On Life Balance: Protect Your Health (3/6)

If you follow my blog, you are likely a person with great ambitions and larger-than-life dreams.  You want to express your unique purpose in a way that serves others and builds into something greater than yourself.

AdobeStock_60344259.jpeg

Many people with larger than life aspirations–and frankly, big hearts–become surprised at a hidden enemy that works against their goals.

AdobeStock_43041947.jpeg

This enemy’s name is “Burnout.”

thumbnail_file-2
Think Time Purpose Planners prompt you to proactively consider what you can do to prevent a physical, mental, spiritual, relational or leadership crises.  
On a regular basis, you will place into your routines high-impact activities that build into your mind, your health, and your relationships, so you don’t have to worry about an unexpected hijack of your days and your dreams due to burnout.

 

 

Last week, I shared the story of Tommy Nelson’s unexpected plunge into depression.

“I was at the top of my game,” he shared.

andrea-natali-267263-unsplash

Tommy found himself face to face with a mental health crisis because he neglected rest and life balance over an extended period of time.

He pushed himself too hard pursuing grand goals.

“I didn’t know you could burn out doing something you loved.”

AdobeStock_72407162.jpeg

This week, I will share the story of an equally ambitious businessman–Michael Hyatt.

Michael Hyatt was on business in New York when he experienced a health crisis that changed his life.

At the end of dinner, Michael felt deep chest pains.  He said it felt like the room was closing in on him.  After 5-10 minutes, which felt like forever, he embarrassingly shared with his colleague, “I think I am having a heart attack.”

His friend immediately took charge, called a cab, and got him to the nearest hospital.

AdobeStock_30021057.jpeg

After running a series of tests, the physicians told him that he did not have heart trouble, but they monitored him overnight.  He continued to not show signs of heart problems, so they released him with the recommendation that he check in with his cardiologist when he returned to Nashville.

Well, Michael was back in the hospital twice over the course of the next year.  He even checked with a counselor to see if he was having stress-induced panic attacks (which can mimic the feelings of heart attacks.)

Finally, he saw a renowned cardiologist in his area who had saved the lives of professional associates he knew.  This cardiologist told Michael, “about 30% of my patients who think they are having heart problems have an acid reflux problem. The symptoms are very similar. Fortunately, it is easy to treat.”

He then warned, “Stress is also something you need to address, primarily through rest and exercise. If you don’t make this a priority, you could be back in here with a real heart problem.

Michael realized that over time because of the demands of work, he had let his health slide.  “I wasn’t working out regularly, resting as much as I should, or eating very well. But suddenly, I was motivated!” Michael said.

Michael made his first “life plan” after this experience.  He felt that he was suddenly looking at the end of his life, and it changed his point of view.  He has since released a book Living Forward that helps people walk through a process of evaluating their life-long goals–creating concrete steps in each area of life.

His brush with what he thought could have been the end of his life refocused the rest of his life, and now he serves others with a new message.  “Never sacrifice sleep for work,” he shared on a recent Lead to Win podcast.

AdobeStock_114432767.jpeg

It is wonderful to be a person of high aspirations.  It is just very helpful to also know that you may, if you are not intentional, also be a person at risk for burnout.

Even though our dreams are larger than life, we are not.  We still live within bodies that have limited capabilities.  If we try to cheat our limits, we will find out that they are in fact that–limits.

We must honor our bodies and accept their limitations if we are going to thrive for the long haul, and a way we so this is by proactively protecting our health.

Store Front 2
To learn more about how you can proactively protecting your health as part of your regular planning, go to think-time.com, order a Purpose Planner, and enjoy our Free Online Coaching in the Think Time 3DR Life Leadership Process.

How are you protecting your health?  What are you doing well?  What could you do better?

Scan 14

Christine M. Wilson, LPC
Co-Founder, Think Time

2016-5-6-tt-logo-gray-cropped

Think Time 3DR Process

We have a serious problem.  We are losing valuable time.  We have created an innovative process that helps people to dream big, get more time for what matters most, and become who they want to be.

Find out how Think Time can help you achieve your goals while improving your life balance at think-time.com.

Shop Purpose Planners here.

 

 

Tweetable Highlights:
Are you a person with great ambitions and larger-than-life dreams? Read more: http://ow.ly/B3Wd30jHunz
Do you want to express your unique purpose in a way that serves others and builds into something greater than yourself? Read more: http://ow.ly/B3Wd30jHunz
Many people with larger than life aspirations are surprised at a hidden enemy that works against their goals. Read more: http://ow.ly/B3Wd30jHunz
How are you protecting your health?  What are you doing well?  What could you do better? Read more: http://ow.ly/B3Wd30jHunz
To learn more about how you can proactively protecting your health go to think-time.com. Read more: http://ow.ly/B3Wd30jHunz
Order a Purpose Planner and enjoy our Free Online Coaching in the Think Time 3DR Life Leadership Process. Read more: http://ow.ly/B3Wd30jHunz
Even though our dreams are larger than life, we are not.  Read more: http://ow.ly/B3Wd30jHunz
We live within bodies that have limited capabilities.  Read more: http://ow.ly/B3Wd30jHunz
If we try to cheat our limits, we will find out that they are in fact that–limits. Read more: http://ow.ly/B3Wd30jHunz
Make addressing stress a priority. Read more: http://ow.ly/B3Wd30jHunz
Build rest and exercise into your routines. Read more: http://ow.ly/B3Wd30jHunz

We must honor our bodies and accept their limitations if we are going to thrive for the long haul. Read more: http://ow.ly/B3Wd30jHunz

Protect your health to thrive in the long haul. Read more: http://ow.ly/B3Wd30jHunz

 

 

On Life Balance: Protect Your Health (2/6)

One thing we can never delegate to anyone else is protecting our health.

Only we can control what we eat, when we go to bed, and how much we exercise.

The necessity of protecting our health is just about as much of a scientific “law” as gravity.  Sure there are variables, but the big picture is–ignore your body’s need for health and it will break down.

Rather than repeat what other writers have eloquently stated regarding eating better foods, sleeping adequately, and exercising well, I am going to share with you two stories in the next two blogs.

Two thought leaders I really respect have stories of seasons in their lives in which they thought they could cheat the “law of health.”  These seasons of their lives became pivotal points of change and dramatically altered the rest of their live’s timelines–their mission and their audience

I will tell you the first story today.

It is of a pastor– Tommy Nelson.

Tommy graduated from my alma mater and spoke on his experience when I was a student.  He is a globally known pastor and teacher.  Among other things, he is known for his series on the Song of Solomon, leading a top notch mentorship program, and a definitive country accent.  Extremely driven and disciplined, for years, he kept an incredibly rigorous schedule.

…until he got “hijacked” by something.

He had no idea what it was.

Before he experienced it, he didn’t know it existed.

After going through “it,” however, he discovered that theologians Charles Spurgeon and Martin Luther, scientist Sir Isaac Newton and many other world-shakers had experienced the same thing.  A recent Newsweek article stated that half of the fortune 500 CEOs had had it.  Next, 80+ billion dollars was lost in one year due to lost wages and time off of work because of it.

He described “it” as a “joyless, agoraphobic black hole… a hopeless, despairing spiral.    It is scary.  It is lonely.”

Tommy had pain all over his body.  He found himself unable to think.  He was on a fetal position on the floor.  He went to the hospital twice but was told his health was perfect.

“I couldn’t sleep from May until November.”

He expected it to go away, but instead over months it only escalated.

Though initially resistant, he finally sought help with a counselor and a psychiatrist.  The psychiatrist told him that he was “a garden variety of depression and anxiety that comes from hyper-stress over years.  Finally, your body says, ‘That’s all.'”

His psychiatrist educated him about the neurotransmitter Serotonin.  “Serotonin allows your central nervous system to function.”  Stress depletes Serotonin.  Continued stress will eliminate it.  “It’s like an engine that doesn’t have oil.  The phenomena is called, ‘depression’ or the flip side is ‘acute anxiety.'”

mike-wilson-162526-unsplash.jpg

Tommy shared, “I didn’t know you could get totally burned out doing something you loved.”

He kept an insane schedule every day of the week writing books, counseling, mentoring, and speaking all over the country.

“I was at the top of my game.”

andrea-natali-267263-unsplash.jpg

The doctor told him he would need to deal with his schedule.  He also started him on medicines called SSRIs that prevented the reuptake of Serotonin so his body would not continue to deplete its supply.

Tommy also saw a counselor who “had been there.”  He said the counselor could help “talk him down because he understood.”

After about a month of the medicine, Tommy said, “Something lifted.”  A month later, he experienced “feeling good” again.  The next month, he began preaching again.

“You don’t feel different.  You feel like you.”

I had to cut out about 60% of my schedule, but the happiness came back.

Happy young man

“What did I learn from this?”

“I learned to rest.”

“I learned that you can get completely burned out doing what you love.”

“I learned that we can’t take anything for granted.  You can get screwed up really quick.”

“Finally, I learned empathy.  So many people have gone or are going through this.  I had pastored the church since 1977 and people in my congregation came out of the woodwork.  They described the same ‘fetal position on the floor’ experience I had had.”

 

What did Tommy want people in the helping professions like the pastors and counselors in our school to learn?

#1 “Rest.”

ty-carlson-396184-unsplash.jpg

#2 Be aware of your culture.  “Our culture produces stress like sweets produce decay.”

nicolai-berntsen-8741-unsplash.jpg

#3 Be aware of yourself. “Quite often people fall into this out of feelings of great responsibility.”

photo-1473993702977-1706a7f23164

Tommy also shared that he wanted people to not be resistant to taking medicine.  “Our mind is not a given.  It is not this separate entity.  Our mind is affected by a lot of things.”

Years later, Tommy later shared with his congregation that he was still unable to get off of his medicine.  He felt like this would be something that he may need to deal with for the rest of his life.

At times, a prolonged season of stress–this can stem from unresolved grief, doing too much of what we love, emotional stress, or simply always being over-busy–can impact the rest of our entire lives.

Tommy’s counselor shared with him that many of the people who go through a depression like he experienced also go through a divorce during that time.  “When they said ‘for better or for worse,’ they weren’t thinking this.”

Tommy expressed thankfulness that his wife stuck with him through the entire experience.  (Maybe it had something to do with all of his decades of work in applying what he taught on Romance from the Song of Solomon.)  ; )

What are your thoughts?  Is it a new idea to think that too much of a good thing could bring such a dramatic health crisis to your life?  Have you walked through this with a loved one?  Please comment and share.

Next time, I’ll share a story about how pushing too hard led to a physical health crisis and what one man did about it.

Scan 14

 

Christine M. Wilson, LPC
Co-Founder, Think Time

Tweetable  Blog Highlights

One thing we can never delegate to anyone else is protecting our health. Read more: http://ow.ly/B3Wd30jHunz

Only we can control what we eat, when we go to bed, and how much we exercise. Read more: http://ow.ly/B3Wd30jHunz

The necessity of protecting our health is just about as much of a scientific “law” as gravity. Read more: http://ow.ly/B3Wd30jHunz

“I didn’t know you could get totally burned out doing something you loved.” –Tommy Nelson @dentonbible

[I was not expecting this.] “I was at the top of my game.” –Tommy Nelson @dentonbible Read more: http://ow.ly/B3Wd30jHunz

“Our mind is affected by a lot of things.”  –Tommy Nelson @dentonbible Read more: http://ow.ly/B3Wd30jHunz

Stress depletes Serotonin.  Continued stress will eliminate it.  Read more: http://ow.ly/B3Wd30jHunz

“Rest.” –Tommy Nelson @dentonbible Read more: http://ow.ly/B3Wd30jHunz

Be aware of your culture.  “Our culture produces stress like sweets produce decay.” –Tommy Nelson @dentonbible

Be aware of yourself. “Quite often people fall into this out of feelings of great responsibility.” –Tommy Nelson  @dentonbible

At times, a prolonged season of stress can impact the rest of our entire lives. – Christine Wilson @taketimetothinktime http://ow.ly/B3Wd30jHunz

2016-5-6-tt-logo-gray-cropped

Think Time 3DR Process

We have a serious problem.  We are losing valuable time.  We have created an innovative process that helps people to dream big, get more time for what matters most, and become who they want to be.

Find out how Think Time can help you achieve your goals while improving your life balance at think-time.com.

Shop Purpose Planners here.

 

 

Life Balance for Those in a Helping Profession (1/6)

Is it possible to maintain life balance and be in a helping profession like counseling, ministry, healthcare, or public service?

AdobeStock_92315849.jpeg

It is not only possible to maintain life balance while working in a helping profession; it is critical!

I think of it like putting on your oxygen mask while flying.

AdobeStock_121339960.jpeg

These days, when I fly, I usually have a tiny sidekick on my lap.

Every time, the flight attendants reminds all of us in the cabin, “In case of an emergency, oxygen masks will fall.  Secure your own mask before securing the masks of others.”

To be honest with you.  I don’t really like these instructions.  They go against my design to nurture and protect my baby.  I want to help my baby first.  The three seconds it will take me to secure my own mask instead of hers may be unbearable!

Nonetheless, this reminder is repeated on every flight across the world because it is so important.  The truth is that if I don’t secure my oxygen mask first, I may disqualify myself from being able to help those depending on me.

AdobeStock_49006000.jpeg

The same is true for pastors, counselors, parents of young children, adult children of aging parents, health workers, executives, and helping leaders of any kind.

If you on a daily basis serve and lead others, you must put on your oxygen mask first.  You can do this by nurturing life balance to prevent burnout.

Store Front 2
The Think Time Life Leadership Process in our Purpose Planners teaches a proven method to create a life balance that will keep you fresh and ready to serve others.  Shop now at think-time.com

If you do not, you may keep yourself from being able to help others in their time of greatest need.

AdobeStock_74770593.jpeg

In this series, we will address some ways that you can “put on your oxygen mask” by protecting your health, your time, your energy, and your focus.

We do this to empower ourselves to serve others better.

Have you had seasons in which you did not put on your oxygen mask before taking care of others.  What happened?

Scan 14

 

Christine M. Wilson, LPC
Co-Founder, Think Time
Tweetable Blog Highlights:
Is it possible to maintain life balance and be in a helping profession? Read more: http://ow.ly/9OJ430jHvYA
Secure your own mask before securing the masks of others. Read more: http://ow.ly/9OJ430jHvYA
If I don’t secure my oxygen mask first, I may disqualify myself from being able to help those depending on me.
Nurture your life balance to prevent burnout. Read more: http://ow.ly/9OJ430jHvYA
If you on a daily basis serve and lead others, you must put on your oxygen mask first. Read more: http://ow.ly/9OJ430jHvYA

2016-5-6-tt-logo-gray-cropped

Think Time 3DR Process

We have a serious problem.  We are losing valuable time.  We have created an innovative process that helps people to dream big, get more time for what matters most, and become who they want to be.

Find out how Think Time can help you achieve your goals at think-time.com.

Shop Purpose Planners here.