How to Take Care of Your Health Without Losing Your Day Job

rena williams wellness

The question lingers in your mind like chimney smoke on a cold winter’s day - do I risk calling in sick one more time and fear losing my job? Or get gifted the worst of projects as a subtle nod? Or suddenly be moved offices as a less subtle nod?

This happened to me. From corner office with an incredible 23rd story view, to a middle office, to an interior office with no windows. #firstworldproblems All while trying to get to the root of why my health had gone seriously awry.

Still, this passive approach to deliver a message was clear. And my self-doubt kept me from making wise and healthful decisions that would have created a deeper shift in my health I so desperately craved.

When your health is screaming for attention by way of symptoms (whether physical, mental or emotional) and you contemplate, even for a millisecond, a change in your work schedule. Yet, what gets stirred up within you is fear, take this as super valuable information. You’ve hit a pivotable moment. The fear is your indicator that you’ve fallen away from balance - in your thinking, in the stories you’re making up about your work and your value. Stories so ingrained they’re now subconscious patterns. Your body had no other choice but to exude symptoms of dis-ease.

Our bodies take on what the mind doesn’t deal with. And when it’s something repetitive like a belief or ingrained story, illness most often results.

So at this pivotal moment, you can choose to do nothing. Continue as per usual. Behind this door you'll be greeted with more health symptoms, falling further away from balance. Symptoms that you’ll try to mitigate with a cleanse here and there. This will only quiet the symptoms temporarily, but you still won’t feel like you’re back to baseline.

Taking Care of Your Health Without Losing Your Day Job - 6 Ways

These six ideas can lay the groundwork for a profound impact on your health, especially when it's in a compromised state. As you read these notice what initial reactions and thoughts come to mind:

  1. Consider a leave of absence. If I was coaching you one on one I’d be super curious at the stories that flood your mind as you even consider this sentence. When you have your health you have a thousand dreams. When you don't you have only one. If this true for you, a leave of absence can be a valid consideration.

  2. Negotiate a revised work schedule. From home, reduced hours, days off during the week. Propose a solution that creates an opportunity for you to heal.

  3. Outsource as much as you can so time at home allows rest to be made a priority. Whether it’s cleaning, grocery shopping, dog walking, etc. This level of support can make an impactful difference.

  4. Make room in your schedule for health. Have plans for Saturday? Trying to keep up your regular social life while trying to get back to health is tough. Shortlist your social circle to those that leave you filled up instead of drained. And people who respect your boundaries. Speaking of boundaries…

  5. Boundaries. This is an ideal time to work on your boundaries. Boundaries are about your relationship with yourself. They’re not about other people. A lot of the overwhelm we experience is caused by not respecting our boundaries or being unclear about what they are.

  6. Learn the art of saying no.That doesn't work for me.” “No, not this time.” “No, I'm not able to help you.” (Side note: No is also a boundary). You’ll most likely get tested on this especially if others aren't used to you honouring your boundaries.

Now some of these may feel outlandish and downright absurd to you. Your fear or discomfort around any of these is always a great indicator. Bring curiosity to that discomfort instead of judgment.

I’ll leave you with this promise - the mindset that contributed to your ill-health is not the same mindset that will bring you back to a state of thriving. You’ll have to shift your mindset (and the beliefs held so tightly about yourself and yourself in relation to others). This feels incredibly uncomfortable at first consideration. But for you, my fellow empath, this is foundational to your health.

Now it’s your turn - what’s one way you take care of your health without losing your day job? Share with me in the comments below.

rw signature

How to Turn Your Pain into Growth

rena williams wellness

You notice the festering. It feels like a tightness throughout your body. Maybe it’s taking up residence in your throat. You start to feel resentful.

Your mind wanders to the conversations with others being had in your head. You know the ones - the ones with you telling someone off.

Congratulations. These are beautiful warning signs. These are what I call the guardrails of life. A guardrail is something that’s set up as a protection, to keep us from being injured or getting hurt.

If you’ve ever driven through the gorgeous, jaw-dropping Rocky Mountains, you know guardrails and how important they are for our safety and wellbeing. Ignoring these guardrails can cost you your life or at minimum your vitality.

But, and there's always a but....

They just need to start respecting you more. They need to stop taking advantage of you. (Insert the typical script your mind loves to wander off to.)

Here’s some cut the fluff honest truth: 

You need to start respecting yourself more. 

You need to stop taking advantage of your own self.

We teach others how to treat us.

People are asking too much of you? You may keep jumping to their requests so they’ve not been shown another way of being with you. People aren’t valuing your word? Are there places where you’re disrespecting your own word? Saying yes when you mean no. Not speaking up when you have something to say. Saying everything is fine fine fine when the feeling in your gut is holding a different story.

We teach people how to treat us.

When you're feeling the weight of too much on your plate and the pain is resting in your shoulders, ask:

  • How do I model for others how to treat me?

  • How did I participate in creating this particular situation?

  • Where am I not respecting myself?

The lack of respect we inadvertently model for others can show up in many ways. Disrespecting your own time. (No, yeah I have a few minutes…..when the truth is you’re already running late for your next appointment) Disrespecting your body’s need for rest. You know you feel amazing with 8 hours of sleep but...No it’s okay. I’ll stay out a bit longer.

Where might you be adding to your own pain without realizing it?

The habits we feed teach others how we want to be treated. We teach others what of ours to respect or to disregard and not take seriously. 

Here's a fascinating thing about human connection. No one does this to you nor I consciously. (Well, it’s extremely rare that this is done with absolute intention.) 

Subconsciously people pick up on what is and isn't important to us. If we show that our time or care of our wellbeing isn’t valuable, you will notice these are the themes most tested in your relationships. 

Now if at this point you’re saying "yeah, but…” I hear you. It’s honestly easier to put your pain on someone else and come up with all the reasons and the supporting evidence of why they’re disrespectful (or why we’re in this bucket of pain and resentment). Identifying what your boundaries are, learning to honour and respect them so others have the opportunity to do the same takes work. Personal turn towards and face yourself work.

Don't expect others to re-arrange themselves to conform to the least evolved, still in healing parts of you.

Your areas of uncomfortableness are hinting at where some healing and personal growth need to happen. Think of this uncomfortableness as your guardrail check. It could be hinting at your boundaries. Either boundaries not expressed, boundaries not respected, or something else. 

There’s little growth that happens in saying it’s the other’s fault. We grow when we step outside of what feels comfortable and familiar to us.

If you’re feeling resistance in your body right now, I see you. I know you. And from time to time when I catch those very same conversations happening in my head I'm right in the thick of it with you. I always come back to being thankful and take it as an opportunity to check myself.

It’s an opportunity to shift the focus inward and ask reflective questions - how am I disrespecting myself? Where can I show up more lovingly for myself (respecting my time, my needs, my own guardrail of safety and care)? You’ll know when you’ve found some juicy answers to these self-reflective questions because it’ll resonate at a cellular level. The tension being held in your body lessens. You begin to feel lighter and more relaxed.

This is whole body health.

Instead of letting that pain and resentment stay bottled up inside take it as a gentle reminder. Bottling up as a life strategy will manifest into an illness (physical or mental) over time. Bottled feelings get carried as emotional memory in your cells. So say thank you, get back in your own lane and stay mindful to keep a safe distance from that guardrail.

What’s one way you find helpful in setting boundaries to turn your pain into growth?

rena williams wellness.jpg