Pandemic Stress: Top 10 Ways to Avoid Adrenal Burnout

Available for Interviews: Dr. Michael Evangel

Dr. Michael S. Evangel, Chiropractic Physician, is the owner of the Chiropractic Wellness Center in Ramsey, NJ. For over 30 years, his mission is to provide state of the art, high-quality care to people of all ages. 

 

Talking Points from Michael Evangel 
on How to Avoid Adrenal Burnout Associated With the Coronavirus:

 
The 24/7 media coverage of the COVID-19 Pandemic is causing the general public to experience a very high level of ongoing stress and anxiety. Watching too much coverage creates information overload and not watching enough may produce a feeling that you are missing out on something that you should know. It is smart to find your own “Goldilocks Zone.”
A good strategy may be to just watch the local news once a day. You will get local, state, national and global updates. Watching all of the news conferences with the experts, mayors, governors, CDC and the White House can be a full-time job!

Stress and anxiety is like beauty in “the eye of the beholder.” What is stressful and causes anxiety for one person may be enjoyable to another—i.e., parachuting out of an airplane. However, COVID-19 coverage is causing stress and anxiety for the rational as well as for the irrational, and very few people find this enjoyable.

We all need a certain level of stress to enjoy life.  This is called “eustress.”  This is a level of stress in which we can handle.  Eustress is when everything that comes at us is processed in complete cycles of action without us becoming overwhelmed.  This is mentally stimulating and is associated with a feeling of accomplishment.  It is also associated with the release of endorphins, which are hormones that make us feel good.

There is so much controversy among the COVID-19 “experts” that it creates confusion for many. No one is sure exactly how this will play out.  COVID-19 is full of the unknown. The anxiety over catching the virus, people that we know that have the virus, the economic shutdown, our personal financial hardships, the isolation, the evolving changes in our lives and not knowing what the future will bring is all unsettling.

We are genetically hardwired for handling the stress of primitive times.  The stress/adrenal response immediately releases adrenaline. Our pulse quickens and pupils dilate. Blood is shunted away from digestion and our skin and towards our muscles.  We are ready to fight, flee, or freeze. Those are all survival mechanisms. Each may be preferable in different situations.

The problem is that in modern society, over 99.9% of stressful situations do not require any of those responses.  We cannot physically attack, we cannot run away, and we cannot freeze and do nothing.  We must deal with the situation. This, however, is a situation that many people can’t deal well with because they haven’t ever experienced anything like it before. We may end up feeling that we are stepping on the gas and the brake at the same time, which isn’t healthy at all.

Ongoing stress releases a stress hormone called cortisol, which plummets our immunity. That is never a good thing, but is especially bad at this point in human history.

During primitive times, this stress response helped us to survive.  It was short-lived and lasted moments to minutes. Now we have COVID-19 stressors that will be lasting for months at a minimum! Long-term stress can result in mental and physical exhaustion, as well as adrenal burnout. Staying calm and not allowing stress to get to us is the key. but that is easier said than done.

10 Ways We Can Override Our
G
enetic “hardwiring”

  1. Limit exposure to media coverage. Watching too much coverage creates information overload, and produces more stress and anxiety. If you find yourself more stressed after watching the news, try watching only once a day to get all the information you need.
  2. Engage in activities that produce eustress (eu = good). Eustress is beneficial stress and is a psychological or physical response associated with activities or tasks resulting in something positive or feelings of accomplishment.
  3. Realize that we only have control over certain things pertaining to the current COVID-19 Pandemic. We can control those things and hope for the best with the things we can’t control.
  4. We make decisions with our left side of our brain, which is the logical side and the right side of our brain, which is the emotional side. Good decisions are based on using both sides. Allow both sides of your brain to have their say!
  5. Form a game plan to do the best with the things that you do have control over, such as certain aspects of finances, getting enough provisions, social distancing and avoiding contact with everyone as much as possible.
  6. Take action steps to improve your immunity by avoiding things that lower immunity and by doing the things that can bolster immunity. Avoid junk food, sugar, fast food, stress and excessive alcohol that will all deplete immunity. Some good immunity boosters are Vitamin D, Vitamin C, Zinc, Selenium, fresh produce, restful sleep, exercise, laughter and sunshine.  Always check with your healthcare provider before starting an exercise program or taking new supplements to make sure that you’re taking a step in the right direction and there are no contraindications.
  7. Stay positive and try to maintain a good attitude. Research has shown that mind over matter works. Don’t take risks, but keep on telling yourself that you refuse to get sick. By doing that, you will increase your chances of remaining healthy. Research also indicates that people that think they will get sick, will significantly increase the odds of them getting sick.
  8. Help others by checking on friends, family, and neighbors that may need help. Paying it forward and helping others will not only make you feel good, but can actually boost your immunity. It is a win-win!
  9. Realize that we don’t know how long this will last, but it is a temporary situation and every day that goes by is one day closer to it being over.
  10. You might want to play a reward game with yourself by planning on rewarding yourself with something that you really want when this is all over, such as a vacation or a purchase. Stop at least once a day for a few minutes and think about how much you will enjoy that reward when that time comes.

Dr. Michael Evangel,
Chiropractic Physician

 

Interview: Dr. Michael Evangel

Dr. Michael S. Evangel owner of Chiropractic Wellness Center. His practice specializes in treating a variety of conditions, from clinical nutrition to chronic low back and neck pain, to rehabilitation following an accident or injury. Other focuses include improving your diet, what supplements to take, avoiding toxins, creating a healthier workplace, and increasing the overall quality of your health. Dr. Evangel is a former science teacher with master’s degree in environmental health.

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Jo Allison
PR Managing Editor
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