Looking After You

Looking After You

I suffer from an autoimmune illness that started to affect me [and the way I worked] some twenty years ago.

I was at Law College at the time which was a period of my life that I recall with a degree of sadness as it was the end of my academic life and yet, I felt pretty horrible most of the time.  I became reclusive and felt depressed made worse by the fact we had to do exams every few weeks.  Life really did feel like it was crumbling around me.

I was a depressed, tired and quite frankly a bit of a physical wreck.  It was as if I’d crawled into a deep, dark hole and I couldn’t find my way out.

Looking back, I believe that’s when I began to ‘run out of juice’ as I like to call it.  My body was giving me every warning sign under the sun: –

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Feelings of overwhelm
  • Tiredness
  • Aching joints
  • Bad skin
  • Thinning hair [my hairdresser told me this, I wasn’t even aware …]

The list goes on but you get the picture.

Our bodies can only take so much and I ignored the signs – back to me being an only child with the ‘I can cope on my own’ mentality.  After college, I then started my working life which was the standard corporate rat race ‘9 to 5’ scenario.  However, I noticed very quickly that I was finding the 8 hour grind difficult to cope with.  I didn’t call in sick [as I’m a very strong believer in taking responsibility for the work I do] but I did struggle to stay awake at times.  I became obsessed with how other people coped.  Unfortunately, extra strong coffee and caffeine tablets became my ‘go to’ crux which really only served to make me feel worse.

Even then, I was still literally overcome by waves of tiredness that made me want to go to sleep at my desk.  I never did, thank goodness, but looking back I sometimes wonder how I managed so long with an undiagnosed autoimmune disease that ultimately could have killed me if it had been left untreated.

My mother has a medical background and once she became aware of my struggle she told me to see a doctor immediately.  She later told me that she had thought I might have had leukaemia and how frightened she was for me.  Like most mothers though, she protected me from those fears and fortunately I was diagnosed with an illness that whilst would remain with me for life, could be treated and I could get back to some sort of normality.

I now believe very strongly that my physical illness has been linked to the various stresses and strains I have put myself through in years gone by.  In our youth we believe we are indestructible but as we get older with more responsibility [like mortgages and kids] our physical and mental health is often strained to the limit.  As we get older, we must learn to look after ourselves and raise our awareness of how stress, unhappiness and overwhelm can directly affect our wellbeing.

I’ve now learned to adapt to my limitations.  My knees have been affected and so now I can’t pound a treadmill, walk for miles or stay seated at a desk for very long.  However, I have worked my way around those issues and now I use a BodyBlade for exercise which doesn’t involve any leg work but does raise your heartbeat by working your upper body.  It’s been the perfect solution for me as physical wellbeing raises mental wellbeing.

I refused to allow a limitation to define my life and so I got resourceful and researched until I came across the BodyBlade system which, I believe, was designed with disabled athletes in mind.

Making sure that your life is fitting in with your individual needs is very much a part of the entrepreneurial journey.  We are bespoke human beings yet we are encouraged from being small to fit into a ‘one size fits all’ work system.

I am passionate about spreading the word that you do not have to fit into the 9 to 5 regime because everyone is different and unique.  What’s more, that uniqueness can earn you an income which I think ranks pretty highly on the Awesomeness Scale.

We should all be living our own unique life in the way we wish [obviously as long as it’s legal and not harming anyone] because that is how we live to our full potential.  If we are operating at our full potential then there is a ripple effect benefiting our family, loved ones and friends.  Everyone is happy and we all deserve that.

I was lucky and came out the other side because I got the right treatment and support.  I had stupidly ignored ‘the signs’ and I think we are all guilty of ignoring signs in our own lives.  I’m a big believer in trusting your gut.  If something feels wrong then it probably is.  I’ve doubted it once or twice in the past but it’s always been right.

Listen to the voice within you.  What’s it telling you to do?  If you feel unwell, see a doctor, don’t delay.  If you believe your profession is wrong, change it.  If you are in a relationship that’s going nowhere, have the strength to walk away.

In Shakespeare’s play, Hamlet, Polonius gives his son, Laertes, the following advice: –

‘To thine own self be true’.

Six simple words that were written four hundred years ago but are still valid today.  Be true to yourself and you will be true to others.

Live your best life right now, take action and don’t delay.  If you’d like to know more about the system I use to ensure I live life on my terms then click here to find out more!

I wish you every success for your digital future!

Rachel A Hill LLB [Hons]

Digital Entrepreneur, Lawyer, Private Tutor and Author

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