I am sure I cannot be the only man to hide a little laugh when I hear the phrase ‘self-love’?
Come on, you’ve done it at least once!
And whilst that kind of self-love is important – let’s leave that for another blog!
Self-love, as I am sure the adult in you knows, is all about the practices we have in our daily lives that nourish our body and soul.
Self-love practices can include meditation, getting regular massages, yoga, reading, journaling, exercise, eating healthy food, red light therapy, spa days, getting your nails done, talking to loved ones, walking in the fresh air, spending time in your hobbies and so much more.
With the exception of getting my nails done, these are all part of my life (although I could get more massages too!)
The aim of these self-love practices is to allow me to show up to my friends, family and clients as the best version of myself every day. The real, authentic me.
They allow me to reduce stress, connect with my soul, live for my purpose and stay fit, healthy and active.
So why have I had such a tough year with my health?!
Yes, I look good on the outside.
This pasty gimp is in good shape (no amount of self-love is going to do much about the failing hair line or my big nose)
My stress levels are minimal, I’m happy nearly all the time and I am positive in everything I do.
So self-love absolutely works – but only if you don’t fuck it up by doing what I have been doing the last few years!!
Over the last year, I have been to the doctors far more than I would like.
And not just the doctors, but the dentist and the hospital too.
I’ve been jabbed with needles, pee’d into buckets and tubes as well as being shaved and having pads stuck to my chest.
The reason is obvious, and I knew the answer before I even set foot inside a dentists, doctors or hospital waiting room – yet I was unable to make the changes required!
Over the last 12 months or so, I have suffered with bleeding gums.
They started off with a little mild bleeding when brushing my teeth and after a trip to the dentist I was advised a little flossing and mouthwash would soon clear up the problem.
Months of extreme bleeding in my bathroom followed until I got to the point that biting into a soft banana would leave red marks over its length similar to that of a heavily made up teenager leaving lipstick marks on Prince Andrews royal subject!
The mouthwash also had a nasty side effect. It gave me oral thrush which led to weeks of dropping gooey medicine on my tongue.
I was suffering with adrenal fatigue at this point too and I was feeling like an old man. Despite all my healthy practices, despite my well thought out supplement ritual, I was still requiring a nap around lunchtime.
Most worryingly of all, was the random shakes I would get in my hands and legs. Randomly I would look and feel like I was suffering from Parkinsons and that feeling would last for hours.
I would tire in my workouts straight after the warm-up and I could never manage more than 2-3 short workouts each week.
Everything in my body seemed to be shutting down.
I had neck spasms where I couldn’t move my head at night without using my hand to lift my head off the pillow.
I had tennis elbow – twice!
I suffered with headaches, IBS, 3 x a night toilet trips (for a wee!) and so many other ailments that I forget them all as I type this.
I think the biggest eye opener though has been a very recent sex injury!
As a 40 year old man, I did not expect to suffer hip problems during or after sex!! Yet, that is how my life has been going recently! That 30 seconds of pleasure caused me 8 hours of restless sleep!!
But why, despite all my self-love and self-care practices have I been feeling so run down and with such low immunity?
One simple reason……
I have been working too hard.
Running your own business is tough. And it’s tough ALL THE TIME!
The buck always stops with me and whilst I absolutely love running HealthBuddy, I can put myself under too much pressure a lot of the time.
Yes, I keep things simple with short ‘to do’ lists everyday and I am more aware than ever that my workload needs to be balanced but there is always so much to do that it has eventually taken its toll on my body.
When I explained recently to my GP that my day consisted of waking early to work out, meeting clients, creating video’s, going to corporate talks, driving, podcasts, editing video’s, walking my dog, training clients, client phone calls and oh, I am currently laying a new floor for my own private gym he just looked at me.
“You know what I am going to say” he said to me.
Of course I did!
I heard it from a third person perspective as the words left my mouth. It was like an out of body experience where I was screaming at myself to slow down a little bit. Do a little bit less and relax more.
So that’s what I do now.
I have every Friday, Saturday and Sunday off.
I don’t work in the evenings like I used to (it wasn’t uncommon to send emails or record videos at 10pm in the past)
We are introducing no car Sundays into our lives in our new home and just spending the day relaxing and indulging in self-care practices.
It will take time for my body to heal.
I spent years working too hard but now I am working smarter.
I am more efficient.
My own health DEMANDS that I rest and relax – and so does yours.
We all work too much in this modern world and we all need to find time to slow down, enjoy life and look after our own health.
I am still struggling with aches and pains from workouts that I never used to get before.
I still need a little power nap occasionally.
I still have to fight everyday against doing too much.
But I am getting there in every sense.
My business is growing even though I am slowing down and having long weekends and evenings off. And it is not growing despite this, it is growing BECAUSE of this!
I have allowed more time to think, more time to allow positive moments into my life.
I am not fully healed yet, but I am improving and making the right decisions and taking the right actions.
Small steps every day is what is needed.
What can you do to make similar positive changes in your life.