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Feeling Low on Energy, and Burned-Out?  These 3 Reasons Might Be Why 

Uncategorized Feb 20, 2021

As a full-time working mum who uses the word "busy" a little too often, you know that there is something in your life draining the energy out of you. 

After all, you endlessly hustle through each day, juggling your work, children, home duties, and when it’s even possible, your self-care. It seems like there are never enough hours in the day for you to do everything, and without filters, it’s exhausting. Scientific data even back this up by showing that 42.5% of full-time working mothers experience ongoing fatigue.

Let's admit it. Like a lot of working mums, you try to push through exhaustion with a little help from coffee, sugary treats, and energy drinks. After all, you feel proud of being a working mum - and you should! But historical trends have proven that we tend to push this idea a little too far, compromising our health, and wellbeing. 

I would know because I experienced it.


When my energy bottomed out... 

After giving birth to my second child, I quickly jumped back into work and studies. Although my body was still recovering, I thought I was somewhat okay to fill up my schedule. But within a month or two, my wellbeing decreased. I didn’t notice it straight away, but I remember feeling increasingly anxious, and cranky. I became a proper Dragon-Mum, yelling at my babies and snapping at my husband. This was merely the beginning. My symptoms started to snowball physically, bringing in vertigo, immunity issues, and deep exhaustion. Not what you want with two children and juggling a business. 

This went on for about a year. One day, I realised how my life and marriage were holding on to a thread because of my obstination to do it all. I started to seek answers that would help me long-term with my burnout, and world-renowned Functional Medicine doctor Dr. Daniel Kalish crossed my path. He first taught me how to heal my own body, then later on, became my mentor. With him, I learned how to test, and assess the body’s imbalances. In my case, it came down to healing my gut, tackling adrenal stress, and addressing hormone imbalance. Slowly, I started to see the light at the end of the tunnel. 

It’s often that we assume that one cause is the result of low-energy, and burnout. With functional medicine, I was able to see first-hand that there are a dozen or so causes that all need to be tackled down for your wellbeing. Today, we look at the 3 most common you might relate with:

Cause 1: Dysfunctional Adrenal Stress Hormones

Your adrenal glands secrete your stress hormone cortisol, which is experienced like a jacked-up fight or flight response when dysfunctional. When you are overstimulated with constant stress, your inner balance starts to deplete, which can lead to a dysfunctional stress hormone response, leaving you in a state of inflammation and catabolic damage. With that, adrenal fatigue can snowball with mood imbalance, PMS, depression, cravings, and you’ve guessed it, massive energy drop.

Adrenal fatigue can be caused by various scenarios, the most common being emotional stress or busy-ness, trauma, and even childbirth and rearing. Pregnancy and giving birth is taxing to both your body and mental state, while you try to adjust as a new mum. Another factor can be a diet high in sugar or inflammatory foods. Physical pain is also a major stressor. And then you can have internal inflammation, coming from your gut and poor liver detoxification, which can stack up toxins within your body - both of which will put a stress on your adrenals.

Cause 2: Dysfunctional Mitochondria

Mitochondria are little organelles living in your muscle tissues. They are your powerhouse as they convert any food you consume into ATP energy. When your mitochondria are dysfunctional, your body struggles to convert food into energy properly, and instead stores it as fat. Not only can this affect your weight and overall health, but it also leads to fatigue. 

Dysfunctional mitochondria are caused mainly by nutritional deficiencies or actual damage to the structure of the mitochondria. This could come from gut issues, where your body struggles to break down food and absorb nutrients needed for mitochondrial function, or because of potential genetic or inflammatory issues that burn up important mitochondrial nutrients. Toxins and viruses can also damage the structure of the mitochondria, so too can over-exercising.

Cause 3: Prioritisation Dysfunction

Through prioritisation, we not only look at your body’s imbalance but also explore your brain-wiring and mindset issues. A prioritisation dysfunction happens when you are over-prioritising something in your life that isn’t important, or that your or there is an imbalance of prioritisation of things that are important to you.

As a working mum, it would seem that both your family and work are valuable. Yet while you may agree that quality time with your husband and children comes first, you might prioritise the work hustle more often than you'd like to admit. Trying to balance both can be extremely draining. It may feel like the more you try to force prioritisation on everything AT THE SAME TIME, the less positive outcome you seem to achieve. For example, are you stepping into your role as a present, loving mother and wife 100% when you are with your family, or are you constantly trying to finish your to-do list, or even get caught up in the housework or the shopping or the cooking? when you’re with your family? 

3 Things You Can Do Right Now

Functional medicine is a great way to address these issues, as functional medicine is about getting to the ROOT CAUSE of the issue. At Chris & Filly Functional Medicine, we start by assessing your mind and the way you are ‘programmed’, and we also do some lab testing to pinpoint what body-systems are causing you to feel wiped-out. By quickly identifying your imbalances (mind & body), we can recharge your energy with the right foods, thoughts, activities and nutraceuticals. Along with support from your family, this creates a beautiful carry-on effect towards feeling like you again. 

But in the meantime, if you are feeling drained right this moment, we suggest these 3 techniques which can help you alleviate your tiredness. 

Alternating Nostril breathing

Give your adrenal stress hormones some TLC! Setting aside some time for yourself to practice this meditative breathing will help your stress ease-down. It can be just 5 minutes where you sit down, and practice breathing through one nostril and blocking the other. Check out our blog for how to do this here.

3x10 minutes walk

Start stimulating your mitochondria (without over-exerting yourself with strenuous workouts!). Mitochondria love - and NEED - oxygen to function properly. Try to squeeze a 10 minute walk 3 times during your day. Whether it's going to the shops or picking up the children, do it with mindfulness. Leave the phone at home and focus on breathing deeply through your belly.


Starting doing some inner work and nut out what is most important to you and what you value the highest. Grab a journal and brain-dump all those running thoughts, and to-do lists cluttering your mind. This simple yet powerful practice allows you to re-center, and prioritise in a healthy way, so that your ‘to-do’ list aligns with your highest values.

How Would Life Be Different With More Energy?

Having no energy is no fun! It makes it hard to do what you really want to do, and live the life that you want to live. It becomes a chore playing with the kids - and a chore being intimate with the partner! You’ll likely find productivity at work even drops. 

But what if there was a way you could get your energy back? What would life look like for you if every cell in your body was brimming with energy? I imagine you would be flying through work. And you'd have more than enough energy left over to show up as a present, playful Mum, and a loving partner - not just because of the extra physical energy, but also because your priorities will be dialled in. This is what we call a high-performance Power Parent! It is absolutely possible to go from being time-poor, burned-out & disconnected, to present, healthy and connected to your family, to your profession, and to your purpose in the world!

Take Part in Creating a Globe of Power Parents!

Thanks so much for reading. At Chris & Filly Functional Medicine, we're on a mission to forge 1Million Power Parents across the globe. Please help us share this vision! If you know a fellow working Mumma (or Dad!) who could do with some help getting ENERGISED, could you do us a favour and share this blog link with them? :)



Author: Filipa Bellette, Functional Medicine Practitioner & Clinical Nutritionist. Filipa is the Co-Founder of health & wellness practice, Chris & Filly Functional Medicine, which is best known for turning high-performance Mums & Dads into a present, healthy & connected Power Parent...without pepping up on caffeine! With her husband, Chris Bellette, she has worked with over 2,000+ burned-out clients in the last 10 years, with her own passion for Mummy burnout coming from her own personal experience of anxiety and body-breakdown after she had her first baby. She is also a PhD thought-leader, author and award-winner writer in Human Rights. 

If you would like to find out if/how we can help turn you into a present, healthy & connected Power Parent, click this link to Apply For Free Discovery Call.


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