Most of us will be familiar with life feeling like one big rush. Rushing out of bed in the morning, rushing to get the kids to school, rushing through work trying to get everything done before you have to rush home again and handle the million and one jobs that need doing. Phew. No wonder we’re all exhausted, or feel constantly run down.
This careering from one task to another, never feeling like I has enough time, was a familiar pattern for me. I had a busy career in HR and then two children in fairly quick succession. Life was pretty frantic and I came to believe that the constant fatigue and the series of health issues I was suffering from were just par for the course. Every working mother felt like this, right?
So I continued to neglect my health, allowing small issues to grow into bigger ones. I went from experiencing skin complaints, IBS and regular colds, to chronic pain and several crippling bouts of pneumonia. It took a third hospitalisation with pneumonia to force me to look at my lifestyle and finally address the root causes of my illness. Looking back, it shouldn’t have taken such a dramatic wake-up call to show me something was fundamentally wrong.
Our hectic, always on the go, never switch off lifestyles have become habitual. We’re glued to screens for hours every day, grab processed food for lunch to eat at our desks, and often find a glass of wine (or two) to be our default way of winding down at night. It’s not a sustainable way to live and eventually, just like me, the cracks will start to show.
The vast majority of British adults don’t get enough sleep and 1 in 5 visits to the GP are related to tiredness and fatigue. We fuel our bodies with artificial foods to get us through our busy days, meaning conditions such as diabetes, obesity and gut ailments are on the rise. And stress and other mental health conditions are becoming all too familiar for many of us and our loved ones.
Our lifestyles have sped up in recent decades. Everything is done fast. And whilst that’s convenient when you need a back-up calculator for your child’s maths exams delivered by the morning, overall it’s turning our lives into one huge rush. And it’s hurting us.
Whilst you might not feel you have time to ‘slow down’, it’s imperative that we learn how. I ended up in a hospital bed before I took stock of the health, fitness, nutrition and sleep changes that I had to make. I shouldn’t have let it get that far. Take 5 minutes out of your busy day today to take a look at your lifestyle and see where changes could be made. Rushing through life cost me my health for many years, don’t let it cost you yours.