Two years ago, just 3 days before my daughter’s First Christmas, I found myself in the emergency room. I was running a fever of nearly 103, had an aching body, an extremely sore throat, and was fatigued beyond believe. Turns out, I had sinusitis, bronchitis, and was dehydrated. The diagnoses shocked me – “I was perfectly fine two days ago” I told the attending physician.
But that wasn’t true. In the weeks leading up to my E.R. visit, my body had been giving me warning signs – a lingering cough, a feeling of needing to take an afternoon nap, decreased stamina in my workouts – all signs that I ignored. Instead, I kept to my rigorous schedule – up at 5:00 for workout 1, at the office by 7 a.m., another workout at noon, more workout, leave the office by 6:00 p.m. to make my third workout of the day. No wonder I got sick. I was not protecting my juju!
“Don’t let yourself get run down, depressed, negative or reactive…”
As a wife, mother, healthcare executive, and novice athlete, I was placing large demands on body – demands that it could not meet. Now older and wiser, I realize that if I don’t slow down, my body will do it for me – with illness. It was not easing learning how to protect my juju. But here are my favorite tips:
1. Learn to say no – I always want to help anyone that I can. However, continuing to take on projects and tasks when my schedule is full, on serves to stress me out, which in turn compromises my juju. Now, when I know that I have a full plate, I politely decline or explain why I am unable to help at the current time.
2. Take rest days – There are some athletes who can work out 7 days a week. I am not one of them. My body needs at least 1 full rest day each week. I struggled early on with rest days, feeling as though I was wasting my time. However, rest days allow my body to recuperate so that my next round of workouts stronger .
3. Fuel Properly – Nutrition is important. If your body is already overtaxed due to external circumstances feeding it junk (highly processed foods) is only going to result in your body being overtaxed from the inside. During particularly demanding periods of my life (i.e. holidays, project deadlines at work) I make sure to eat at least 2 extra servings of veggies, stay away from extra sugar, and leave the caffeine alone. By eating whole foods, my body feels better and the vitamins/minerals/antioxidants act as immune boosters.
Are you constantly on the go? Is your body trying to tell you to slow down? How do you protect your juju?