Do Stimulants Run You?
I call this the Stimulant Cycle – when we live from one stimulant to the next.
What does a typical day on stimulants look like?
-wake up: drink coffee (or some kind of caffeine, including green tea, black tea, matcha, etc.)
-midday: energy is waning, eat some sugar (including agave, coconut sugar, etc), have some chocolate, (yes even raw chocolate),candy and a heavy lunch.
-afternoon: more caffeine and/or sugar
-early evening: heavy food to help “absorb” or slow down the days acid intake… then to take the edge of we may have some alcohol and such.
Sound familiar? That’s a usual day for most people actually. Maybe you just enjoy it, and feel it’s not an issue? If you’re curious how stimulants affect you – especially if you take them daily and don’t think you experience symptoms – try taking a few days without any, and see how you feel. If you don’t feel so great, this means you’re detoxing, and your body is sluggish to recover. That’s why you may have headaches, feel achy all over, tired, cranky, anti-social, and even feel emotionally shut down. And until stimulated again, you may be slower than usual.
Some of the common symptoms while on the Stimulant Cycle:
-inflammation… puffiness in your hands, face, ankles, and overall tightness (water retention/swelling)
-constipation (poo 3 times daily? if not, you’re constipated)
-headaches come on until you have more
-tired to wired
-restless to poor sleep, waking up tired
-feeling addictive, like “I have to have it”
-always prepared with a “stash” or know where you can get it
This is actually how most of us live. Why? We tend to live on the go, we’re seeking more energy, clarity, and the sense of getting more accomplished.
Yes, I know this story well personally. When I’m feeling uncomfortable for some reason, pressure, restlessness, etc. – I may have a party a few times a month like this just for fun. Though anymore than that, I start to feel myself backsliding… then in an old familiar place of not wanting to let it go because I don’t want to face feeling crappy for some days after. Then I know I’m in trouble (i.e. avoiding feeling something I don’t want to feel typically), as I’ll get quite ungrounded and likely start making other poor choices, and begin getting run down.
My body rebels in this place. I can feel the accumulation tightening my kidneys – as they have a hard time buffering all the acid – aches and pains return, and on it goes… (lower back pain, sallow skin, dark circles under the eyes – etc).
“I’ll never do it again” – “I quit.” And until we do, we don’t. And there’s reasons for this. It’s not always easy to let go, even if they are harming us. Can they also be helpful? Sure, like anything, they can be either poison or medicine – all depending on how we use them. With wisdom, they can help us to remember how it feels to open up, be full of energy, and inspired. Without awareness, we can become dependent on them as a way of life, the body adapts, and we are heavily accumulating toxins that build up and create the basis of most all our health issues from exhaustion and burn out to adrenal fatigue, thyroid issues, colds, flus, and most everything else – as they lower the immune system when overused.
What to do? Here’s 10 suggestions:
1. get clear with yourself, examine your daily stimulant intake… ask, “how do they help or hinder me?” The key is being super honest with yourself.
2. ask yourself if you’re attached to them, and why.
3. how do they affect you?
4. if you’re unsure how they affect you, would you be willing to take off at least 3 days from them?
5. what would a day without them look like?
6. stimulants are super dehydrating. Drink 5-6 lifters of good water and fresh juice daily.
7. eat hydrating foods, think salad and fresh food.
8. sleep more
9. the day you wake up and won’t have them, go directly to the sauna or steam, and sweat for an hour – it helps tremendously. Or alternatively take hot epsom salt baths. Be sure to drink at least 2 liters of water in the process.
10. Exercise! Many people rely on this alone, it helps – though is it enough?
It may take some days, or even a week or so – though giving your body a break will allow you to regenerate your own energy production – rather than relying on a potentially harmful source.
What about socially, when everyone is eating heavy, drinking, etc? It can be challenging, though its really just deciding what you want, and honoring it. We’re going to need to want it, as the trend in society is the exact opposite – as we all know.
Here’s to you being you, your body repairing, and life becoming more still – as we get lots done from a balanced place.
Love to you,