Us superachievers have big, hairy goals to accomplish, which means that we have an inner drive telling us to go, go, go. So little time and so many things to accomplish. This inner drive serves us well, provides lots of energy for our achieving – until it doesn’t. We are human and sometimes I think all of us forget that regardless of where we’re at on the achievement continuum. Let’s look at what happens we don’t make ourselves and our wellbeing a priority.
First the brain – the actual organ in your head that controls everything else. When you do not take care of yourself, you most likely are not eating right nor are you getting enough exercise or sleep. When you don’t eat the right foods or hydrate your body enough, the brain cannot run efficiently. This is compounded by not getting enough sleep. In addition, if you aren’t engaged in aerobic activity, the brain isn’t getting optimum amounts of oxygen.
Let’s move on to the mind – this is the part of you that has thoughts and includes the conscious, subconscious, and the superconscious, depending on what studies you review. When we allow ourselves to run on empty, it is harder for us to be consciously aware of ourselves and how we respond to others and circumstances in our lives. This means that we spend more time in our subconscious thoughts, also known as automatic pilot – a purely reaction mode. Have you ever drove yourself home and you couldn’t remember the ride home? That’s being on automatic pilot. What this also means is that your subconscious programming takes over – because the body is trying to conserve what little energy it has left and being consciously aware, takes a lot more energy that falling back on the automatic programming we’ve developed over the years.
Obviously, the key to this is prevention. Don’t let yourself get to this point. The first priority on your to-do list each day should be ensuring adequate self-care. Plan out nutritious meals, get a least some aerobic activity, and make sure you get adequate sleep and take periodic breaks.
What happens if you slip and find yourself falling down the rabbit hole? Take a break – get a nap, go out into nature – do something to get away for a few minutes or even a few days if possible. If you don’t come up with some sort of intervention, your body will. You will get to a point where it says “enough” and some sort of illness stops you in your tracks – a cold, fatigue, the flue, or worse – disease.
What’s the moral of the story? Make YOU a priority!