Begining last night and into this morning, I've been feeling so run down, I've barely been able to manage doing the essentials, let alone anything extra. Has this ever happened to you?
Scanning my body and energy level, I don't think I'm sick, but perhaps I have the edge of a virus that's trying to take hold. Now, I could ignore it and muscle through the day that's ahead of me, but I think I'd rather give in to what my body is saying and ease off on my personal gas pedal. I'm a pretty busy guy, so it's very hard to do. What would you do in my situation?
Awareness Is First
It all begins with awareness. I'm a self-aware person, and I'm very tuned into my emotional, psychological, and physical states, so I know when I'm feeling somewhat off.
My awareness since last night is that my body is talking to me. My energy level is low, my ability to concentrate is not at its best, and I feel somewhat fuzzy in my thinking. And when I think about my to-do list, it feels like a gigantic weight on my shoulders.
Awareness is the key to taking action on my own behalf, and I'm thankful that I'm able to tune in enough to know that something is wrong.
This morning, there are decisions to be made. There's a work party in my neighborhood, and even though I feel like I "should" be there to contribute as a member of the community, I'm staying home in my pajamas in order to nurse this not-so-great feeling in my body. I'll probably spend most of the day on the couch.
Next, I have many deadlines and things to take care of, but I need to make a decision in terms of what can be postponed until I feel better. I could easily work for 12 hours today, but I know that that would not be good for me on any level, so I'm performing "triage" on my to-do list, choosing only the essentials for today (and probably tomorrow, as well).
My health has to come first. Even if I'm not actually getting sick, my body is speaking loud and clear, and I have to listen. I might push through and do everything on my list and be fine, or it might push my body over the edge into all-out illness, and I certainly don't want that. My immediate productivity may be lower for now, but if I can avoid getting sick, my productivity next week will be that much greater after some determined self-care.
Stress can make us vulnerable to illness, so keeping stress low is the key to the recovery of my usual high level of energy.
Meanwhile, I have my own personal arsenal of self-care techniques to activate (including supplements and dietary changes that are helpful when I feel like I'm on the verge of illness). I'll also try to get extra sleep, and stay very hydrated.
How About You?
When you're feeling run down, and your energy is low, what do you do in order to get back on your feet? How do you set the stage for your recovery, wellness, and self-care?
Consider your own "arsenal of self-care techniques". Is it robust? Is it easily activated? Are you prone to push through it all, no matter what, runnning yourself into the proverbial ground?
I hope to feel better as soon as possible, and be back to my normal energetic self in a day or so. What would you do in my situation? How would you respond to such signals from your body?
Listen to your body. Read your emotional and physical landscape, and hear the signals that you're being sent at every moment. And when you hear a message that's loud and clear, act appropriately in the interest of your optimal health.
As for me, I'm heading back to the couch.