Last updated on Jun 23rd, 2021 at 10:30 am

In the fourth part of this healthy lifestyle series, read why the sacrifices you have to make may not be sacrifices after all…

As we wrap up Healthy Lifestyle Awareness Month, perhaps the core messages of parts one, two, and three of this series can be condensed into a single word: mindfulness.

People tend to think about change in a back to front way: they see it as having to give something up in order to do something, or become something else.

The ‘sacrifices’ everyone else thought I was ‘forced to make’ were not sacrifices at all

They became a way of life. Were they inconvenient? At times. Were they demanding? Yes, but I knew they would have both immediate and long-term benefits. I knew that any changes I chose to make started with intention and were to be followed by the motivation to maintain them.

I was accountable – and that word puts the power to change into your own hands.

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I recall the day I sat across from a woman recounting how she had approached and experienced(!) burnout several times during the course of her career

I couldn’t imagine how horrific that must have been: once had been enough quite enough for me! I realised then that we have a scourge upon us: adrenal burnout is stigmatised one way or another – you’re either an irredeemable workaholic, or someone who’s weak and can’t handle their stress. As women, we can be particularly hard on ourselves.

We are slowly starting to realise that the work culture we have created is artificial and unsustainable

We cannot have people burning out in their 20s and 30s – especially given that we know the first people who are going to live to see 200 have already been born! Work place culture is shifting and so are mindsets: micromanagement and manipulation are not going to disappear tomorrow, but conversations about their ineffectiveness continue.

While you may have to choose drastic lifestyle changes in order to heal, it is a process that requires mental and emotional resilience.

“Every day, the world will drag you by the hand, yelling, “This is important! And this is important! And this is important! You need to worry about this! And this! And this! And each day it is up to you to yank your hand back, put it on your heart and say, “No. This is what’s important.” – Iain Thomas

Ultimately, though, it is your responsibility to safeguard your mental and physical health. Although conventional medicine can treat some of the symptoms, you have to listen to your body and your limits.

Ask yourself two questions:

1. What is truly stressing me out?

2. Is the stress worth what I am putting my mental and emotional systems through?

There is no one-size-fits-all solution to this problem. You are the only person who can decide on the best way forward for you.

Your body speaks your mind, and it is up to you to listen to, and decipher, those messages. You have one body: cherish it, and embrace its lessons.

Consider Iain Thomas’s words: “Every day, the world will drag you by the hand, yelling, “This is important! And this is important! And this is important! You need to worry about this! And this! And this! And each day it is up to you to yank your hand back, put it on your heart and say, “No. This is what’s important.”

While All4Women endeavours to ensure health articles are based on scientific research, health articles should not be considered as a replacement for professional medical advice. Should you have concerns related to this content, it is advised that you discuss them with your personal healthcare provider.