MY doctor is the coolest! No, really, he is.

Every time I visit him, including this afternoon (at the time of writing this), I always leave asking whether I had visited for medical purposes or another ‘talk’.

He often leaves me with ‘gems’: words that leave me thinking.

Recently I haven’t been feeling 100%, hence the need to see him more regularly.

And every time I have visited recently, he has given me a piece of paper to take home. It wasn’t a prescription, it simply read: SPEAK SLOWLY!

He meant it both literally and figuratively.

One thing is for sure, I try and get as much done within the shortest possible time. This also includes using my words. Time is something I rarely have. So I do my best to pump 50 words into a sentence, in an attempt to ‘save time’.

And it turns out, as you may know, this is not good for my health (or yours).

Equally important: SPEAK SLOWLY refers to the routine that we find ourselves in on a daily basis.

Recently I have tried to ‘cheat’ my body: work harder, rest less and hope for the best.

It doesn’t work that way.

We need to keep things in perspective.

You can only cheat your body for so long, after which, it will refuse to go any further.

So when my doc wrote: SPEAK SLOWLY on that piece of paper he also told me:

1.      Spend time with yourself

In response I quipped that I didn’t have that luxury. He gave me ‘the look’, and I knew he was right.

As we approach the ‘holiday season’ for most of us, use the opportunity to reflect.

Spend time alone: think, reflect, meditate and perhaps write (if that’s your thing).

2.      Learn to say NO!

It’s true.

The main reason we tend to burn out or ‘cheat’ our bodies is because we do not prioritise. We accept it all! EVEN during our time of rest. Perhaps there is pressure to be somewhere or spend time with some people. That’s fantastic. But if it becomes more work instead of rest, then perhaps saying ‘no’ isn’t a bad idea.

I’m not saying be rude, but be aware of your limitations.

Something that I would add to the doc’s advice:

3.      Recreate not vegetate

You’ve probably heard it before.

This won’t be an opportunity to spend 10 hours sleeping. On the contrary, it’s a chance to do that one thing you never have time to do, but it adds value to who you are as a person.

Some people draw/paint, others write, and others read.

The point of recreation is to ‘shed’ some of that old skin and replenish it with some new stuff.

Don’t just be a couch potato, that’s not resting.

As we head into this period of family, friends, gifts, and everything that comes with it, remember that you’re only as effective as you have been resting.

You do no one a service by being burnt out.

Trust me, the doc preaches this every time I see him.

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