How Do I Manage Stress and Support My Energy Level?
Leah Bedrosian is goop’s research scientist and one of our resident yogis. She received her BA in psychology and her MPH in environmental epidemiology from the University of Michigan. Her previous research focused on maternal and child exposure to environmental toxins. At goop, she’s covered research on everything from breast cancer to autoimmunity, genetic testing kits, and psychedelics.
Dear goop, No matter how much sleep I get, I still wake up some mornings feeling exhausted. And stressed about how exhausted I am. What can I do for some extra support? —Kirin W.
Dear Kirin, Sleep and yoga are the two things that keep me sane. My favorite thing in the world may be sleeping during yoga. But for real, I’ve always needed a lot of sleep—like nine-plus hours—and I need a lot of yoga during the week to feel grounded, rested, and like my best self. After four years of college, I went straight to grad school for two years, and I’ve only recently had to adjust to a more typical work schedule—one that I didn’t meticulously plan to be between the hours of 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Waking up early, scheduling in food prep, finding time to exercise: It’s honestly all been an adjustment for me, and I’ve only just begun to figure it out. And when other things started to pick up this year all at once—doing my 200-hour yoga teacher training, a new role at work, moving in with my boyfriend (apartment hunting in LA!)—my schedule got a little wonky and something had to give. Namely, my nine hours of beauty sleep and my yoga routine.
Since I spend my time at work researching and writing about nutrition, herbs, and wellness regimens, I figured I’d give something I was learning about a try. I turned to one of our vitamin protocols for help, feeling a kindred spirit with the question printed on the front of the red box: Why Am I So Effing Tired?
The protocol is simple. Every day, there’s one multivitamin for nutritional support, one fish oil capsule (I know I don’t eat enough fish), three adaptogen-blend tablets, and one licorice tablet. From my research, I knew about the two adaptogens involved: Ashwagandha supports sleep and can help regulate the body’s stress response, while holy basil is calming and known as the “yoga of herbs” (you know I am all over that). I was already into mushroom teas and elderberry, so I was excited to add more herbs to my regimen. I put one Effing Tired Box on my desk as a reminder to take a packet with my morning coffee. And I put another box on my nightstand at home for the weekends. I also downloaded the habit-tracking app Done to remind me and make sure I’d stay consistent.
It felt good to have some control over my day and to start getting my health back on track. And eventually, I realized that I could prioritize my schedule to find time to fit in a yoga class, meditate for ten minutes, and sometimes even have a little extra time in bed. And yes, I could take vitamins consistently, too. It’s been five months now, and I feel like my routine, energy, and mood are back where I want them. I’m not so overwhelmed with the small stuff and have figured out a way to still feel rested, even if I can’t get nine hours of sleep every night.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.