Recently, I was flipping through the channels and I came across this show called New Amsterdam. The premise sounded interesting--a New York City doctor (Max) who becomes the medical director of the oldest running public hospital in the U.S. and wants to change the way we do medicine. His goal is to provide amazing care to his patients while limiting the bureaucracy and changing the system. His determination is unwavering--he works long hours, walks the halls solving problems, empowering doctors, comforting patients, and is undeterred by the naysayers.
His commitment and dedication to the job is unquestionable.
As the episode progressed we learn that not only is Max’s personal life in shambles, he has also been ignoring his health for months. He keeps up with his grueling schedule--barely taking time to breath or eat -- not missing a beat, knowing full well that something is wrong (he is a doctor after all). At the insistence of one of his colleagues he finally agrees to a medical exam.
At this point of the episode I turned to my husband and say: “he’s going to be sicker than we expect and it’s not going to be good. He literally worked himself to sickness”.
Not surprisingly, he is sick—he has cancer.
You might be asking yourself, why is she telling me this? Well, because it’s a story I know too well and I see with many of my clients (it was also my story at some point).
We push ourselves to the point of burnout, disease and sickness. We are so absorbed and driven to do good in the world and accomplish so much professionally that we forget to take care of ourselves, neglect our life outside of work, burnout or even worse get really sick.
What bothers me is that it doesn’t have to be this way. We can have amazing careers, accomplish our professional goals AND take care of ourselves. In fact, I would argue that by doing so we will accomplish more and have a greater impact for a longer time. Danielle Harlan, expresses this very succinctly in her book The New Alpha, when she says: “prioritizing your health and wellness is essential for anyone who wants to live a good life, achieve success, and make a difference in the world.”
Think about it; being a good leader, mentor, parent, partner, friend and making a positive impact requires energy, stamina, clear headedness and drive. All of those things are affected if you are not sleeping well, eat unhealthy food, don’t manage your stress properly, and can’t remember the last time you took a vacation.
Burnout and feeling less than amazing should not be the norm! It is possible to have a meaningful and fulfilling life without working yourself sick.
If you are stuck in the hamster wheel of busyness, have decision fatigue and are overwhelmed by all the health and wellness information out there; I can help. Together, we can find easy and realistic ways to help you take care of yourself so you can have the stamina necessary for lasting impact and an amazing life.
What’s holding you back from feeling and doing your best? Reply to this email and let’s chat.
P.S. Want to hear my burnout story? Head over to the Healthy, Happy, Human radio and listen to my interview where we talk about my path from foreign policy to wellness coaching, how I knew I was in the throws of burnout, and how I got better.
“It feels like one more thing I HAVE to do and if I don’t then it’s another thing I’m failing at.”
I’ve been hearing this sentiment a lot lately when talking to my clients about self-care.
We all know how important it is to take time everyday to practice some kind of self-care; yet many of us are now under the impression that if we are not getting a weekly massage, doing a mask or going to yoga four times a week we are failing and therefore shouldn’t bother.
Now, don’t get me wrong; I have nothing against yoga, massages or masks. But, for many, these feel like unrealistic expectations that are keeping them away from looking at self-care for what it really is: “the practice of taking action to preserve or improve our health.” Self-care should not feel overwhelming, unattainable or like a chore.
Rather than getting wrapped up in what it “should” look like; I encourage you to go back to basics and focus on the small things that you can do everyday which make you feel amazing and don’t require a lot of time.
Ask yourself, are you eating three healthy meals a day? Are you sleeping enough? Are you giving yourself some time to do nothing after a stressful day? Are you moving your body regularly?
Then make a plan to make sure you are doing one of these things daily. It can be as simple as starting to carry a water bottle with you so you drink enough water, blocking out a 10 minute break to go to the coffee shop and grab some tea, going for a walk around your neighborhood after work so you get some movement or turning your phone off one hour before bed so you can get restful sleep. Ultimately, it’s the micro changes and routines that make us feel better.
To get you to start thinking about your own self care, here's a short exercise I do with my 1:1 clients that I'd love to share with you.
Grab a pen and paper and take five minutes to write a list of the small things you can do everyday that make you feel good. Then, pick one of the things from the list and commit to doing it for the next two weeks. Write down what you picked in a separate sheet of paper and put in a place where you can see daily. After two weeks notice if/how focusing on this one thing has made a positive impact in how you feel.
What’s on your list and what did you commit to? Comment below and let me know.
P.S. If you are looking to prioritize your self-care so you can feel strong, vibrant and clear headed in a way that feels approachable and doable I encourage you to check out my brand new program: the Four Week Stress Cleanse: A Real- life Solution for Busy Women. This self-paced online program is full of practical tools designed to help you implement changes that fit into your life. Learn more here. Have questions? Send me an email.
DC based Health and Wellness Coach
This blog is not intended to be used as medical or nutritional advice. Information and statements regarding health claims on this blog have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Always consult a doctor before making any changes to your diet and exercise routine.