A little while ago I was diagnosed with adrenal fatigue. Soon after I stumbled across the term Rushing Woman’s Sydnrome. What is that? Before I had access to the intellectual definition, I knew I had it.
Turns out Rushing Woman’s Syndrome is a 21st century, predominantly western condition defined by the biochemical and emotional effects of always being in a hurry and the health consequences that urgency elicits.
The term was coined by Soul Sessions speaker Dr Libby Weaver PhD (below right), a stunning woman with fourteen years of medical clinical practice and a long time program facilitator at the gold star health retreats around Australia.
It’s also the title of her latest book – Rushing Woman’s Syndrome – home to a plethora of bang-on scientific knowledge and aha-insights for many stressed out and over-committed women who, I must add, have noone to blame for their hectic lives except themselves. Whoa!
I can say that because I am a case in point.
Fact of the matter is, my life started to feel pooey because of the unbalanced work-life decisions I had made for myself and the health, stress and fun-depriving consequences I was living as a result. Read about them here. Even the most basic and enjoyable things started to feel like a chore that I had to do just to cross it off my to-do list. Not good.
Despite retaining a calm exterior (most of the time), my inner experience seemed to match Dr Libby’s description of Rushing Woman’s Syndrome. It resonated deeply.
“It doesn’t seem to matter if a RW has two or 200 things on her to do list in a day, she’s in a pressing rush to do it all,” Dr Libby says. “She is often wound up like a top, running herself ragged in a daily battle to keep up. There is always so much to do and she very rarely feels like she wins, is in control or gets on top of things. In fact, her deep desire to control even the smaller details of life can leave her feeling out of control, even of herself.”
HAVE YOU GOT RUSHING WOMAN’S SYNDROME?
Want to know whether you’ve got it? There are a few tell-tale signs that you might be a Rushing Woman. If the below list feels familiar, chances are you might be a Rushing Woman too:
* You love coffee and feel deprived if you can’t get your daily fix. You tell yourself you need it for energy, brain function or bowel health.
* You answer “so busy” or “stressed” when asked how you are
* Can’t sit down because you feel guilty, even when you’re exhausted
* You have problems with your periods that present like: polycystic ovaries; heavy, clotty or irregular periods; PMS; debilitating menopause
* You crave sugar, especially in the afternoon
* Poor short term memory
* Feel overwhelmed often
* You over react easily, even if not displayed outwardly
* Difficult to relax without wine
* Mental fuzziness
* Constantly looking for more ways to feel love or be praised, whether she can see it or not
WHAT BODY SYSTEMS ARE INVOLVED IN THE RUSH?
If you are a constantly Rushing Woman, your health is suffering. The body systems involved in the rush and most likely to be out of whack if you have a constantly hurried lifestyle:
* Nervous System
* Endocrine System that includes the: adrenal glands (they make our stress hormones), ovaries, thyroid gland, pituitary gland (the master switch inside the brain)
* Digestive System
“When your biochemistry is out of whack – for example your sex hormones – it can be very difficult to change how you feel,” Dr Libby says. “You may suffer from a tendency to get stuck in feeling overwhelmed, have frequent melt downs, or burst with angry explosions or all of the above.
“Your body constantly receives messages from the environment and from within the body itself about the chemicals (hormones) it needs to make and sorting these out can go a long way towards helping you slow down and not feel like everything had to be done yesterday.”
When Dr Libby helped me discover that I have both adrenal fatigue and Rushing Woman’s Sydnrome, I asked her what I could do.
“The best thing you can do for yourself is take the week off and rest,” she said. “You need to be able to just sleep when your body wants you to sleep right now, not when your work and family schedule allows you to.”
Nice idea doc, but as if! I thought… just like a good Rushing Woman. It was my pathology speaking.
Then, I came to my senses and realised how foolish I would be to not do that for myself. So I stopped, organised good care for my son Max and took off up the coast to Bateau Bay.
For a week I did nothing but sleep, read, meditate, eat healthy food, drink water and herbal tea (still detoxing), wandered through bush, wrote when I felt juiced to write and… slowed… right… down.
Not everyone needs to take off for a week, but Dr Libby recommends that Rushing Women start by laying down a restorative foundation for themselves.
Restorative Eating – real whole foods, double your dose of green plant foods, seriously limit caffeine and alcohol
Restorative Movement – qi gong, restorative yoga, meditation, daily gratitudes
Restorative Sleep – turn off computers and bright lights two hours before bed time
Restorative Actions – live life in contribution, let your actions be of service to the world and those around you
She then recommends we take a look at our lives, by reflecting on, or doing a few further things:
We are all connected – how does being Rushing Woman affect those around you?
Keep a Journal – capture anything you like and are grateful for in here
Stop, Keep, Start – write these headings in your journal and ask yourself each day what am I going to stop doing? (stop getting caught up in gossip); what am I going to keep doing? (eating nourishing breakfast each day); and what am I going to start doing? (walking four days a week at 6am)
Explore Your Inner World – the peace that you seek is within you. There are many great inward practices and therapies that can help you do this.
Revisit the Serenity Prayer – understand that there are some things you can control, and many that you can’t. Worrying about it all does not help.
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.