and it was affecting you professionally, relationally, physically, emotionally, and mentally. I mean, stress has the ability to do that! Stress is a choice and you can decide how much you allow in your life.

A lot of people don't necessarily like it when I say that because they think stress isn't a choice. The belief is stress is something that happens to you and you just assume that negative consequence that comes along with it. I'm here to say no absolutely not!

You have a choice…

Now you might be thinking, “Well, lady, what about those situations that I can't have control. Well, you still have a choice in how you respond. When I work with my clients there are three key things, three questions that I give them in order to ask themselves when they have a stressful situation that they are facing.

Can I change the situation?

When I say change the situation that may be that may mean that you are either removing yourself entirely from that situation which I've done, I've completely just walked away from the situation because I realized it wasn't helping me emotionally or physically and it was making life pretty complicated for those that were surrounding me.

You have the ability to look at a situation and ask yourself, can I change the situation? And even if removing yourself isn't the answer can you change it can you make a situation different by just changing the overall environment?

Can I change my mindset regarding this situation?

This is probably the most important piece because like I said stress is a choice. We have the ability to change how we think about stress. If you have a situation at work that's impacting you maybe you going in every single day with dread and anticipating that it's going to be a terrible day. Maybe that's actually what's instigating the stress within yourself and it's making the situation seem way worse than it actually is.


Can I accept this situation for what it is?

Can I look for other ways to manage my stress while I'm dealing with the situation as it is? If there is a situation and that can be a sickness it can be the death of a loved one. It can be the loss of a job or a relationship, you may not be able to change that situation as it is. You have to maybe accept the past for what it has taught us and move forward in a different light. In the meantime, you have to look for ways to heal and to recover in order for you to manage your stress.

When we take those three questions and we apply it to our everyday life three things happen as a result.

Results

  1. The first is that you become proactive rather than reactive. And how good does that feel when you're managing your stress, and you're getting a hold on it rather than feeling like you just have this anxiety around you and your worrying about a situation but you're taking steps to actually be proactive to change the outcome. It's free.

  2. You become more focused because you have a plan. One of the things that I work with my clients is that we actually go through a goal-setting process. Their Goal very well just might be to increase energy and we create a plan for them to feel more energetic throughout their day. It could also have something to do with lessening their social obligations that they are committed to. When you have a plan in place it allows you to be much more focused and intentional.

  3. You become thankful. Thankfulness begets Joy. It's simply impossible to have a constant state of anxiety if you are in a state of gratitude. Another tip that I give my clients is I encourage them to journal and to find three things every single day that they are thankful for. It can be anything literally anything you are thankful that the sun is shining and you're not covered in snow. I live in Arizona. We don't have snow here so I'm pretty thankful that I don't have to shovel my way out of a driveway every day. Or it can be something as simple as you're thankful for the cup of coffee that you're enjoying in the morning or you're thankful for your favorite pair of leggings. Whatever it is find three things to be thankful for and I guarantee you that completely changes just your approach to your day.

I have some more practical advice. A lot of my clients what I noticed and then women that I talk to is that there is an overwhelming feeling of anxiousness and you're worried, you're comparing and you're trying to do so many things. Simply by changing our mindset and asking yourself those three questions whenever you feel that gnawing feeling in your stomach of you know this is feeling like I'm not in control and there is something bad about to happen.

I have a Bible verse that I continually refer to when I am stuck in a cycle of worry: “Can any of you, by worrying, add a single hour to your life ?”

How does worrying, going over the issue again and again with anybody that will listen and in your own mind, how does it change the situation? It doesn't. It only adds to the dynamic of the stress that you are adding in your life.

Taking steps

Today I encourage you to ask yourself those three questions:

Can you change the situation?

Can you change your mindset regarding this situation?

Can you accept this situation for what it is in order to move forward in healing and restoration?

If you are struggling with stress in your life and it is taking a toll on you and impacting how you are performing in life, negatively impacting your relationships, then I am inviting you to come alongside me and other women in our 12-week intensive group program Revitalized Wellness!

Revitalized Wellness is an experience where we get to the foundation of health- managing your stress. We take a look at your mindset, your lifestyle, and your environment in order to make changes in your diet, in your exercise, and your overall stress response in your body.

Today is a new day and today you have a choice to change your perspective on your stress and decide that you are no longer a victim but instead you are taking action. You are going to be focused on a plan for 2019 to make it the best most impactful year ever.

In order to increase success, we must manage our stress. We must make a change because what we have been doing isn’t moving us forward.

I have put together a comprehensive 12-week program that gives you a PLAN for ACTION to manage your stress, move you forward in your health and get to feeling revitalized, my friend! Join the waitlist for Revitalized Wellness


What Is Your Health Worth?

What Is Your Health Worth?

There is a saying: Invest in your health now so you won’t have to pay for sickness later.

We hear the words but are we truly applying them? So often, investing in health doesn’t seem like the “fun” thing to use our money and time for. Especially if we currently struggling in our health. We want the quick wins, the fast-fixes, and the immediate change.


But how often is major change quick?

If we want to move, there is a process…pick a new location, sell our current home, find a new home, pack, move, unpack.

If we are changing jobs or careers, it’s similar to moving…there is a process.

We can change our hair color or hair cut fairly quickly.

We can change our clothes.

We can buy new shoes, new handbags, new jewelry and new makeup.

Those things are quick external changes that last a short while. But that is where we invest our money and time.

It offers a quick change, a feeling of satisfaction. It may even be that same mindset we apply to our health. We look for the “easy” button to health.

“what is the quickest, cheapest, easiest way to change my health?" Yet, we see as a nation…those quick  fixes aren’t working because we are the most obese nation, the weight loss industry is a $70 BILLION market, and stress is costing us $300 BILLION a year in sickness and loss of productivity in work.

Quick isn’t sustainable

Extreme diets or workouts don’t often give lasting changes. Restricted eating plans and intense changes in how we workout aren’t ways to invest in your health for 3 reasons:

  1. it’s not sustainable (story of my underrating and over-exercising)

  2. we don’t get to the root of the problem (stress, over-eating, hormone imbalance), we mask symptoms

  3. we are only looking at immediate gratification and not thinking of long-term benefits or gain


We may lose the focus of why we started and realize this is harder than we keep up with, so we quit. And the weight loss industry shows that we do this on repeat. Make goals, start strong, lose focus and drive, don’t see quick results, quit. Rinse and repeat.

We also think we “KNOW” what we need to do and we can do it ourselves. We just need a little more self-discipline.

Yet, common sense isn’t always common practice. Hearing Brendon Burchard say this at an event I attended a few months struck me. How many times do I “know” what I need to do but I don’t do it? And I am asking for help or just winging it?

In his book “high performance habits”, Brendon addresses the necessity of caring for our bodies in order to improve our performance in life, to live life intentionally. In order to be present, we must feel well.

Invest in your health

Getting to the root of why we feel unhealthy, unfocused, unmotivated is where we need to invest time and resources.

Getting help from a coach to transform how we approach our health is worth the life we create through that investment.

5 reasons to hire a coach

  1. they have been in your shoes and have empathy (personalize your coaching)

  2. they have a well-rounded approach towards health

  3. they see your blind spots

  4. they hold you accountable

  5. they have been trained and certified to promote lasting change in you, not just a quick win


So ask yourself as you think about how you approach your health & the affect it is having on your life as a whole, “what is it costing me to NOT invest in my health?”

Is it affecting your work? Your relationships? your sleep? your productivity? your focus? your weight? your immune system? Your ability to meet goals? your joy? your fulfillment?

I have a group program I am launching at the end of the end of the month called Revitalized Wellness.

if you are looking for a wholistic approach to health that creates lasting change, then head over to erickaeller.com/revitalizedwellness to learn more about this 12-week intensive group coaching program.

Together, we get to the foundation of health “stress management”. We don’t focus on an eating plan or a specific workout routine, we look at your lifestyle, mindset, and environment to see how it impacts sleep, diet, exercise, and symptoms of stress.


if you are ready to invest in your health for 2019, because you know you were created to make an impact, click the link to join a movement towards revitalized wellness. See you there!

Stress Management: Planner Review

Stress Management: Planner Review

Happy New year!!!!

I wanted to share with you my thoughts on some particular planners that I have.

First things first, I have two books that I really recommend in the scope of time management and really knowing how you’re best spending your time, and again not being busy but being productive, and doing the things that you really feel are leading to greater growth and greater outcomes in your life by some of the goals that you've set.

Book recommendation


The first book is, The Best Yes by Lisa Terkeurst. The tagline is "making wise decisions in the midst of endless demands". How well does that sum up your life??!! It fit mine to a tee! 

Her whole purpose in this book is to help women who are consistently feeling overwhelmed and dangling on that verge of burnout because their schedules are so demanding. She discusses points that I have shared with you before:  where do you want to be in life and where do you want to be spending your time?

What feels the most valuable to you? And knowing that things you are saying "yes" to become a "no" to something else. So, even though you're saying yes to everything there is something that you are saying not now too. 

Is it your health, relationships, productivity, joy....what is it for you?

What we're focused on is the fact that we've basically said “not now” to our health. We're trying to make changes, shift the mindset so that the health becomes much more of a priority rather than all these other little busy nuanced tasks that we're taking on that aren't necessarily serving us in the most positive manner. So that's definitely a good read.

The other one is Make It Happen by Lara Casey. I really like her!! Her book isn't necessarily how to manage your time. It's much more of a how to live your life on purpose book. Her tagline "surrender your fear, take the leap, live on purpose". I love love love this book because she really does dive into those fears that get into our head and it’s like she is in my head!

She tackles the thoughts and obstacles which hold us back from some of the very big goals that we have, the things that we feel we are being called to, that stirring within us.  And part of it is we are simply just not planning and allowing for space to accomplish our dreams and goals. 


We have talked about creating the margin for rest and when we're not allowing ourselves to have that space, it keeps us in this chronic mindset of fear. We start thinking “well I just can't do that because I don't have the time, because I don't have the resources, because I just don't know what the next steps are.”

And so she really helps break it down. She also is the creator of Cultivate of Your Life and they have something called Power sheets. I've never used the Power Sheets but basically they are a goal planning system. So it's really in-depth planning for the entire year. There is also a 6 month version. I've never used them. However, I have ordered to use in 2019 because I want to be much more intentional with my goal setting, and making sure that I have a plan every month to get me closer to the goals that I have.

Within my business and personal life, I have specific goals for each quarter to have steps towards each big goal. You know, those big scary goals that make you want to throw up a bit. There has to be a process of steps to get you from A to Z. One step at a time. Reverse engineer from the final goal to uncover the necessary steps to get to the final destination.

I am a big nerd and I have been watching quite a few YouTube videos, a lot of people have shared how they've been using the Power Sheets this past year and those that are getting ready for 2019 and I've decided that that is the next step that I need to take.

So, again, I haven't used them yet but if you do the research I think that you guys will agree that it's something that you want to incorporate.



Stress Free

This isn't something to put into place to overwhelm you. It's something to put into place to make life become more manageable. This is a tool to make it feel doable and to also be sustainable, so that you have a plan that you're putting into place. Everyday you're taking action towards specific goals.

Whether it's weight loss, organizing your home, paying off debt, getting a new job or promotion, getting into a new hobby, starting a business, … whatever it is there has to be a process! This is how stress management works!

I think that Power Sheets is going to be part of the game changer to become even more focused in on what I need to do for 2019 to make things happen and to hold myself accountable.  


About Planners….

I review the following planners:

-Passion Planner

-Franklin Covey Planner

-Goals Planner by Tools 4 Wisdom

-Moleskine Weekly Planner

What’s the next step?


Talking about 2019 excitement….. Are you heading into 2019 saying “Sayonara, 2018...Not gonna miss you, sucka!”?

Maybe you’re feeling tired of feeling so terrible? You are heartbroken and tired of saying every year “this is the year I get healthy!”.

You think the answer is a new diet and THEN you’ll feel amazing!

But maybe you are frustrated with trying all of the “diets” and workout programs that weren’t sustainable? You’re dead tired, irritated, and you can’t show up as the person you want to be.

You’ve been taking care of everyone else and you keep waiting for “some day” to come for you to change your story.

In order to get a new result, we have to do something different from what we have done before!

Instead of starting with a new diet...start with managing the stress!

We need a new belief system!

I have a 5 Day Stress Detox Challenge starting January 7th!


In 5 days, you gain the roadmap to revitalize your health in 2019!

Let’s get to the root of the issue, not mask the symptoms.

Want to learn more? Join Now! Click here






5 reasons you are struggling to lose weight

5 reasons you are struggling to lose weight

Why can’t I lose weight?

Today I am talking about something that I get asked a ton about and that is why can't I lose weight? So many women out there are struggling with uncovering the magic answer, that mystery pill that's going to solve this problem weight loss, right? The weight loss industry is actually a 60 billion dollar industry, which makes complete sense to me because we are a stressed society and this stress is causing us to gain weight. One of the major symptoms of stress is weight gain.

So many women want to know what the magic answer is to lose weight. I'm here to share my five reasons why you're having a really hard time losing weight because of stress.

My personal experience….

I share these five things because I've gone through them when I talked about, and I've shared my personal stories of burnout. There were multiple errors, there were two burnouts and there were both different reasons. The second burnout was actually from a lot of good things. It was just my inability to say no that really caused me to just hit that wall, and ultimately that is what led to some severe hormone imbalance, and some blood sugar imbalance which led to weight gain. Because Of this I'm able to share the five things, the five reasons on why you can't lose weight.

Stress starts in the mind

The very first one is stress starts in the mind, a chronic stress response is kicked on despite you being chased by a tiger or you just have a really hectic lifestyle. Your brain does not know the difference and if you're going into situations with a negative mindset, or just this over whelming feeling of despair and negativity towards the stress, then that is the first part of the problem because that is where the stress response starts, in the mind. The hypothalamus is telling the rest of your body that there is a stress happening within your body or around your environment and it needs to protect you. So the very first thing that you have to address is your mindset. Often we see that the solution is maybe an extreme diet or an extreme exercise regimen or maybe you just need to eat these magical ingredients in your diet, and that'll burn the fat or you're looking at some weight loss drugs or supplements or even more severe have a surgery and that'll fix it. But my friends I am telling you that stress starts in the mind and in order to drop that weight we have to address Mindset.

A lifestyle change is necessary

The second thing  is a lifestyle change is necessary, I know this is one of the most difficult things that I have to address when I'm working with my clients, because so many feel that there just is not any room to give or there is no way that changes can be made that aren't going to drastically impact their life their family or their work. But I'm here to tell you that even the slightest changes to your lifestyle will make a huge impact. And so I work with my clients to really assess what is on their plate, what are they taking on and what can we either minimize or eliminate to help them so that weight loss is not as difficult. If You don't address the lifestyle piece then you're going to have a really hard time sustaining a weight loss.

Your diet and exercise don't match

The third thing is that your diet and exercise don't match, what I mean by that is that you're not eating to support a healthy stress response. When you are in a stress response your body requires extra nutrients, and if you're not getting that because you're limiting what you are eating or you're limiting the types of food that you're eating or even completely eliminating a certain type of food group, then you are not fueling your body the correct way. The other piece of that is that you're over exercising and under eating. So what you eat and when you eat it matters and that is determined by the amount of exercise that you are doing on a daily basis. And so I work with my clients to talk about the specific nutrients that are really needed to help your body recover from chronic stress as well as kick that fat burning mode on so that you are healing as well as feeding your body for stress and for an optimal lifestyle.

Stress causes a blood sugar imbalance

The fourth thing is stress causes a blood sugar imbalance. Basically, when your blood sugar is imbalanced that makes it really difficult for you to lose weight because you have an excess of glucose in your bloodstream that your body is storing as fat.

Stress disturbs your sleep

The fifth thing that I'm talking about today stress disturbs your sleep. Now this is huge because we have this hustle mentality within today's society, right? Busy is better. Busy is the new black and in fact people wear their busyness like a badge of honor. But there is a fallacy in that thinking especially if you are allowing it to impact your sleep because a lot of people feel that they will sleep when they are dead, right? That's when we will get the rest because we need to do more now in order to be the most productive that we possibly can be. When you are not getting enough sleep your circadian rhythm is completely off balance. You are not in line with what a normal balance should look like; when that happens you are unable to produce melatonin which is the hormone that allows you to sleep and it promotes sleep. You also have a diminished ability to respond to insulin signals which goes back to your blood sugar imbalance. So it's kind of this vicious circle. Basically, what happens is that your hunger hormones leptin which is what tells you that you're full and grilling which tells you that you're hungry those get completely thrown off. There was some research done from the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, where they found in their research that if you slept fewer than six hours that it greatly reduced your leptin hormone levels and it increased growling which means you are more hungry but less satiated when you eat. You're basically working against your body when you are not sleeping.

Join my wait list….

Maybe some of these things are triggering something inside of you and you're thinking oh my gosh this is probably the reason why I can't lose weight. I want to invite you to join my wait list for revitalized wellness where I address diet as a key component to stress and weight loss.

Together In this group program that is 12 weeks long, we take a look at your lifestyle, at your sleep, at your mindset, and most importantly we help you figure out why you're not losing weight and how we can get your body recovered in order to get that weight back off.

I would love to have you join me and connect with me on social media and get more information to help you manage your stress every single day.





Is Adrenal Fatigue a real thing?

Is Adrenal Fatigue a real thing?

Hello sisters,

This week we're going to talk about adrenal fatigue. What is adrenal fatigue and what are some of the symptoms? Is it even a real thing?

Why do I know anything about Adrenal Fatigue?

Just to give you a little bit of background information, I have studied under the leading expert for stress and adrenal fatigue, Dr. James L. Wilson, for almost the past six years. Through his education, training, mentorship, and his knowledge, I have been able to help so many women (including teaching other practitioners to the same for their patients) beat burnout, by addressing these symptoms of stress and helping them overcome the obstacles that are preventing them from leading the best life that they possibly can.

Going through my own journey of recovery from Adrenal Fatigue has helped me help others. It also drove me to continue my education; I became a certified wellness coach to focus on guiding my clients through a change model to get to the root cause of stress and Adrenal Fatigue.

I also became a certified nutritionist to help my clients promote healing through nutrition.

What is adrenal fatigue?

Adrenal fatigue was coined as the Twenty-first-century Syndrome by Dr. James L. Wilson. It's considered the twenty-first-century stress syndrome simply because of the lifestyle we lead as a society; our constant need to be more efficient, to always be doing more, to always be busy, and to be accomplishing all the time is causing chronic stress. There's very little room for rest.

Adrenal Fatigue is considered to be a collection of signs and symptoms which are often stress related and there have been many studies on the impact of stress to your health. Specifically, there have been some recent studies by the American Psychological Association and the Journal of the American Medical Association, where they have shown that approximately 60 to 90 percent of all office visits to a primary care physician are to address symptoms of stress. That is such a staggering number!

That means that we are so stressed out that we're causing all of these symptoms and a majority of what doctors are seeing in their offices every single day often has to do with stress, and that's just staggering to me because it's completely preventable, for the most part.

What are some of the stress-related symptoms? What are symptoms of adrenal fatigue?

Adrenal fatigue is really a way of giving a name to something that's happening within your body. Your body is basically under a chronic stress response (fight or flight) and it becomes unable to deal with the demand to respond to heightened stress after a prolonged amount of time.

The busier we are, the frenzied state and emotional distress becomes a playground for inflammation as elevated cortisol tries to bring our body back to a parasympathetic state (rest and digest). Leading to many of these symptoms because of chronic stress, we become a society that is facing the epidemic of burnout.

Chronic fatigue

One of the top signs and probably the most complained about symptom is chronic fatigue. This is a fatigue that is not relieved by sleep. So even though you may get eight to 10 hours of sleep at night, you still feel exhausted throughout the day. You have a really hard time waking up in the morning and, in fact, if this is really true for you, you are often hitting that snooze button or sleeping through the alarm, and then finding yourself panicked and rushed in the morning because you've slept completely through your alarm. Worst part- you're not waking up feeling rested and rejuvenated!

Zero Energy/Energy Crashes

Another symptom is zero energy. You feel completely rundown and totally lethargic and that lack of energy continues throughout your day so much, leaving you completely dependent on caffeine and sugar to keep you going throughout the day. This leads to a temporary burst of false energy that is followed by a severe sugar crash.

And the cycle continues. Coffee. Candy. Crash. Repeat. Welcome blood sugar imbalance.

Brain fog

Brain fog is a terrible thing because it makes you feel like you're almost losing your mind. You can't concentrate on anything, your memory is terrible, and you're just not thinking clearly. In fact, you may even be making some poor decisions because of the fact that you are having chronic stress symptoms.

And it's leading to a decreased cognitive function when stress increases, your brain is working a lot harder and not as efficiently as it could be. You may have trouble sleeping because of the stress and imbalanced cortisol. And even though I previously mentioned that you don't feel rested and you feel so tired all the time, your body is completely unable to wind down. So you lay awake all night long thinking of all the things that you need to do and really wishing that you could just fall asleep.

Your body is not able to regenerate cells and repair tissue because of the stress and lack of sleep, therefore increasing the brain fog.

Sick often

Another symptom is you are getting sick often. Your immune system is compromised because all of the nutrients and the vital minerals that are needed to promote a healthy immune system are being shunted away from the processes of keeping you healthy and to recover faster through a built-up immune system. The vitamins and minerals are being shunted away to protect you during times of stress and aid the stress response system within your HPA axis.

Something to note, the adrenal glands demand the most Vitamin C than any other tissue or gland in the body and that need increases exponentially as stress increases. Vitamin C is critical to the immune system as it gives antioxidant protection

You may also have difficultly getting over sicknesses. Colds and infections linger longer and it seems like you never fully recover. Ever had a month of sickness? This is a sign of stress.

Decreased sex drive

Another symptom of adrenal fatigue and chronic stress is you have a decreased sex drive and how horrible is that?!? I mean at least you could enjoy that, right? Unfortunately, your hormones are completely imbalanced because your body is saying you are so stressed and now is not the time for reproduction. So again, it's shunting away those resources that lead to a healthy hormone balance to instead keeping your body in that fight or flight response.

There can be other repercussions of hormone imbalance: weight gain, fatigue, irritability, increased PMS or menopause symptoms.

If any of these symptoms ring true for you then you very well could have adrenal fatigue. In fact, in some studies, it has been shown that approximately eight out of ten people have some degree of adrenal fatigue. It could be mild, moderate, or severe and any where in between those lines.

If you feel that this is something that you are dealing with I encourage you to download my five signs of burnout, where I go a little bit deeper into some of these signs that could be leading you to a burnout very quickly. If you go to erickaeller.com/burnout, you will get your hands on that PDF immediately!

You can also read more about Adrenal Fatigue HERE.

In the meantime, if you have any questions feel free to contact me. I would love to hear from you!

Whole Health. Whole Love. Whole Success.

~Ericka

How did I burnout with filling my life with lots of good things?

How did I burnout with filling my life with lots of good things?

Today I am going personal once more as I share about my burnout journey. I am sharing my story about burnout number two that is. If you can believe it, yes, I did it again, but it was completely different from burnout number one.

Last week I shared how I achieved burnout number one by over-exercising and under-eating. I don't know if I call it an achievement but that's what I did. But today I'm talking about burnout number two, and how that happened basically by filling my life with lots of good things. And you might be thinking, “How in the world did she burn out if everything was good?”. Well, sister, hang on! I'm about to share how I hit the wall AGAIN.

In order for me to coach and help high achieving women increase their net worth both financially and relationally, by beating burnout and revitalizing their health, I had to go through burnout. TWICE. Like you, I am also an over-achiever.

So, as a woman who is a wife, a mom, I was an employee, I had my business on the side and trying to be a good friend and have social connections, I was struggling to keep up. It was taking a toll on me. But all of it was really really good stuff. And when I work with women that's often what we find, there are a lot of good things in their life that are happening but sometimes it's just a little bit too much and sometimes, it’s a LOT TOO MUCH.

After I recovered from my first burnout, I did a revamp of my life. I got rid of relationships that no longer served me. I was basically realigning what my priorities were, WHO my priorities were and who I wanted to be, who I wanted to show up as to be the best version of me that I could for my family and those that I love the most.

I was doing that assessment of my life… but also, I am a pretty driven person. I have a lot of goals and a lot of dreams that I want to achieve in life. And sometimes as a high-achieving woman, it's really hard to prioritize because we look at all of these things and struggle to know what is most important.

We take a look at our jobs, our finances, and our relationships. If we have kids that's a pretty big priority alone; yet, we must also place a high priority on our marriages, other relationships, our careers, connections, obligations that we might have, and volunteer work.

Out of all of those things, does any of that sound bad? It doesn't sound bad, It's not bad. But what's not healthy is when we can't say no to certain things. And… that's basically what happened to me in this stage of my life.

And as I was taking things away, I was also adding more. You might remember I had mentioned that I started grad school …that was part of that first disaster, ahem burnout. While that recovery was taking place, for whatever reason, I just thought this is a great time for me to go back to school! What?

And it wasn't even that I was necessarily needing to do that for a particular position in my company or something within my own business that I was looking for. Yet, I was basically hearing that a successful woman will continue her education and will keep going forward with that to continue the corporate climb.

The problem for me in this situation was I trying to recover from Adrenal Fatigue (burnout) and I jumped right into any huge responsibility because I felt like that was expected in order to be successful. Boundaries aren’t my strong point and I've always had a hard time at placing boundaries in my life. And so that's become a lifelong work for me, to put those healthy boundaries in place and to know when enough is enough.

What women in society are facing right now is a superwoman complex where we are being told and believing that we can do all of the things; and we can do them really well. We can be that super mom. We can be that awesome wife. We can have that high powered job or that really successful business and we can be really involved in our community. And we should still have time for ourselves and also, by the way, we need to look perfect while we do all that, right? Our house needs to be Pinterest perfect and our kids need to look like they're straight out of a catalog. That's just not reality; at least for me it wasn't and isn’t.

So what did burn out number two look like specifically? I was focused on being a people pleaser and wanting to make sure everybody was happy all the time and I'm doing the things that I feel like I need to do to get ahead in life. I also had a demanding job and my responsibilities were increasing. I loved it, It was exactly what I wanted to do. I was really good at it but I was also wanting to be a really good wife and a really good mom. That weight on my shoulders was a lot and I wasn't stopped eating well. I was looking for quick, easy meals. Nutrients were not always at the forefront of my mind. I wasn’t asking myself how that food would make me feel. I was also probably eating just to numb the constant feeling of not being good enough. Eventually, I started feeling poorly again.

What I noticed was that fatigue, that never-ending tiredness had started to come back. And then weight gain was starting to come back. But that was coming at a rapid pace! That mental fogginess that I talked about in my other video was definitely back and this feeling of lethargy, and I didn't feel like I was being effective in any role that I had.

I was doing all of the things but I didn't feel like I was doing any of them well. I didn't feel like I was being a good mom, being a good wife, I didn't feel like I was being a good employee, and I was definitely not paying attention to my business the way that I wanted to be. And I wasn't getting out of life what I wanted to be getting. I was basically allowing life to happen to me because I was just letting the schedule dictate what I was going to be doing and when. But it wasn't feeling right to me.

The result of all that was I ended up developing hypothyroidism and I was diagnosed with PCOS, my hormones were completely out of whack.

Thankfully my sleep was still good but I was just feeling an insane amount of tiredness. I wanted to be exercising to gain energy but I was just so exhausted at the end of the day. This manifested in such a huge way where I was just kind of at that breaking point where I thought, “I can not do one more thing”, and that's probably resonating with some of you right now.

Once again, it took me stepping back and evaluating what in my life needs to go, what can stay, what can I delegate, what can I get rid of, what are the things that I enjoy.

So, I basically had to do complete 180 on my life and had to say no to some things and said “hold on” to a few other things for a later time. Some of them it was just time for me to let them go and then there were the things that I absolutely love, like coaching and helping women, that I really wanted to pour my heart and soul into.

I had to make some decisions to do that. But with that, I had to get back in line with practitioners and finding out what I could do to help myself thrive again in my health. I wanted to feel the best. I'm not just doing the best and not necessarily only “look” the best. But I wanted to feel the best. I wanted to have that energy back.

Changing that perspective was difficult. We are engrained to believe that our worth is tied to our appearance. It also took a lot of time for me to really be intentional in my diet, instead of processed foods, I started eating whole, organic and unprocessed foods as much as I could. I focused on making sure that I had a very balanced meal. I definitely now have the carbohydrates, the proteins, and the healthy fats. All of that is part of every single meal that I have. Making sure that I'm taking the steps that I need to take in order to feel well and so that has been truly the game changer for me.

Like I shared before, there is never a time where we just “arrive”. It's more of a continuous lesson and a continuous practice of what's working right now. It may not work tomorrow. It might not have worked yesterday but we're going to try something today.

Always listening to your body and knowing when the time is to rest; rest was definitely not a part of my life. It's OK. Now, I give myself the permission to take a day off or not be hyper-focused on what I am accomplishing.

The reality of life is nobody is going to die if I don't get something done today. It's really taken again a total different mindset shift and I think that's something that we're always working on and moving toward each day. As I share my story of burnout, know that you absolutely can achieve revitalized health! You just need the right guide; you need the right tools.

Revitalized Wellness will be starting again in January. It is a six-week group program that is going to be amazing because it's going to give you all of those tools and tips and resources. I'm going to coach you through of it so that you feel more in line with the person that you want to be.

We are imperfect people looking at other imperfect people but expecting perfection from ourselves. So… let's drop that baggage and instead let's vow to get the help that we need. Asking for help prevents burnout so that we can show up as the best us in all the areas of our lives and effectively creating more success in both work and relationships.

You can join the waitlist right now to be sure that you get first shot at joining Revitalized Wellness in January. Join HERE.

Did you miss the video about my burnout? Click HERE.

How burnout can be caused by over exercising and under eating

How burnout can be caused by over exercising and under eating

Today I'm going to share how burnout can be caused by over exercising and under eating. I'm going to be sharing my personal story of how I experienced my first burnout and that's right, I said my first burn out because there were actually two separate instances, both completely different circumstances of me burning out. But today we're going to focus on over-exercising and under-eating and what that looks like to your health.

As a certified wellness coach, I help high achieving women increase their network, both financially and relationally by beating burnout and revitalizing their health and I having a personal experience of burning out by going after that “ideal body”, you know, that slim perfect figure where there are no bumps, nothing's poking out. Everything is exactly where it should be. You are perky and you are tight and you are super fit and lean, right? There is no wiggle and no jiggle. Is that what we're all going for is? Does that sound a little familiar to you?

I was going after that ideal body and after years and years of fighting with my weight, and it actually all started when I went on the birth control pill in 1999. After that my body was just no longer my own. I had no control, or so I thought, of what my body was doing, and I basically played the weight game from then until 2012. In 2012 I had had enough, I had had three kids, I was not planning to have any more kids. And I said this is the time for me to just basically reinvent myself, and I am taking charge of me and my health by focusing in on my weight, and I'm going after that very ideal, fit, Barbie-esque type shape. So, what did that look like? I threw everything of who I was into working out. I was working out morning and night. I was waking up at two thirty in the morning to get to the gym by three o'clock in the morning. I was doing a little bit of cardio before weights, an hour of weight training and then another hour of cardio when I was done weight training. And then in the evening, I was doing more. Sometimes I went for a 3-5 mile run and sometimes I did a cardio type of workout video.

But often times it was more weight training with a run. That can only be sustained for so long. Basically, I started hitting a wall. I was definitely losing weight. My shape was definitely changing. I had gotten to the leanest that I had ever been. But here's the thing, I technically “looked the best” according to society but I felt the worst that I ever had, and it was awful.

I had also gone through a separation and divorce in 2012-2013. I had gone from being a stay at home mom with a successful photography business that I had on the side to being a single mom and being thrust into the workforce. I got a job working full time for a nutritional supplement company and I had also dove right into a terrible relationship. I don't recommend that by the way. Going through a divorce, becoming a single mom, going to work full time, having a terrible relationship, and then coupling that with insane exercise and under eating led to my first burnout.

burn out.jpg

Recipe for disaster

I was so hyper-focused on what I was eating. I was eating a high protein, low carb, zero fat diet, and that just does not allow for any energy to be produced whatsoever. I was getting sick all the time. I was irritable, I was cranky, I wasn't sleeping well, and I wasn't performing well at work. I was struggling with mental fogginess, I wasn't thinking straight, I was forgetting things, and that's just not who I was. It was kind of freaking me out a little bit about what I was becoming. Then what I was also dealing with was sickness, chronic sickness; I was getting colds over and over and over, it was taking so long to get over them, and then finally in 2014 I had a prolonged sickness that kept me home for nearly three weeks!! At that time I had to pause and ask myself “what am I doing in my life that's causing all of this sickness and this fatigue in this overall exhaustion?”. I realized that I was not the mom that I want to be at all, I was not the employee that I want to be. I was still trying to run a coaching business on the side while still doing some photography, that was just a recipe for disaster. I was juggling everything and striving to do more.

Call to action

So, I had to literally take a step back, look at my schedule and see what needs to go, what needed to be removed. The very first thing that I let go of was the exercise and the under-eating. I also happened to be working for the foremost expert in adrenal fatigue. And so through my education and my training and working with Dr. Wilson, the reality hit me- I was basically burnt out. I had adrenal fatigue, I had run a cortisol panel to check my hormones to see where they were; and let me tell you, that was a hot mess. What is considered normal was nowhere near where I was at all. So, I took a six month break from any exercise whatsoever, basically, the only exercise that I was doing was pretty much walking the dog. Once in awhile I did some yoga, but other than that there was nothing else. I definitely got rid of the terrible relationship because that wasn't serving me well at all. I decided to just focus in on myself and being the best me that I could be and that started with eating properly.

There is currently an overabundance of people that are scared of carbs right now. When you are burnt out it is essential that you have carbs and fat along with protein in your diet for energy production and healthy hormone conversion.

Your body simply can not create energy if you are missing key nutrients that come from carbohydrates and fats and proteins. So, if you're omitting any of that let me just warn you right now to maybe consider taking a look at your diet. If you are struggling with burnout, chances are that your diet could have a huge impact on your recovery.

So, in time, between working with Dr. Wilson, working with some other practitioners to help me get back on track, and really becoming okay with the way that my body looks (and I won't lie that was a huge work), I began working towards my recovery. I had to work on my mindset, leaving behind the thoughts telling me I was failing because everything in society is saying, if you don't look a certain way then you are not worthy. That's a hard thing to change when you've been hearing, believing, or thinking that for so many years.

What I realized is that my overall outlook on my health will impact my future generations. I have a daughter, what was the example that I was setting for her by being hyper-focused on an ideal body image for me? I don’t want her to have a distorted image of health and think her worth is tied to her appearance.

For the past four years I zeroed in on what healthy looks like for me and learned what I need to do to avoid burnout. That's been trial and error. It's a practice, you never “arrive”. Some days are better than others. I pay attention to what is going on during my current season.

But what I do know is this… as we search for an ideal body and we do things that are more detrimental to get to it, it's not going to pay off in the long run. I'm going to be sharing my story in another post with the details of my second burnout that was totally different; you'll see why when when I share that with you. Today I really just wanted to focus on burn out that is a result of over-exercising and under-eating; you can recover, but it does take some intention in how you treat your body and how you feed your body.

Do you want to learn more? Check out my interview for the FitFluential Radio Podcast : https://fitfluential.com/from-adrenal-burnout-to-stress-expert/

Think you might be experiencing burnout? Download the “5 Signs Of Burnout” information guide to find out if you are burning out and what your next steps should be.