Overcoming Overwhelm: Why Thinking About Health is a Key to Self-Care
[this is an excerpt from my book Overcoming Overwhelm]
When you are suffering with chronic pain, imbalanced hormones, digestive complaints, fatigue, or pretty much any other ailment, you’re not only suffering through these symptoms, but also using your energy reserves to deal with them—energy that you might direct toward other things (such as, ahem, making changes and developing new habits).
It’s Just Easier to Ignore It (Right?!)….
So often people just put up with symptoms because it feels like it will take more energy to deal with them than they have to spare. Or they may not even realize how much of an impact the symptoms are having. By getting clear about what your health concerns actually are, and looking at precisely how reducing or eliminating them would substantively decrease your overwhelm, you can craft a plan to make those health-related changes that will have the biggest impact on your life. And if you employ a holistic perspective to get to the underlying issues—addressing causes in addition to symptoms—you may be able to stop both downstream impacts as well as preventing new health conditions from occurring down the pike.
Back pain can impact sleep, for instance, and too little sleep makes for more overwhelm. Not all back pain can be fixed, but there are options—chiropractic, acupuncture, physical therapy, regular exercise, losing weight, or even surgery in the rare cases where it’s indicated. Addressing your back pain will benefit you not only by decreasing the stress of dealing with pain, but also by positively impacting your sleep quality, increasing your energy, and helping prevent a plethora of other health issues related to lack of sleep.
Ready to drink your fourth cup of coffee today?
Another scenario: If your iron stores are low—a common situation for menstruating women—you may be tired and have less energy to deal with the ups and downs of your life. Because you’re tired, you drink a pot of coffee to get more energy. If you’re someone prone to negative effects from drinking too much coffee—such as acid reflux, high blood pressure, anxiety—you now have even more issues to deal with.
Remember that your overwhelm impacts your health and your health impacts your overwhelm.
Addressing your health concerns will decrease your load, and decreasing your load will help you address your health concerns. You want to know what health issues are impacting you so you can pull as many of them as possible out of your bucket. You may not be able to handle everything, but you can target those things that have the biggest impact on your overall health and that you can manage to deal with right now. And you’ll know what you still need to do in the future.
Yours in Health,
PS. I’m here to help….you don’t have to do this alone. If you want a guide to navigating the science of putting common sense into action, I’m here and ready to help. Visit my virtual consults page to learn more — my favorite part of this? We can work together from anywhere in the world!
If you’d like to read a full chapter excerpt from my book Overcoming Overwhelm, please click here.