Listen To Your Body

A lot of people don’t listen to their body like they should.

While some of our physical ailments are purely physical, others result from work-related stress and unresolved emotional issues. When we don’t take care of ourselves, our body has a way of getting our attention by sending out pain signals: from aching backs, chest pains, breathing problems, migraine headaches, dizziness, digestive problems to our hair falling out. And if you’re an under-represented minority (like I am), you may also face racism and/or sexism that can make things even worse.

Additionally, you may be a caregiver, parent or stepparent responsible for others which can add mayhem to your life. The combination of all these things on a regular basis can create stress that needs to be relieved on a regular basis. The problem is that when we ignore our body’s messages in pursuit of meeting other people’s needs, our own symptoms can actually get worse. Pushing ourselves past our limits — until we are mentally or physically sick — doesn’t make any of us more effective! Instead, we are forced to take the time to recover and end up being less productive & less healthy all at the same time.

I hope that you can acknowledge the stress that you are experiencing and check in with your mind & body. Below are 3 steps for you to follow to check in with yourself, assess your stress and take steps towards reducing that stress –

  1. Check In With Yourself Start by asking yourself (without judgment): How am I feeling today, physically &emotionally? Are my needs being met? Do I have regular stress-relieving activities? What is missing in my life? What have I let fall by the wayside while I’ve been working so hard and caring for others? How can I get my own needs met?
  2. Assess Your Stress Once you are in touch with your own needs, name them out loud. Some of you may have physical aches and pains. By all means, make an appointment with your doctor & get some basic personal care. Whether it’s a power nap or a massage, do what you need to do. Some of you have emotional needs that aren’t being met, and it has taken a toll on your sense of self-worth. It’s time to ask supportive people in your life to help you.
  3. Ask For Help Many people are afraid to ask for help because they think it will be perceived as a sign of weakness and/or they don’t want to impose on anyone else’s precious time. In reality, we will always need other people’s help and they will need ours at some point in time. Asking for help can be a sign of strength. Presenting your inner circle with your problems & asking them for advice makes it easier for them to help you.

Whenever you face a problem, there are some very specific steps that can be taken that don’t require much time. Never be afraid to ask for help when needed, especially when what you need help with won’t take up much of the other person’s time. Hopefully, this gives you some effective ways to ask for information, support and connections that will help you get your needs met. Don’t ignore your body!