Episode 24: Surrendering to Self-Care

This week's episode is a little different (and shorter) than past episodes. I'm sharing a brief update about the last two weeks - and a big lesson I've learned as a business owner.
Coach with Clarity Podcast Lee Chaix McDonough

24: Surrendering to Self-Care

In this brief episode that is very far off from what I had originally planned for this week, I provide an update on a health issue that arose from a recent surgery and how the whole experience helped me realize I need to shift my priorities from pushing myself beyond my limits to incorporating more self-care.

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Show Notes

In this brief episode that is very far off from what I had originally planned for this week, I provide an update on a health issue that arose from a recent surgery and how the whole experience helped me realize I need to shift my priorities from pushing myself beyond my limits to incorporating more self-care.

Topics covered

  • The events that led to having an emergency surgery
  • How I thought I knew better than my doctors and even my own body
  • The consequences of pushing my body beyond it’s limits in the name of work
  • The lessons I’ve taken to heart from this experience and how I’m putting them into action as I ease back into work
  • My advice for my fellow high achievers who find it difficult to slow down and put your needs first

Resources mentioned

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Well, hey there friend. Welcome to the Coach with Clarity podcast. My name is Lee Chaix McDonough and this week's episode is a little different than what I normally do and very different than what I had planned. 

So I want to provide you with a brief update and a major life lesson I learned in the hopes that maybe you can learn from it as well. 

So I'm recording this on Tuesday, August 4th, and about two weeks ago, I had a scheduled surgery. It was originally supposed to happen in March, but because of Coronavirus, it was canceled and rescheduled to July. And I had prepared to take a two-week recovery, and everyone assured me – my doctor, my colleagues, friends of mine who'd had a similar procedure – that two weeks was probably going to be enough. Now secretly I was thinking I could take one week off and then slowly return into my business. See a few clients here or there, continue to show up for the Coach with Clarity membership, but I really thought that I was going to beat the odds. So I woke up bright and early on Wednesday, July 22nd, headed to the hospital, and had my surgery at about 7:30 that morning. I was also hoping that I would be discharged later that evening, but unfortunately, there was a complication during my surgery. And I should say that I am fine, my prognosis is excellent but, unfortunately, I had to go back into the OR that evening for a second emergency surgery, and that surgery required an abdominal incision that I was not prepared for. 

So all of my plans for my post-operative recovery were no longer realistic. In fact, I spent two nights in the hospital and then came home and could barely leave my bed for almost a week. It forced me to add more time to my recovery and to take things much slower than I had anticipated. I've had a few minor setbacks along the way but on the whole, I'm progressing well, I'm healing beautifully. And again, my long term prognosis is excellent. 

But here's the thing, even though I'd had a second emergency surgery, even though I had an abdominal incision, there was a part of me that thought I could still recover on my original timeframe. And in fact, not six days after my surgery, I had my laptop in bed with me, and I put in a six-hour workday. Now it was primarily emails and administrative duties and Facebook messaging and the like. I convinced myself that since I wasn't really working with clients, and I was just sending emails, it would be okay but the fact of the matter is, I completely wore myself out. 

I was exhausted, I was sore and I wound up having to spend the entire next day in bed, watching bad TV and doing absolutely no work because I had overdone it. I didn't listen to my body. I didn't listen to my doctors. And I convinced myself that if I just muscled through it, I could speed up my recovery process. That was a pretty important lesson, and it's one that I've taken to heart over the last week as I've continued my recovery. 

Yes, I'm doing a little bit of work, sending emails, connecting with my members, but I am not putting in marathon days, that's for sure. And I make sure that when I put in 60 to 90 minutes of work, it's followed by 60 to 90 minutes of rest. So I'm taking better care of myself, I'm giving myself time, I added an extra week on to my recovery, and I will add another one too if I need to. And so that's why I don't have the scheduled podcast I had planned on this week. I'm giving myself permission to go off schedule to rest and to surrender. 

That's the lesson I want to share with you today, is that for those of you who, like me, are high achieving people who really place a lot of value and importance on constantly doing more, and working towards our goals, checking things off our to-do lists, and getting things done. It's so important that we stop, and we surrender when we need to take care of ourselves. And I sincerely hope that for you, it does not take an emergency surgery to have that realization. But if we don't stop, if we don't give ourselves time to replenish our energy to restore ourselves, then we exhaust ourselves. That's certainly what I did physically, but I've also done that mentally before too, and if you've ever dealt with burnout, you know what that feels like. 

So I want to share this update with you to let you all know that I'm doing well and that I will be back with a full episode of the Coach with Clarity podcast soon. This week, your Clarity in Action moment is to take stock of your energy. Are you taking good care of yourself? Are you giving yourself the rest and the restoration that you need so that you can continue to show up for your business? For the people you love? And for yourself? How are you feeling physically, emotionally, spiritually, mentally? 

I want to encourage you to give yourself some time today to really check in with how you are, be honest with yourself, and if you're hitting a breaking point, please know that it is not just permissible to take a break, it's mandatory. If we do not refill our own pitcher, we cannot continue to pour out to others in our lives. 

So with that, I am going to sign off from today's mini-episode, and I'm going to head back to bed and get some good rest in. My sincerest hope is that I am back with you next week for a full podcast episode, all about what it means to be a credentialed coach, and how to go about obtaining that credential. But I also know that if I need to take a little more time that you are going to understand, and I'm going to give myself permission, to be kind to myself, to be compassionate with myself, and to give myself the rest and the care that I need. And I hope that you will do the same for yourself. So with that, this is Lee Chaix McDonough encouraging you to get out there and show the world what it means to be a Coach with Clarity. And that being a Coach with Clarity also means knowing when it's time to press pause and take care of yourself.

Talk to you again soon. 

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