Who are your Energy Vampires……and how to get rid of them (without needing garlic).

Although we may not know it, we all have Energy Vampires in our life.

What do I mean by an Energy Vampire? Well it’s a person or event that robs you of your strength, energy and vitality. Something or someone that ‘bleeds’ you dry.

It’s that relative who is always asking you for a favour or the boss who is never satisfied with your work buts keeps asking more and more of you. It’s that friend who rings for a brief chat but is still talking to you an hour and a half later while you try to end the conversation. It’s the committee that keeps asking for your assistance although you are the one who volunteers all the time.

It’s the long queues at Christmas or the people who ring you at all times of the day or night. It’s the family members who expect you to do all the work and never step up to help themselves.

These are all Energy Vampires and we all have them in our lives at some point or other.

What can we do about them? The first step to eliminate them (and yes it is possible), is to recognise what people or events in your life drain your energy.

Once you know what they are, you can start implementing strategies to either remove them or to lessen the impact they have on you. Have a think about the people or events that cause the most fatigue or stress for you. Write them down. Remember that if you are stressed, your energy reserves are being depleted.

Start putting some strong boundaries in place around your time and energy.

If you are asked to help out, say you will let the person know. If you are too tired or really don’t want to commit, this gives you time to think about it and decide what really suits you.

If a chatty friend rings, say you only have a short time available and keep an eye on the clock. Then politely tell them you have to go.

If you boss is being unreasonably demanding, explain how you can be more productive if given extra time to finish something.

If you get phone calls out of hours, don’t answer and check your messages later. Most things can wait.

If the queues at Christmas exhaust you, shop early in the day before it’s too busy or shop online. Many things can easily be bought that way.

If family are putting unreasonable demands on you, tell them you cannot help this time.

Learn to say No and start implementing some boundaries around your availability and your time. You will find that some people may not like this but that’s okay. We are not here to please everyone.

Give yourself time to think before agreeing to something. The more you do to respect yourself and your own needs, the more energy you will have. The more you learn to say No, the more people will respect your boundaries.

People are often unaware of the amount of stress they cause or the energy they take from you. This may be because their own boundaries are weak. Be an example for them so that they can rethink the way they treat others and themselves.

Learn to prioritise what is important in your life. Do more of the things that fill your soul, make you happy and revitalise you. Let go of what isn’t important or delegate it to another day.

Let go of these vampires. Put yourself first and you won’t need any garlic. I can guarantee it!


Warmest wishes,

Judy xxx


Ps. Let me know if you have any questions or comments.

You can also like our page on Facebook: www.facebook.com/solevitalityreflexology

Understanding your fatigue …… and what you can do about it!

Feeling tired is something we are all familiar with. It can occur at the end of a busy day or after extensive exercise. It can happen after a run of late nights or after a stressful situation.

But what if you are tired all the time? Fatigue that lingers and is still present after a good night’s sleep needs to be looked at. It can occur as a result of a sleep disorder, or  a medical condition such as anaemia and can creep up on you over a period of time. Often we just keep going until we suddenly realise that we are tired all the time and have been so for ages.

You can also be chronically fatigued without having Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. The latter requires that you have certain symptoms before you are diagnosed. These include the obvious, fatigue, as well as unrefreshing sleep, impaired memory and concentration, exhaustion after exercise, joint pain, muscle pain, headaches and tender lymph glands. Always seek medical advice if you are always tired. It may be from a metabolic disorder such as a thyroid problem or an infection such as glandular fever and needs to be treated appropriately.

Another form of fatigue is Adrenal Fatigue. Although it is not recognised by many conventional doctors, those who work in Integrative medicine certainly recognise and treat it. It has been described as the 21st century syndrome. Our adrenal glands produce adrenaline and cortisol as part of our ‘flight or fight’ response to danger or stress. This enables the body to respond quickly, at times when we are under extreme stress or in danger. However if we are always on alert or in this ‘flight or fight’ mode, our adrenal glands end up exhausted. Left untreated, this can affect every organ and system in your body.

Now this all sounds very dramatic and obviously any persistent symptom of fatigue needs to be investigated. In the meantime however, what can you do, yourself to help alleviate your constant tiredness?

Here are a few suggestions:

1. Try going to bed earlier and stick to a routine. If you are fatigued, make an effort to be in bed by 10pm most nights. Make sure your bedroom is dark without any distracting lights from tv’s, computers or clock radios. Try and switch off from all devices 30 to 60 minutes before going to bed as their bright lights effect your melatonin levels, (the hormone responsible for our sleep cycle).

2. Drink plenty of water during the day. Every cell in your body needs water to survive and often fatigue can be attributed to dehydration. Keep a water bottle with you even when you are at home. I find that I drink the most water when I am sitting at the computer with a glass at hand.

3. Eat a healthy diet and include vegetables, good fats such as avocado, coconut oil and some protein into your meals. Don’t skip meals as this plays havoc with your insulin levels. Breakfast is especially an important meal as it should carry you through to lunchtime without the need for snacks. Include a cereal such as oats, homemade muesli or buckwheat with berries rather than a piece of toast.

4. Do regular meditation even if it’s 5 or 10 minutes. Numerous studies have shown the benefits of meditation in reducing stress and increasing your energy. It also gives you a mini power nap, as you switch off from everything.

5. Exercise every day. This may sound counter-intuitive if you are feeling tired, but even a short walk boosts your circulation, decreases stress and increases the release of those ‘feel good’ hormones.

6. Start implementing some boundaries into your life. Learn to say NO if something wears you out or you’re not happy doing it. Many cases of fatigue occur due to burnout or overwhelm. If we are always saying Yes to everyone else, we leave little time for our own needs or energy. Put boundaries in around your time and don’t always be available for everyone. You deserve some space too.

7. Ask for help. We don’t need to do everything on our own. Who actually benefits from this? It’s good to teach your children how to help out around the house and it’s so important for their own growth and learning. They need to respect you and your time, so be a good example for them. Let go of some of that control. Ask for help in cleaning and preparing meals. Yes it may not be done the way you do it, but does it really matter. I was in the same position and felt I had to ‘run’ the house. This only led to resentment and exhaustion. I now ask for help and accept that even though the dishwasher isn’t stacked like I would do it or the house isn’t vacuumed perfectly in my eyes, it doesn’t really matter.

8. Have regular treatments such as Reflexology to reduce stress. As previously mentioned, stress plays a huge part in whether we have energy or feel fatigued.

Learn to recognise your fatigue. If there isn’t an obvious reason for it, such as a very late night, then have it investigated. If your conventional doctor dismisses it, see an integrative one. There is always a reason why you are tired!

It’s your health and your life. You deserve to have the very best of both!


With warmest wishes,

Judy xxx


Ps. Let me know if you have any questions or comments.

You can also like our page on Facebook: www.facebook.com/solevitalityreflexology



References: www.medicinenet.com/fatigue/articles, www.adrenalfatigue.org, photo from Pixabay.com

Disclaimer: Please note that all information in this article is the opinion of the author and obtained through her research and knowledge and the above references. It is not meant to replace medical advice and a medical opinion should always be obtained for any health condition.


Feeling Stressed…………is it all in my head?

Stress has become synonymous with our daily lives and it’s something that we all encounter at some time, if not on a daily basis. “I’m feeling stressed’ has become the new byline. Just think to yourself how often you say that you are stressed or your life is very stressful.

Does thinking that you’re stressed actually contribute to the stress response? If I think I’m stressed, will I actually feel stress?

Stress is our body’s response to a distressful or dangerous situation. It’s that ‘fight or flight response’ that protects us from harm. Adrenaline and Cortisol are released and our heart rate increases, our blood pressure goes up, glucose is released to our muscles. All these responses help our body prepare for flight or react in an emergency.

More and more research is showing the connection between our thoughts and the physical changes that they may cause in our bodies. As soon as we perceive a situation to be stressful, we tense up, become anxious and may feel ‘butterflies’ in our stomach. A part of our brain, called the Thalamus detects negative thoughts as a real danger, not just a perceived one and sends sensory and motor signals to the rest of our body. Hence even thinking negative or stressful thoughts will cause physical changes.

Stress can also be beneficial in that it can help you stay focused, be more energetic or prepare for a challenge. If the stress is short term, our bodies return to normal but if the stress is ongoing over a long period of time, harmful changes may occur.

Every part of your body is affected by stress. It can suppress your immune system, lead to chronic fatigue, affect your digestive and reproductive systems, speed up ageing and increase the risk of heart attack and stroke. It may also lead to depression, anxiety and mood disorders.

The good news is that we can change our thoughts and hence diffuse the situation and decrease the stress response. If we are under constant pressure, take time out to see what changes you can make. What can you cut back on?

Learn to say ‘No’. Delegate! Ask for help. Everything doesn’t have to be done at once. Learn to prioritise.

Don’t try and be everything to everybody. Respect yourself and your time. If you can help someone, do it, but if it stresses you or exhausts you, politely say ‘no’. You might always try and do it all yourself, but perhaps it’s time to let go of that control and ask for help.

Look at how you react to others. Why do they trigger you? Can you respond differently and see their point of view as well. Trying to diffuse a potentially stressful situation may help avoid the stress altogether.

Also, try meditation. Numerous studies have shown the huge benefits of stress reduction from regular meditation practice. If we calm our minds, we become more focused, less reactive and our bodies become calmer. Reflexology is another great tool to deeply relax you and reduce your stress response.


Take some time out from those stressful thoughts. They may only be in your head but they affect every part of your body.

Take care and please let me know what you think.


With love,

Judy xxx

Ps. You can also like our page on Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/solevitalityreflexology/



References: www.helpguide.org/articles/stress, www.powerofpositivity.com/negative-thinking-affects-your-brain/

Disclaimer: Please note that all information in this article is the opinion of the author and obtained through her research and knowledge and the above references. It is not meant to replace medical advice and a medical opinion should always be obtained for any health condition.

Put Your Oxygen Mask on First

Most of us have flown at some time or another and will remember the emergency drill.

In the event of an emergency where the plane loses pressure, the air hostess will instruct you to put your oxygen mask on first. The reason for this is that you immediately receive oxygen and remain conscious so that you are able to help others. If you fiddled around trying to put on the mask of someone close to you, you would most likely pass out and be of no use to anyone.

The same can be said in life. If we constantly put the ‘oxygen mask’ onto others first, we leave ourselves depleted. How do we do this, you may ask? By always being there for everyone else and meeting their needs before you even begin to consider yours.

You feel tired but your boss wants you to stay back and do more work or attend one more meeting. You are ill but your child needs to attend sports training or ballet. You feel exhausted but dinner needs to be cooked.

You don’t want to let your friends down so you go out even when you would prefer to stay home and have an early night. You are already multi-tasking but say yes to one more task. You clean the house even though you haven’t the energy.

You push and push yourself until you become ill or completely exhausted. Then you not only feel disgusting but you can no longer be there for anyone else, let alone for yourself.

We have all done one or more of these things, myself included.

I could always fit in one more thing, I hated to say ‘no’ just in case I let anyone down and I always thought that I needed to be involved in everything going on around me. The result was chronic exhaustion where I was forced to stop and re-evaluate my life. I had to slowly learn to stop saying ‘yes’ to everything and learn to ask for help. This was quite foreign to me as I always thought that I could and should cope!

However to regain my health, I learn’t to say “no” and let others take on some of my so-called responsibilities. I started to let go of always being in control and controlling every situation around me.

If I was asked to help, I would say ‘yes’ if I was able to but more often that not, I would say that I would get back to the person asking and leave myself time to think about it. If I really didn’t want to do something, I would say ‘no’. I asked my husband for more help around the house with the cooking and cleaning and although it wasn’t done in the way I would do it, I learn’t to keep quiet and let it go.

I didn’t need to be wonder woman.

It was okay to ask and it was okay to say if I was tired or didn’t want to do something or go somewhere. It was okay to put myself first.

I also put stronger boundaries around my time so that I wasn’t always available for everyone. I slowly learned to put my own needs first and think of how I was feeling. I knew that for me to be available for my family, my friends and my clients, I would need to honour and respect myself more. I needed to put some nurturing back into my life and rediscover my passion and creativity.

So how about you? Where is your ‘oxygen mask’? Are you wearing it or is it on everyone else? What can you do today to change things?

Can you take a day off and stay in bed if you feel ill? Can you ask a friend to pick up your child so that you can have a rest? Can you ask for help around the house so that you don’t have to do everything? Can you have a day in nature instead of cleaning the house? Can you start to say ‘no’?

The more you do for yourself, the more you will begin to appreciate your life. The more nurturing you do for yourself, the more you will love and respect yourself.

The stronger boundaries you have, the more energised you will feel and less of a ‘door-mat’. Yes you will feel guilty, at first, but believe me, this soon fades. Your energy will slowly start to return and you will want to do more for yourself. Your sense of fun and creativity will return and you will be a lot happier and less resentful.

Also by doing more for yourself, there will be more of the happy, rested, fulfilled YOU available to meet the needs of others.

Let me know if you are wearing your ‘oxygen mask’ and how you are achieving this. Please comment below.

Take care,

With love,

Judy xxx


Disclaimer: Please note that all information in this article is the opinion of the author and obtained through her research and knowledge. It is not meant to replace medical advice and a medical opinion should always be obtained for any health condition.

Are you always tired…..could it be Adrenal Fatigue?

adrenalglandDo you wake up tired every morning and hit the alarm for 5 more minutes of sleep, then drag yourself into the shower and don’t fully wake up until that first strong coffee? Do you find yourself experiencing a brain drain around 4pm which temporarily eases after a snack and another coffee before going to bed exhausted, falling into a dead sleep and repeating the same thing over again the next day? Does this sound familiar? If so, you could be experiencing some degree of Adrenal Fatigue.

So what is Adrenal Fatigue? It is a collection of signs and symptoms that occur when our adrenal glands don’t function to their full capacity. It usually occurs after periods of intense or prolonged stress but may also occur after an acute or chronic infection such as the flu or bronchitis. The main symptom is fatigue that is not relieved by rest or adequate sleep. You look normal without any obvious signs of illness but you just ‘don’t feel well’ or always feel tired. In really serious cases where the adrenal glands are exhausted, you may only be able to get out of bed for a few hours at a time. Adrenal fatigue is known as the ’21st century syndrome’ due to the pace of our hectic lives this century. Although there are no current statistic on its prevalence, it is believed to affect most people at some time in their lives.

Our Adrenal glands are two small glands that sit on top of our kidneys. They produce steroid hormones such as cortisol, aldosterone, testosterone and adrenaline and are also known as our stress glands as they produce hormones in response to stress. When we encounter a stress, our body goes into the ‘fight or flight mode’ regardless of the stress. Adrenaline and cortisol are released to help you cope with the stress. Your heart rate goes up, your blood pressure increases, blood is diverted from your digestive system to go to your brain and muscles and your blood glucose levels increase to give you more energy. In the short term, this is a wonderful response because it helps your body cope with the demands of the stress. However it is when this response becomes prolonged, that we run into problems.

Cortisol will continue to be produced to maintain your need for glucose, your heart rate and blood pressure will remain elevated and your adrenal function will become depleted and start to slow down. We can have a major stress that exhausts us or a cumulation of small stresses that build up over time but if we don’t give our adrenal glands a chance to recover, adrenal fatigue will result, along with the risk of more serious illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes, stroke and chronic fatigue.

The adrenal glands affect the functioning of every tissue, organ and gland in our body and also have an important influence on the way we think and feel. We cannot live without them and the very quality of our life depends on how well they are working.

Apart from exhaustion, other signs of adrenal fatigue may include:

  • You feel tired when waking up in the morning even after a long sleep.
  • Have trouble getting to sleep even if you go to bed early.
  • Feel overwhelmed and ‘on edge’.
  • Have difficulty recovering from stress or an illness.
  • Crave salty and sweet snacks.
  • Are depressed, anxious, easily irritated and you find it difficult to concentrate.
  • Have weight gain, inability to lose weight.
  • Increased effort to do everyday tasks.
  • Decreased sex drive. Worsening of PMS or menopausal symptoms.
  • Decreased ability to handle stress.
  • Light headed when standing up. Low blood pressure.
  • Low body temperature. Decreased tolerance to cold, cold extremities.
  • More prone to colds, flu and infections. Take longer to recover from infections.
  • Increased allergies
  • Skin problems

You may recognise some of these symptoms and many may not apply to you. But if you are feeling constantly tired you can do something about it. Firstly know that most doctors DO NOT recognise adrenal fatigue. They believe that the adrenal glands either work or they are compromised by some known medical condition. They often think that adrenal fatigue is psychological. However if the adrenal glands are exhausted, the whole energy system of the body is exhausted and the whole body’s chemistry needs to be rebalanced and toxins removed. If you are experiencing any continued fatigue, you should always see your doctor first to eliminate any other causes. Naturopaths and doctors working in integrative or functional medicine will definitely support and guide you. They can do specific tests such as a saliva test or hair mineral analysis to check your Cortisol and DHEA levels to see whether you have adrenal fatigue and the extent to which your adrenal glands are fatigued.

Treatment is effective though it can take a number of years to fully recover.

  • It involves a combination of a nutritional diet filled with lots of vegetables and animal protein (unless vegetarian), supplements to support your adrenal glands and lifestyle changes.
  • Include gentle exercise as tolerated, (avoid heavy workouts at first and increase gently as your energy levels increase).
  • Sleep and regular early nights (be in bed by 10pm) at least to start with.
  • Afternoon naps (1/2 hour rest in the afternoon is great for recharging the batteries).
  • Regular Reflexology treatments to calm your mind, relieve the stress and gently balance the adrenal glands.
  • Meditation to calm that anxious mind and reduce that stress.
  • Develop boundaries around your time. Don’t be available for everyone. If you are too busy looking after everyone else, you will never fully recover.
  • Recognise the energy vampires in your life. By this I mean the people or things that suck up all your energy. You know the ones that I mean – the friends or relatives that talk for hours on the phone, the people that always ask for just one more favour, the things that make you angry or cause you to react. Stay AWAY from them all or at least limit your time with them. You don’t need to be rude, just explain politely that you are busy or have something else to do….and yes you have! You are busy looking after yourself!
  • Spend time in nature enjoying the sun and outdoors. See friends whose company you enjoy but limit your lunches or dinners so they don’t exhaust you.
  • Ask for help! Don’t feel that you have to do everything. All women work, if not outside the house, then definitely in it! Don’t feel that you have to be in control. Ask your partner to share the chores and ask the children. It helps them to be more responsible and it helps take some of that pressure off you.

Metaphysically, problems with the adrenal glands mean you are not caring for yourself, are anxious, fearful, bored with your life or frustrated at the life you are living. Take steps to look at your fears, are they realistic, can you change your job, what can you do to make your life more meaningful? Don’t be afraid to ask for help. I, myself was ‘running on empty’ for a long time before I realised it and sought assistance. Adrenal fatigue is not disastrous. It can be treated and can be resolved. Often it is a timely reminder to have a good look at the way we are living and to learn to really care for ourselves.

We all experience fatigue at some point in our lives but if we really listen to our body, we can avoid it becoming more serious or sustained.

Disclaimer: Please note that all information in this article is the opinion of the author and obtained through her knowledge and the following references. It is not meant to replace medical advice and a medical opinion should always be obtained for any health condition.