Listen To Your Body

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[This post was originally featured in City Fit Girls newsletter #150 for the week of October 15, 2018.]

By Kiera Smalls

The reason I talked about prioritizing mental health last week was because I felt the need to dig a little deeper after my body started acting a bit strange. Even beyond my ankle injury, my body literally felt like it was shutting down.

A few days after we sent the newsletter, my co-worker pulled me aside and asked if I was okay. I immediately said, "I'm fine!". She sensed that I wasn't being completely honest and said, "maybe the challenges you're having are related to stress."

GASP. Here's my response in my head: "What? Stress! Me? No. What is that? I'm completely fine and handling everything being thrown my way. Can't you see I'm doing a great job of holding 10 million things together?" 🙃

Friday was quickly approaching which meant I would be meeting with my therapist. This was the perfect time to investigate this alleged stress. I knew I needed to be 100% honest about everything that has transpired over the past week (really the past 3 months).

I walked into my therapist's office and told her what I had been dealing with and how my body was reacting in strange ways. We acknowledged that because I have a high tolerance, I don't classify stressful feelings as stressful. When I know I have a lot on my plate and feel overwhelmed, I just push through the feelings because I know it is temporary. I have been fooled. This is not normal. I AM STRESSED. Stress has completely taken over my life to the point where my body started to shut down.

As soon as this revelation occurred while at therapy, I started crying (an actual river of tears). I had no clue what triggered the tears but I knew it was my body trying to tell me something. After the session, I committed to taking it easy and creating more structure to balance my fast paced lifestyle.

Do you ever find it hard to admit when you are stressed or overwhelmed? Do you ever feel by doing so, you'll have to turn in your Superwoman cape and powers? While I don't have a full list of resources to share to overcome this, I did spend this weekend reading The Age Of Overwhelm and more time in my bed than previously before.

It left me wondering, how can we minimize stress yet live the life we want? I believe the answer to this question is ever-evolving. Here's to being more aware of how stress shows up in our lives and having tools to better manage going forward.

Kiera,

Co-Founder, City Fit Girls