Recently I got the chance to “walk my talk” and I want to tell you right away that it wasn’t easy or convenient.
Starting from around April, I’d put together a Telesummit called “Savvy Self-Care Secrets” with 13 expert international speakers. It took months of preparation, planning, recording, executing and working strange hours because of the international component.
It’s a really big deal, actually, and I never realized how many different moving parts needed to be in place in order to host this online event. It culminated in 4 interviews per week delivered to registered participants over the course of 3 weeks during July.
Oh, the Irony…
The topic is “Self-Care” and during the course of the 3 weeks of the Telesummit, my husband became very ill. I caught some of his generous germs and got really sick in the middle-week too – almost to the point of wondering if I should cancel a live call I’d scheduled with participants. Fortunately the symptoms cleared up enough for me to host the call on the second Thursday.
During this second week, my adorable husband suddenly started showing signs of severe stress. We’d been down this road before a few times. He’s the CTO of a software company and often works very long hours. He feels incredibly responsible (of course!) for the technical requirements of their software and often works evenings and weekends to resolve challenges and issues.
The stress signs? Arriving home extremely irritable (I mean EXTREMELY), molehills feeling like mountains, lethargy, no motivation or inspiration, traffic sending him into an absolute frenzy of anger and resentment, and a few choice words being sprinkled in every conversation. We joke that that this last symptom is the most accurate indicator for me of how high his stress-o-meter is running at any given time.
In years gone by, he would have ignored these signs and kept going. He used to have an unusual capacity to keep working despite the tiredness. However, due to many of the same overworking type of episodes, his body and mind are no longer able to cope with it in the same way and he’s learned to take care of the stress sooner rather than later.
He needed a break very soon, we both realized, otherwise the fall-out lasts too long and the cost to his emotional and physical health is too high.
We decided to go away for a weekend in a Private Golf Reserve in the most unbelievably peaceful and quiet environment.
Challenge # 1: It was quickly apparent that only a weekend was not going to do the trick. He needed longer. Ideally, we wanted to leave on Thursday and return Tuesday.
Challenge # 2: Oh dear. I’m in the middle of my long-awaited Telesummit and need to deliver a last live call to the participants on Thursday night. We didn’t know whether the connectivity in the Reserve would provide a great call quality.
Challenge # 3: As the days went by, we couldn’t ignore his body’s call for help any longer. We needed to leave on Thursday!
Walking my talk!
I made a decision to walk my talk. If I’m the person who delivers a whole Telesummit about Self-Care, and urges people to take care of their own energy reserves BEFORE big problems arise, I also needed to be the person who takes action on my philosophy and beliefs, and who can show others the way.
I’d be completely out of integrity if I said to Andrew, “Sorry, love, we need to go AFTER all the work is done. Your body’s cry for help needs to wait because I need to finish my Telesummit on Self-Care.” That would be ludicrous, don’t you agree?
With that in mind, I emailed my awesome participants, letting them know that I need to postpone the last live Implementation Call by one week, in order to let hubby have the rest, recuperation and rejuvenation his body urgently needed.
I also made the decision to give the participants a few extra days of access to replays that had already expired, to say “Thank You” for their patience and understanding.
Plans and Reality
As I’m writing this article, we’ve just returned from our awesome long-weekend away in the most peaceful and restful nature reserve where nothing but silence and nature sounds caressed our ears. Andrew is much restored (not completely, I might add) and I feel like a brand new person.
I meant to do a little bit of work every day in order to not fall behind. However, that’s not what happened.
My body clearly told me while we were at Elements Private Golf Reserve, that I needed rest, sleep and “doing nothing” much more than I’d thought. For the first 2 days I kept falling asleep as I was trying to read. I went with it, slept, napped and sometimes just sat and stared at the hills. By Day 3, I could finally keep my eyes open to read and I knew I was on the road to high energy again.
We took our sick little Jack Russel with us, and had to do a few extra chores like carry him up and down stairs, and wake up in the middle of the night to take care of his needs. It was however, in such a relaxed environment with no pressure that it felt like a privilege and joy, instead of a chore and responsibility.
Andrew played a few games of golf. I could see the joy of being alive slowly return every time he spent that precious time outside, where he engaged in something he loves and enjoys. With every passing day, I could see him smiling more often, joking and laughing in the way I know him.
Self-care can’t always be scheduled at convenient times. Sometimes we’ve already pushed our own boundaries to such an extent that we need to listen and act right away to prevent further damage and stress.
One of my fabulous Telesummit experts, Annabel Fisher, talked about this very issue. “Soldiering on”, she called it. After years of doing that, not being in touch with her body’s message about being tired and overworked, she developed CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome). She ended up in a wheelchair and took many years to make a full recovery through EFT and learning to listen to her body.
I’d love to gift you this incredible interview with a person who truly has “been there, done that”. Annabel has the T-shirt! And her message is to listen to your body. If it needs care, please let yourself be important and worthwhile enough to give it what it needs.
My message is: keep filling your energy tanks regularly, so you never need to deal with life on an empty tank. It can take weeks, months or even years to recover if we let our energy run out completely. The body is not designed to handle the amount of stress and pressure we’re regularly subjected to in the technology age with all the constant demands.
Please. Take care of your body, yourself. There is only one of you!
Liesel helps sensitive introverts to see their sensitivity as a superpower, love their work and practice awesome self-care so they can be energized and make a difference in a meaningful and fulfilling way. She helps them to overcome the fear of being visible, avoiding the spotlight and conflict, being ‘too nice’, perfectionism and procrastination.
She’s the author of “No Problem. The Upside of Saying No”, which is a handbook for those who struggle to say no, are overwhelmed and exhausted.
Click here to read about the book.