Today a patient came in because she was feeling tired, stressed out, not sleeping, and moody. She was hoping for some direction and guidance ... or at the very least a magic pill from my bag of tricks.
Unfortunately after questioning, she admitted that she has not been exercising, drinking much water, eating breakfast or many lunches and drinks twelve (yes, twelve) cups of coffee per day. As you can imagine, her stress is through the roof. It got me thinking as I counseled her, are you taking care of you?
And if you aren’t, then who is?
Putting others in front of you interferes with your health and often causes you to compromise on things that are important to you well being. Here are some things you can do to feel your best.
1. Say no – it sounds strange but saying no to things that don’t make you happy creates less stress in your life and takes more off your already full plate. Politely decline groups, events, invitations, and opportunities if they don’t get you excited or make you feel passionate.
There is no law that requires you to say ‘yes’ to everyone and everything. Do it – say ‘no.’
2. Set boundaries – okay, so maybe you have to say ‘yes’ to some things that don’t make you happy but you can set some boundaries on how late you’ll stay, how often you’ll go, how much you’ll volunteer for and so forth. Decide ahead of time what you are willing to do and make it clear to others.
3. Take care of the basics – drink several glasses of water every day to stay hydrated and help flush your system. Skip the soda or high sugar drinks. Get at least seven hours of sleep every night in order to heal your body and awaken refreshed and ready for the day. Getting three to five hours of sleep makes you feel tired, moody, cranky, and forgetful during the day. Eat three meals so that your blood sugar is maintained and you don’t dip into starvation causing hypoglycemia.
4. Ask for help – My patient came to the office looking for direction and guidance, coupled with a little reality check. She knew what she had been doing was not creating good health but it helped to talk with me about it. If you are feeling worn out or overwhelmed, please speak up.
Talk to your co-workers, friends, family, or significant other. Life isn’t a one-woman show. It requires an entire cast of people to help.
5. Self talk – Remind yourself that it’s okay to put yourself first, and by first I mean above your husband and kids. You need time to yourself, time to recharge, unplug and relax. You need time to eat regularly, exercise, develop good relationships, and find happiness. You need time just to breathe.
Remember, if you aren’t happy or feeling good then others around you tend to pick up on that and you end up teaching your family that it’s okay to push your limits and feel stressed out.
1. Stress and Disorders of the Stress System. Web. 20 October, 2011.
2. Eat Your Water for Health, Sports, and Weight Control: Hydration for Health: The 8 Glasses a Day Rule Reassessed. Web. 20 October, 2011.
Reviewed October 21, 2011
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith