Boston Women’s Journal - February/March 2005

Stop the World I Want to Get Off

Growing up I seem to remember endless hours of Monopoly and Scrabble. Luxurious amounts of time for favorite TV shows that had no “reality” to them. Conversations at dinner about everyone’s day. Long slow summer days on the beach and winter nights by the fireplace watching the flames. Now dinner is a series of individual meals eaten on the fly while doing take home work, or homework or talking on the phone. Multitasking all the time has become the norm. How did we get to into hyper drive and what has gotten lost in the shuffle? Now I like my cell phone as much as the next person, but I turn it off frequently, and no one answers the phone at dinnertime.

We are all very busy. Life is fast and time is short and we are running all the time just to keep on top of all the things we need to get done. Most families have both of the parents working, and if there are no children at home or we are single we are often taking care of our aging relatives. Many of us are working more than one job just to keep up payments on the mortgage, or to sustain a lifestyle our parents would have achieved on one income.

Most of us take care of the others in our lives but forget to take care of ourselves. Somehow the parents are called and the kids are fed, or spoken to about their current crisis, but what about us? We drop into bed exhausted at night only to do it all over again each day. And the months and years go by.

As a Medical Intuitive I see many people with stress and lifestyle influenced health problems. They may have a preexisting condition that is exacerbated by neglecting to pay attention to their own well-being. Often these problems have been ignored for years. Why is this so? Because everyone else comes first. We never stop and think that if we are not always around to manage everything then who will be? The way to be an ongoing part in the lives of the people we love is to take care of ourselves. There has been a great deal of research regarding the fact that caregivers often die before the person being cared for. A very smart man told me that what we give to others should be what overflows from our cup.

So what should we do to slow down the pace of our hectic lives? Let’s look at what’s involved in taking care of ourselves. We all know that exercise is important for our health and well-being. Tune in to your body, consider going to the gym or taking a yoga class. Make sure you get enough sleep. Make time in your schedule to go out with friends and laugh. Take a long bath, or just do nothing for a day.

It is very important to build a healthy lifestyle. Learn to listen to that little ache. Keep track of tiredness and stress. Know when it is time to find out what you need to do to keep healthy. Create a good medical “family tree” by documenting the health issues of your parents and grandparents. The problems that they had may be a road map to a preventative medical plan that I can help you develop. This may enable you to effectively avoid repeating their history. I always tell my clients that my favorite work is preventative. I love seeing a person in my office who says “my dad had colon cancer and I want to make sure I am living right so I don’t get it too.”

While I am writing this my telephone is ringing, teenagers with loud music are running through the house, and the fax machine is going. I don’t think this reality will change anytime soon. I feel like I want to scream “Everybody just stop!”. What would be a better way to handle this? I can go into my bedroom and close my door. Meditation for fifteen minutes daily adds an average of seven years to your life.

If a stress-related illness does crop up, it needs to be addressed as soon as possible to minimize its severity. All chronic disease is negatively affected by stress. I can work with you to deal with stress both physically and psychologically. You can become a partner in managing your own health and well-being. We can work together to balance the demands of your external life and your internal self.