I had a really crazy whirlwind of a day on Monday of this week. Between nearly back to back coaching calls with my clients and working on some fun (and some not so fun!) backend stuff for my business, I was so completely enthralled in what I was doing – aka “in the zone” – that the next thing I knew, I looked up at the clock and SIX HOURS had flown by!
That’s six, straight hours of me sitting in my office at the computer….six hours that I hadn’t eaten, drank water, rolled my shoulders back, or even used the bathroom! This was a harsh reminder back to the days where these same behaviors were causing real challenges for me, and many of my high-achieving, high-performing clients are also guilty of prioritizing production over what their body needs as well. I’m also guessing that this is something that many of you have experienced as well, so I decided that in between my personal share segments, I’d encourage all of you to come up for air by listening to and honoring what your body is telling you throughout the day.
When I was a new therapist seeing 6-7 clients back to back, I would consistently ignore my hunger cues as well as the need to go to the bathroom. For starters, urinary tract infections are not any fun (and a huge red flag that I was not honoring what my body needed me to do.) On top of that, I would come home after a long day of not eating and binge on foods that did not serve my body. This led to bloating, weight gain, and more fatigue – talk about a vicious cycle! The problem with not listening to and not honoring what your body is telling you is that you start to lose an important connection and relationship to your physical body and therefore to yourself in general.
Your body is very wise and will let you know when you need to eat, drink water, use the restroom, stretch, and when to breathe. The problem is many of us are not listening. This erodes our relationship with ourselves and promotes both physical illness and doing things that do not serve our bodies. For example, we may dehydrate ourselves by ignoring our body’s thirst cues, and then we find ourselves with headaches, skin issues, or a host of other ailments. Notice our bodies still try to communicate with us through these ailments long after we’ve stopped listening!
Many of my clients experience extreme burn out and crash and burn after working months on end without tuning into their bodies or ever taken a break. They are then forced to take a day, or several days, or even a week or more off to recuperate with little to no production because a migraine hits, or an infection has taken over.
So today, I encourage you all to tune in to what your body is asking for and try to give it what it needs. Stand up often and stretch, move around, drink lots of water, and for the love of god please eat something!! Go to the bathroom, take a lap around your office building, meditate, and maybe most importantly BREATHE! I mean honestly, when is the last time you took several deep cleansing breaths? Building in small pockets of relaxation throughout your day can prevent burnout and increases your connection to yourself.
Your body has a lot to say, are you listening?
Roll those shoulders back, close your eyes, step away from the computer and breathe!
If you would like some support in coming up for air and making yourself (and your dreams!) a priority, I invite you to reach out to schedule a connection call so we can talk on a more personal level about how I can help.
Enjoy the rest of your week!
Mind Your Strength,
Melanie Shmois, MSSA, LISW-S, is a licensed social worker, holding a Master’s Degree (MSSA) from Case Western Reserve University and a B.A. in Sociology with a minor in Spanish. After spending 2 decades helping others achieve their mental and personal goals, Melanie worked with Master Coach Instructor, Brooke Castillo, and became a certified Life and Weight Coach through the Life Coach School.