I’m so sick of continuously getting sick. It is easy to see why though as its the same pattern EVERY time (should know by now right!). A period of change, the feeling of ‘never having enough time’ (I can even hear this being repeated in my language throughout the day) and an underlying – just kept at bay – feeling overwhelm.
And then, after a couple weeks of this a sore throat or a head cold appears. I’ve pushed some boundaries this year, made some massive change and freak myself out quite a bit. This year I have also been more frequently sick then ever, I’m usually never really sick. I can pretty much map most of it:
- resigned from big job > got pneumonia
- a very unwell loved one > put on weight
- periods of ‘busy’ and overwhelm > sore throat and head colds
Now, I’m not writing this to complain or seek sympathy – I’m simply using myself as a really good example of what happens when you stop taking care of yourself first. You break. I have not been walking my own talk and as a result my body is doing its best to remind me of the lessons I need to learn. I have always struggled with putting myself first and always sorting everyone/everything else first (and conveniently running out of time for myself). This is the ONE big thing I have worked on this year AND it is the ONE big thing I always coach my clients on – yet, I don’t always walk my talk.
It seems to be a tough lesson for me to surrender to but I know it will be the biggest change I can make for myself.
It can be frustrating right, you eat really well, you move like you should, you get your sleep, you don’t eat junk, don’t really drink much – yet – the weight creeps on, you get headaches and you always seem to be battling a sore throat or a stuffy nose.
What’s up with that?! Well, herein lies the secret.
The beautiful Louise Hay (if you are not familiar with her work I wholeheartedly recommend you become so quick smart..) makes the link between a sore throat and the “inability to speak up for oneself, swallowed anger, stifled creativity and a refusal to change”. All the things that hit me when I enter the state of overwhelm.
And what happens when I enter overwhelm? My cortisol levels run rife.. Cortisol is the long term, chronic stress hormone. It tells our bodies that were entering hard times (think famine) and adjusts all systems accordingly. Whereas adrenaline creates an acute reaction (run for your life!) reaction in the body, cortisol is the sneaky one preparing your body for long term hardship. It starts breaking down muscle for energy and stores fat to use for fuel if things get really bad. Even though we are not starving our cavegirl bodies are not able to distinguish the difference between the stress caused by long term starvation (really the only stressor our cave-sisters had..) and modern day life (work, family, finances, relationships..). Our poor bodies just don’t get it. It picks up that we are stressed, makes that simple assumption that we must be entering a period of starvation and adjusts all our systems and hormones for survival. It doesn’t understand that it’s your to-do-list, the sleep deprivation from having young kids, that we are always rushing, that we constantly worry.. It just thinks that we are starving…So, our adrenals start producing cortisol on overdrive and our hormones get all out of whack.
So that is, my friends, why we cannot cheat ourselves, why we only get away with so much for so long. Why we seem to be stuck in this cycle of ‘always getting sick’, although we are the person who ‘never gets sick’ Again, I have been reminded of this.
Once I do get sick I finally start listening to my body and give it the rest and nourishment it needs. But – my body would have tried to communicate with me a longtime before my throat got sore. I liken sickness to my body using a sledgehammer to get my attention. I have obviously not been listening so its time for some drastic measures! It shouldn’t need a sledgehammer – we need to create the space to listen to our bodies intuition, hear its whispers of wisdom, listen to its signals and honour it. We already have all the answers within us – we just need to listen.
For me, right now – I’m reminding myself of this lesson everyday. I’m focusing on honouring myself and living each day with devotion to my health, my body, myself, my joy. Everything else will workout if I’m truly able to do that. I’m focusing on balancing out my cortisol levels, supporting it with the right foods, meditation, exercise and supplements.
I encourage you to have a think about how stress shows up in your life and how you can create the space you need to hear your body, to tap into your intuition. If you are doing everything ‘right’ but still feeling overwhelmed, not feeling as healthy as you want or not getting the physical results that you want – changes are your stress hormones are playing tricks on you.
If you want to know more about what I’m doing to support myself at the moment or how you can find the balance your need your most welcome to contact me. I would love to talk to you about what is such a game changer for women, when we finally understand how stress and worry is actually affecting us – we can finally break free and take ownership of our health. It’s a beautiful thing.
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