Taking few minutes to ourselves during the day to breathe deeply, to sit still and just be, to list our priorities and not overload our schedules; are all ways to reduce the stress on our bodies.
Have you ever heard the phrase SOS? Of course! Who hasn’t heard of the international code for distress? Well, today I want to talk about another kind of ‘SOS’, one that is still a cry for help, but doesn’t involve you being stuck alone on a desert island. It is Survival Overdrive Syndrome (SOS). If you are a mother, living in the 21st century, then chances are you are suffering from SOS.
First of all, let me walk you through this new, yet very real, concept. Survival Overdrive Syndrome is something that can manifest in your body and can have real symptoms. Let’s face it, this isn’t the first ‘disorder’ or ‘syndrome’ someone has come up with in recent years; with the way we live our lives nowadays, the human body can only take so much without malfunction. The body resembles a machine; if you overload it with work, it will start crashing slowly.
Dr Aviva Romm is behind the idea of SOS.
She is a physician who has been referred to as “The Face of Natural Medicine in the 21st Century” by Prevention magazine. Through her work, Dr Aviva came across many patients, all complaining of the same symptoms: chronic feelings of being overwhelmed and chronic fatigue – physically, emotionally and even spiritually. This led her to dig deeper and finally come up with Survival Overdrive Syndrome.
I will give you a much simpler example to better understand SOS. I am a 30-year-old wife and mother. I wake up every day at 5am, and I go to bed every night at around 10 to 10.30pm, and every minute in between is a serious marathon! After I tuck my son in bed – which means my job is done – I can finally relax and collapse on the sofa; mostly though, I surprise myself and keep going at the same speed I have been during the day.
I’m still trying to save every second I can and, even though I’m officially done, my brain sometimes doesn’t realise that – which makes it very difficult to wind down and just be still. Aren’t we all trying to be a model of efficiency? Whatever the task is, we are always on the lookout for ways to get it done in less time, like trying to grab all 20 bags of groceries from the car in one go rather than making a second trip or looking for a dish or a pot to wash while those onions are sautéing for 90 seconds. I think we can all agree that time is precious; they aren’t manufacturing more of it! We all are in this race against the only 24 hours that exist in a day, wishing there were more hours, so we could fill them too with tasks and to-do lists.
So many of us push beyond what our physiology and psychology systems are able to handle healthily, all in the name of a success that ends up leaving us gutted and exhausted.
Here I would like to pause and ask a question: Is it worth it? Being able to cross things from your to-do list is awesome, but is it worth the amount of stress that’s wrecking our bodies?
I think we all know the answer to that.
Taking a few minutes to ourselves during the day to breathe deeply, to sit still and just be, to list our priorities and not overload our schedules are all ways to reduce the stress on our bodies. Taking some ‘me time’ is very important – whether to go for a mani-pedi, read a page or two from that book that has been sitting on your bedside table for the last month or go for coffee with a friend and just chill. It’s your responsibility to cherish and appreciate your body if you want to live a longer and healthier life.