Several years ago, I started to experience severe stomach pain in the afternoons. It got so bad I had to go home every afternoon around 3 pm for a few hours. I went to several doctors and no one could come up with a definitive diagnosis. Desperate for a solution I started to look at some alternatives and found my way to an acupuncturist. Her take on things was I was overly stressed and tired, and she thought she could solve the issue in a few treatments, but I needed to commit to taking better care of myself. Months of issues disappeared after a few treatments. I was intrigued and began to look at the correlation between various forms of stress and physical issues. Seeing that connection I started to build a purposeful routine to keep my stress more manageable and to stay at the top of my game. The routine has changed over the years and it looks slightly different each season, though here are the pillars 4 of my routine.
Pillar 1: Sleep. Google it. It’s important. I have a standard of 7 hours a night. From time to time I’ll dip below that but almost never below 6. If I go below 6, I’m canceling something in the morning
Pillar 2: Physical activity. For me, that’s four days a week in the gym. There are a lot of other things I can do, but the first domino for me in this category is 4 workouts per week.
Pillar 3: Relationship time. For us, that’s about watching a show together at least 3 night per week. If it dips below that, it’s a problem. And we take 3 trips per year to reconnect with each other and gain perspective on life.
Pillar 4: Personal time. This is probably the most underappreciated of them all, and perhaps one of the most critical. We all need “me” time and for me that’s about massage and acupuncture monthly and one trip per year by myself.
Your routine doesn’t need to look like mine, but please have one. Define it, know where the edges and sensitivities are for you. Listen to your body and your emotions, they will tell you where you are on this. No matter how busy you are you can do this. You find time for everyone else, why not find a little bit for yourself.