No time for a headache? Do you push away hunger pains because you're too busy to eat? Maybe you don't even notice the tightness building in your muscles as you work away on your computer hour after hour. Ignoring the twinges that your body sends to you works momentarily, but left unchecked will treat you to some nasty surprises down the road.
My wake up call
A couple of years ago, I was Googling: how to heal cold sores, the day before I was heading out to speak at a large conference. My mouth was so full of the blisters that I had trouble eating. I wasn't sure how I was going to, speak for several hours. The reason my mouth made me want to cry each time I tried to eat something was undoubtedly stress.
My body was breaking down, and I wasn’t listening
I was frantic about the work I had on my plate. I was anxious about the upcoming travel and was feeling the pressure of performing. My body needed to rest and renew, but I wouldn’t let it. Pushing through the pain my body went from fatigue to a pounding headache. When I ignored that too, my mouth broke out in patches of sores. I was a mess!
I had a history of disregarding the impacts of stress on my body
I wish I could say that was the only time I ignored my body. Sadly, I can think of other times that I ended up with a bad cold, a back that was in so much pain I could barely walk or shoulders that were rock hard causing neck pain. The result of not listening to my body has triggered much pain and damage over the years. Ignoring my body's cries for rest and renewal instigated many trips to the doctor, naturopath, chiropractor, counselor, and physiotherapist. I now know, many of those visits could have been avoided had I taken better care of myself.
Self-care means you pre-empt trips to the doctor
Self-care is the care of yourself, without medical or other professional consultation. Too many of us wait until we can bear the pain no longer before we head to the specialist. Instead, we need to prevent much of the mayhem by doing small bits of self-care before we are over the edge.
I have learned to do tiny moments of self-care that will prevent the need for medical attention. I have absorbed to lessons provided to me and now listen to my body and respond, all day long. When I put off daily self-care, I regret it. We can’t wait until we need intervention. Prevent the serious cost to your body. Practice self-care constantly in small doses.
Four 3-minute self-care hacks to prevent the need for professional intervention
The point to self-care is rest and renewal
We need to give our body a break, and we need to give back to what we've drained from it. When you are struggling during the day and feeling the weight of the world on you, ask yourself the following question: "What can I do in this particular moment to rest for a minute or renew for a minute?"
It only takes a minute that could save you the 5 hour trip to the doctor, or life long medical problem that you allowed to creep up on you.
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Women leaders often hit a point where they find themselves in over their heads and wondering if they have what it takes to lead.